For the last three years, the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance have sown the seeds of controversy. When a federal appeals court ruled on the issue, church-state separationists were disturbed by the reflexive response of politicians and the media.
The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
TV preacher Pat Robertson simply can't help himself. When given the opportunity to discuss any issue involving the separation of church and state, he inevitably lobs falsehoods and personal attacks at his opponents. Instead of reasoned debate, Pat would rather assail the other side with ad hominem attacks and outright lies.
That's just what he did yesterday on his "700 Club" broadcast.
Defenders of church-state separation hoped that the court defeat of Judge Roy Moore's 5,280-pound Ten Commandments monument would discourage others from following the same unconstitutional course. Now it seems that instead of just wanting to display the Commandments, some Religious Right activists are agitating for the entire Christian Bible.
Darla Kayne Wynne, a South Carolina Wiccan, sued Great Falls town officials for opening their meetings with only Christian prayers, and she has won at every level of the courts. Government, the judges held, can't favor one faith over others.
After last month's victory before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, Wynne went home thinking the case was over. A unanimous ruling from the usually conservative court all but ensures that the decision will stand.
Wealthy Religious Right activist Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. has a problem: For years he poured money into the coffers of a theocratic organization so extreme that it advocated imposing "biblical law" on America and even executing gays, adulterers, fornicators, blasphemers, "witches," "incorrigible" teenagers and those who worship "false" gods.
Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson is controversial in part for his endorsement of spanking. The Religious Right leader's book Dare to Discipline endorsed corporal punishment at a time when many child-rearing experts were recommending other discipline techniques that did not rely on the infliction of physical pain.
Apparently, some Dobson acolytes have now concluded that a smack on the behind or striking a kid with a paddle is not punishment enough and have sought out more creative ways to inflict pain on recalcitrant youngsters. Enter "hot saucing."
The last time Kansas updated its science curriculum standards, we all know what happened. Religious Right-oriented members of the Kansas Board of Education tried to eliminate virtually every reference to evolutionary biology from the K-12 curriculum.
National and international outrage brought shame on the whole state. In the next election, the far-right members were swept out of office and replaced by moderates eager to restore science to science classrooms.
The Bush administration's point man for pushing the "faith-based" agenda has promised to fight local government ordinances that stand in the way of federal funding for religiously based social service providers.
TV preacher Jerry Falwell offered up a partial confession of sorts this weekend regarding his run-in with the Internal Revenue Service in the 1990s.
Following in the footsteps of a few bishops in other parts of the country, three Catholic bishops in the South have declared that politicians in their dioceses will be denied communion if they support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion.