On Independence Day, President George Bush traveled to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Virginia estate, to deliver a patriotic speech before a group of newly naturalized citizens. While there, he promptly managed to mutilate Jefferson's views. Read more
Many people view filmmaker Ken Burns as the poet laureate of American life. In documentaries such as The War, Baseball, Jazz and The Civil War, he has woven together words, music and pictures into incredibly moving accounts of the people and events that have framed our national life.
For many members of the Religious Right, Barack Obama's proposal to expand "faith-based" initiatives was "dead on arrival," the Associated Press reported yesterday.
Though Obama announced a plan to increase spending on faith-based social services, starting with a $500 million-a-year program, top religious conservatives seem more than disappointed. Read more
Americans United has recently received calls from a couple of Minnesota pastors who are convinced they have a constitutional right to engage in partisan politics from the pulpit, including telling which candidates to vote for or against.
These pastors sounded sincere, and they were very polite when they called – but they are still wrong. Read more
Last week, the White House sponsored a major national conference on "faith-based" funding, featuring a speech by President George W. Bush. Then on Saturday, the president devoted his weekly radio chat to the same topic.
Touting his "new approach called 'compassionate conservatism'" and praising the "armies of compassion" supposedly empowered by his initiative, he said, "Because of you, I'm confident that the progress we have made over the past eight years will continue. Because of you, countless souls have been touched and lives have been healed." Read more
On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress released its new book: Debating the Divine. A collection of short essays, the book explores the role of religion in shaping our national policies and our public identity. Coinciding with the announcement of the release, the center sponsored a panel in order to give essayists the opportunity to defend their work. Read more
Thanks to a strong push by the Bush administration, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded part of a $1.2 million grant to an evangelical Christian organization, Victory Outreach, whose mission is to carry "the hope and message of Jesus Christ to the four corners of the earth," ABC News has reported.
The other part of the $1.2 million was awarded to a consulting firm run by Lisa Trevino Cummins, who previously headed Hispanic outreach efforts for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Read more