Texas legislators will tomorrow take up a controversial bill requiring all public high schools to offer elective Bible courses. The debate over HB 1287, "Elective Courses in History and Literature of Old and New Testament Eras," comes in the wake of a much-publicized Time magazine cover story endorsing Bible courses in public schools. Read more
Back in 1988, Utah voters were given a chance to determine the fate of a tuition tax credit measure that appeared on the state ballot. To say they did not think much of the idea is an understatement. Voters trounced it, 70 percent to 30 percent.
Residents of the Beehive State may soon have the opportunity to beat back religious school aid again. It looks like a recently passed voucher bill is headed for the ballot. Read more
TV preacher Pat Robertson has long had an interest in changing social policy in America.
Robertson wants the law to reflect his personal religious views. At first, he tried to bring this about by running for president. After his failed bid in 1988 to capture the Republican Party nomination, Robertson created the Christian Coalition to influence government.
The Christian Coalition is on the wane these days, but another Robertson project is quietly helping the Virginia Beach televangelist gain the power and control he lusts for – Regent University. Read more
The first comprehensive evaluation of President George W. Bush's global HIV/AIDS effort was released late last month. The report, which is a congressionally mandated review of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), was conducted by teams of independent medical professionals on behalf of the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report said the effort was a "promising start," but was very critical of the Administration's focus on abstinence-until-marriage programs. Read more
Under this White House, the DOJ has overhauled its Civil Rights Division to focus large amounts of attention on helping "faith-based" organizations receive grants and trolling the land looking for supposed discrimination against evangelical Christians. Read more
April 13 is Thomas Jefferson's birthday. Americans United encourages people to mark the occasion by standing up for Jefferson's views on religious liberty.
This is important because
Religious Right groups often
argue that the Sage of Monticello
agreed with them on the relationship between religion and government.
Anyone who is familiar with Jefferson's
writings knows why such claims are absurd. If he were alive today, he would rebuke the Religious Right, not join them. Read more
Former Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is quickly becoming the Religious Right's latest phony martyr.
Klingenschmitt claims he was drummed out of the Navy because he wanted to pray in the name of Jesus. In fact, he got tossed out for being insubordinate. Far from being a hero and a role model, Klingenschmitt is exactly what the military does not need: an officer who would not do what was expected of him. Read more
The Religious Right is up in arms about a recently introduced hate-crimes bill by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.)
The Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition is swinging wildly as usual, dubbing the measure the "Pro-Homosexual/Drag Queen 'Hate Crime' Bill". Read more
Americans United has been tracking the activities of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) since the group's inception in 1993.
Founded by TV preachers and other extreme right-wingers to push the Religious Right's agenda in the courts, the ADF was spawned by James Dobson, D. James Kennedy and Donald Wildmon, among others.
Originally, the group was conceived as a funding pool. The ADF would collect money and dole it out to Religious Right litigators like Pat Robertson's American Center for Law and Justice. Read more
For years now, Religious Right outfits have called for greater public funding of sectarian social services and schooling. And they've gotten loads of support from President George W. Bush and like-minded lawmakers nationwide. Read more