Americans United has always taken heat from the Religious Right for allegedly turning in only "conservative" churches to the Internal Revenue Service for candidate endorsements from the pulpit. Read more
I just got back from Berlin, where I took part in a conference contrasting the American and German models for dealing with religion in public schools.
The event's organizers, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (affiliated with Johns Hopkins University), brought together scholars, activists and education officials for a day of discussion and give-and-take. It was very enlightening. Read more
In all the emotional public debate over same-sex marriage, the overarching issue of church-state separation often gets lost. I'm glad to see that situation beginning to change.
Last week, Mike Swift of the San Jose Mercury News called to talk to about Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that takes away gay couples' right to get married in the Golden State. Read more
Did Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli intend to instruct Catholic congregants on how to vote in his recent essay "A Politician's Promise: No Right to Life! No Freedom!"?
Heavens no! Where on earth did anyone get that idea? Read more
The Christian Coalition has unveiled its "nonpartisan" voter guide for distribution at churches and other locations before the November election. In a letter accompanying the document, Coalition President Roberta Combs calls the guide "one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections." Read more
Over the past week, Americans United has mailed friendly letters to 100,000 clergy and lay leaders reminding them of the provisions of federal tax law and urging them not to endorse candidates from the pulpit.
We got word from a Baptist pastor in rural Georgia who received our missive, and apparently, wasn't too happy to hear from us. He called yesterday to complain. Read more
My 10-year-old son and I spent last night at a Halloween pumpkin carving contest. We had about half an hour to come up with a design, and despite our less-than-stellar knife skills, managed to win a ribbon for "Most Unusual Nose." (Based on the number of ribbons I saw, I suspect this was one of those contests where everyone got a prize.) Read more
Say you're a social worker in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and you've just heard about a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program intended to keep kids out of gangs. You hop down to the local agency running the project to put in an application.
While there, the agency staffer hands you a form to fill out.
It asks, "Do you believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God?"
It goes on, "Do you believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit?" Read more
A devout Roman Catholic taking a helicopter to attend Sunday morning services at a Baptist church nearly 200 miles from his house followed by lunch with "local officials" at a shooting range—sounds like a politician on his campaign trail. Read more