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Faded Glory: IRS Is Investigating Oral Roberts University For Alleged Political Misconduct

Oral Roberts claims the university he founded in the 1960s because God ordered him to do so is still functioning "for the glory of God."

The colorful televangelist's defense of the Tulsa, Okla.-based Oral Roberts University (ORU) was prompted because of a slew of alleged wrong-doings leveled against his son, Richard, who is the university's president. In early October, three former ORU professors sued the school arguing they were wrongly dismissed after speaking out against the school's involvement in a political race. Read more

Irked In Akron: Some Ohioans Misunderstand AU Stance On Lord's Prayer At Council Meetings

The Americans United e-mail inbox is on fire! Critical correspondence is nothing new, but why all the hateful rhetoric today? I'm certain none of my colleagues were guests on the Fox News Network last night.

"You all must be some sort of terrorists," says one note, "to continually threaten people with this bull crap of separation....This country does not need stupid groups to fight for worthless causes." Read more

Campus Crusade For Accuracy: California Colleges Resist Fundamentalist Demands

How would you react if you found out that your daughter's ninth-grade public school history teacher believed that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were fundamentalists who sought to establish a "Christian nation"? Would you be upset if you sent your son to a summer camp on geology only to learn that it was taught by a creationist? Read more

Memphis Missteps: Churches Jump Headlong Into Mayoral Battle, Despite Federal Tax Law

Perhaps because of years of misguided advice from powerful Religious Right advocacy groups, houses of worship sometimes confuse their religious work with the machinations of politics.

Recently in Memphis, it appears that three churches sidestepped Internal Revenue Service regulations that prohibit all non-profits, religious and secular, from using their resources to support or oppose a candidate's run for public office. Read more

Coulter's America: Will Religious Right Leaders Distance Themselves From Awful Ann?

Religious Right leaders deny that their movement is intent on Christianizing the country. From time to time, however, close associates of the movement will veer off script and tell us what they really think.

For example, earlier this week, Ann Coulter, the right-wing pundit with a knack for selling boatloads of books and offering up over-the-top rhetoric, said the nation would indeed be a much better place if everyone were Christian. Read more

Santa Claus In Bethlehem?: A Christmas Skirmish Breaks Out In Berkley, Mich.

Was Santa Claus present in Bethlehem when Jesus was born? Some people in Berkley, Mich., may get that idea if a town referendum passes.

On Nov. 6, voters in Berkley will cast their ballots on a Charter Amendment that requires the local government to display a Nativity scene and other Christmas symbols on city hall property from the Monday after Thanksgiving until Jan. 6. Read more

Supremely Radical: Analyzing Clarence Thomas's Theocratic Vision

The First Amendment Center on Monday released a superb collection of essays analyzing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's treatment of First Amendment law.   The essays by leading constitutional law scholars and attorneys delve into Thomas's interpretation of the Amendment in general and of free speech and church-state separation in particular.     Read more

Oral Report: Former Profs Say TV Preacher Roberts' School Is Immersed In Scandal

Televangelist Oral Roberts has certainly led a colorful life. He claims he once trembled before a 900-foot Jesus and has raised people from the dead. In 1987, Roberts announced that God "would call me home" unless supporters sent him $8 million in donations.

Mostly retired these days, Roberts has been living quietly in Newport Beach, Calif. Now one of the cornerstones of the evangelistic empire he created – Oral Roberts University (ORU) – is engulfed in scandal. Read more

Bluff Or Bust?: Religious Right Seeks To Cop A Plea From The GOP

The Religious Right threat to back a third party in 2008 is looking more and more like the old "good cop/bad cop" routine.

Viewers of police dramas know how this works: Good cop tells the suspect that he really wants to be his friend, hoping to win a confession by simple conversation. Bad cop, meanwhile, is always threatening to get physical. The two play mind games with the suspect in a type of psychological warfare that can make for entertaining viewing on cop shows. Read more

Jury-Rigged In Georgia: Baptist Church Places Commandments Display In Courthouse To Influence Jurors

Clayton County recently became the first locality to take Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia legislature up on their offer to post the Ten Commandments in government buildings.  

The Christian Index reports that a nine-document display presented by the First Baptist Church of Jonesboro was installed at the county courthouse on Sept. 20. A new state law authorizes displays of that sort.   Read more