By the time the last speaker at a Religious Right gathering of so-called "values voters" wrapped up with a discussion on how to organize a political precinct, a headache that had been creeping up on me for hours seemed to have reached an excruciating crescendo. I couldn't find my painkillers – or the exit doors – fast enough. Read more
Today and tomorrow, the top guns of the Religious Right are meeting in Washington, D.C., to screen the Republican presidential candidates.
The so-called "Values Voter Summit" is sponsored by Family Research Council Action, the action arm of the Family Research Council (FRC), along with Focus on the Family Action, the Alliance Defense Fund, American Family Association Action and Gary Bauer's American Values group. Read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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