In today's world, the separation of church and state is about so much more than school prayer or faith-based funding. Did you know the topic encompasses issues like reproductive healthcare, science education, end of life care, marriage, and medical research? Read more
Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Equally tragic is living your life in a constant state of inner turmoil.
I thought about this recently after reading an obituary in The New York Times. The obituary was for a man named Robert Skolrood. The name was familiar to me, but I have to admit I hadn't heard it in awhile. Read more
Should religion have a place in American politics and government?
That's the question a scholar, two activists and a pastor came together to discuss last night at a debate in Richmond, Va. The event was hosted by the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs.
One of those well-known activists was Americans United Executive Director, the Rev. Barry Lynn. He was joined by biblical scholar Jacques Berlinerblau of Georgetown University, arguing for a complete separation of religion and government. Read more
A few years ago, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas began rebuking the Religious Right. In a remarkable turn-around, the former Moral Majority official argued that conservative Christians would do better to persuade people that their theology is correct, not use the power of government to force it.
That was a welcome point of view. But it was apparently a rare bout with common sense for Thomas. He's still cranking out some rather extreme columns. One from this week, for example, is a real doozy. Read more
Speaking at the Criswell Theological Seminary in Dallas in late January, Southern Baptist Convention lobbyist Richard Land called U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) that "schmuck from New York."
Land was worked into a lather recalling the confirmation hearings of Chief Justice John Roberts, in which Schumer pressed the judicial nominee on important questions about individual rights.
In Yiddish, "schmuck" literally means – how can I put this on a family-friendly site? – "male genitalia." Read more
Religious Right activists are quick to tell us all how we should live our lives. Essentially, they think they are good, decent and righteous, and the rest of us aren't. They want legislation to impose their set of values on everyone, based on their reading of certain Bible passages.
But isn't it funny, though, how often the Religious Right folks want us to do as they say, not as they do? Read more
California lawmakers may really be pressed with tough issues facing their constituencies, ranging from educational to environmental concerns. But some of them find themselves distracted by a religious brouhaha that has erupted in the Capitol in Sacramento.
This week, quasi-official Chaplain Ralph Drollinger ignited a religious tit-for-tat, when he touted his Bible study and disparaged a more religiously inclusive group of lawmakers as "disgusting to our Lord." Read more
Every once in a while I run into someone at a social function who seems puzzled about the work I do.
"Separation of church and state?" they say. "That was all taken care of years ago. It's in the Constitution; we don't have to worry about it any more."
A new study of the Milwaukee school voucher program shows that children receiving publicly financed tuition at religious and other private schools perform no better academically than their peers in public schools.
The results are surely disappointing for voucher supporters. Their premise rests on the assumption that children removed from "failing" public schools will fulfill their academic potential at private schools. Read more