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A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids

The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.

In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American. Read more

Denominational Drama: N.D. Couple Sues Church For Viewpoint Discrimination

A Kindred, N.D., couple claims their former church discriminated against them for their conservative views on gay rights. Ray and Joan Grabanski have sued Norman Evangelical Lutheran Church, its pastor and several congregants and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) over the alleged discrimination.                                      Read more

Christmas Truce: Nativity Scene No Longer Gracing Fla. Capitol Rotunda

It seems Satan and a self-proclaimed “Catholic warrior” have driven a nativity scene from the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee – at least for this year.

In response to controversy caused by seasonal displays in the capitol rotunda last year, including a display by the Satanic Temple that was vandalized, a group that had previously sponsored a crèche decided to discontinue its practice. Read more

Irony Implosion: Pat Robertson Opposes Politics Masquerading As Religion – When The Religion Is Islam

TV preacher Pat Robertson and I go way back. In 1996, I wrote a book about him, and I’ve followed his career since.

I long ago concluded that no one can track every zany thing the oracle of Virginia Beach spouts. Doing that would be a full-time job, and I have other things to do. Read more

It Can Happen Here: Trump Call For Excluding Muslims From U.S. Has Disturbing Precedents

Two months after Pearl Harbor, anti-Japanese sentiment hit a thundering peak in the U.S. To many, Japanese Americans had become enemy aliens whose presence represented a real threat to national security. As The New York Times reported last year, this was a mainstream argument at the time, not some fantastical fringe fiction.
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Armed And Dangerous?: Falwell Suggests That LU Students Get Guns To Fend Off ‘Those Muslims’

I sometimes help out with logistics when Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn is traveling for a speech or a debate. I’m used to people asking me what hotel chains Barry prefers or what he likes to eat, but in September when Barry was debating Religious Right attorney Mat Staver at Liberty University, I got a question I hadn’t heard before: The folks at Liberty wanted to know if Barry or anyone traveling with him would be armed. The school had no objection to Barry or a member of his party carrying a concealed weapon, they just wanted to know beforehand. Read more

Scathing Scalia: Judge, Law Scholar Criticize Supreme Court Justice’s Marriage Equality Rants

In an editorial for The New York Times, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner slammed a U.S. Supreme Court justice for his views on gay rights. Posner, who co-wrote the piece with Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall, argued that Antonin Scalia’s vehement opposition to gay rights is incompatible with the Constitution. Read more

Misleading Meeting: Trump Confab With Minority Pastors Was Far Less Than Advertised

In an effort to court both African Americans and religious voters, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump held a meeting yesterday with a group of black ministers. That much is clear. What is not clear is just how many attendees actually supported the bombastic political novice and if attendance was anywhere near as high as Trump claimed. Read more

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