Are Southern Baptist leaders ratcheting up their political operation?
It sure looks like it. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the nation's largest Protestant denomination, and its fundamentalist leadership is struggling to gain greater political clout.
According to a feature story in The Christian Index, Georgia's state Baptist newspaper, the SBC mans a lobbying outpost in Washington, D.C., just four blocks from the Capitol. Read more
When Religious Right characters carp about the need for more religion in the nation's public square, make no mistake that what they actually mean is that the square should belong exclusively to them. Read more
The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy reports that Indiana has nixed a "novel chaplaincy program" that supplied religious leaders to counsel employees of the state's Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).
FSSA spokesman Marcus Barlow said the state agency discontinued the pilot program, which cost taxpayers $100,000, because it failed to install chaplains in each of the state's 92 counties. Read more
Utah residents will vote this November on whether to keep a private-school voucher law passed by the legislature earlier this year.
How are voucher advocates reacting? They're out there making reasoned arguments and trying to win people over with persuasion, right? Nope. They have commissioned a telephone "push poll" designed to link opposition to vouchers with advocacy of same-sex marriage. Read more
Tonight CNN starts delving into the volatile mix of religion and politics.
At 9 p.m. EDT, "Larry King Live" will preview a three-part series called "God's Warriors," which is scheduled to start tomorrow evening on CNN. The series' chief reporter, Christiane Amanpour, and a panel of guests, including Americans United's Barry W. Lynn, will join Larry to discuss the impact religious fundamentalists are having on politics worldwide. Read more
The Rev. Wiley S. Drake's prayers for tragedy to befall Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its staffers continue to draw controversy.
After Americans United urged the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Drake's use of his church's resources to endorse Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., asked supporters to join him every day in praying for the deaths of officials of the religious liberty watchdog group. Read more
Thanks to our friends in the blogosphere, we are learning more and more about the Rev. Wiley S. Drake, and it's far from pretty. The Buena Park, Calif., pastor, who is urging supporters to pray for the demise of Americans United and its staff, is a radical character with alleged ties to some of our nation's most extreme Religious Right operatives. Read more