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
To some, maybe it's just a sculpture of a middle-aged bearded man in shepherd's clothing holding a baby and playing with children.
To everyone else, including the sculptor, it's Jesus Christ.
Religious Right-driven skirmishes over the role of religion in public life continue to roil communities around California.
In the latest battle, the Lompoc City Council voted 4-1 this week to post "In God We Trust" at two spots in City Hall. According to the Santa Maria Times, the religious affirmation will be displayed on the speaker's podium and on a lobby wall outside Council chambers. Read more
Hernando County, Fla., officials saw no problem with allocating $5,000 in tax money to promote an event called the "Hernando Freedom Festival" in July. Local government officials are often eager to support events that might bring in tourist dollars, and this one attracted 15,000 people. Read more
Scientists in Texas are speaking up, hopefully in time to protect the state's science education from the Religious Right.
The Texas Board of Education is currently considering a new science curriculum. Heading up the board is Don McLeroy (R-Bryan), a creationist who opposes an academic working group's suggestion to remove the current requirement that "strengths and weakness" of all scientific theories be taught in biology classes. Read more
The recent Bush administration report on inner-city education shamelessly advocates massive public funding for religious schools. In addition to voucher subsidies, tax credits and something called "backpack" scholarships (another kind of voucher), it promotes "faith-based charter schools." Read more