I know that Religious Right activists don’t like marriage equality for same-sex couples, but some of the arguments they are making lately are just – pardon my bluntness – dumb.
I love reading history (although unlike “Christian nation” propagandist David Barton, I don’t believe this habit qualifies me as a historian). Recently I’ve been enjoying Phillip Jenkins’ Jesus Wars: How Four Patriarchs, Three Queens, and Two Emperors Decided What Christians Would Believe for the Next 1,500 Years.
A courtroom in Richmond, Va., will be the site of a church-state showdown on Thursday. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in an important case dealing with official prayer before government bodies. Americans United will be there.
For Christians, it’s Holy Week, and you don’t have to look too far to find crosses on display at churches and other venues. As pretty much everyone knows, that symbol represents the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday and is generally regarded as the central representation of the Christian faith.
But if you ask the lawyers at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), you might get a different take.
Religious Right legal groups are all excited over a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights dealing with crucifix displays in public schools in Italy.
The European high court, ruling 15-2, overturned a lower court decision and declared that the crucifixes can stay. They don’t oppress anyone’s rights, the court said, and European nations are entitled to some latitude in dealing with topics such as this.
As I’m sure everyone knows by now, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church to picket near the funerals of soldiers who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In any writing about Westboro Baptist, it is important to immediately make it clear that the messages from Pastor Fred Phelps and his family are vile, obnoxious and disgusting. But, as the high court has made clear, even jerks have free-speech rights.
The Alliance Defense Fund has suddenly become an ardent supporter of church-state separation – now that the constitutional principle suits the Religious Right group’s needs.
The ADF has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Catholic and Baptist churches in Mission, Kansas, arguing that the city’s houses of worship should not have to pay a “transportation utility fee” tax to help rebuild the community’s crumbling roads. According to ADF’s lawyers, the tax is a violation of the separation of church and state.
In the run-up to last month’s elections, Americans United had to work overtime to combat church-based electioneering.
The Alliance Defense Fund and its allies in the Religious Right were working to persuade pastors to endorse or oppose candidates from the pulpit during Sunday services. AU repeatedly reminded pastors and congregants that such actions are a violation of federal law. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all 501(c)(3) non-profit groups are barred from intervening in campaigns by endorsing or opposing candidates.
Last night, my wife and I attended the annual winter concert at my son’s middle school. Paul plays a mean clarinet, and I was proud to see him on stage with the advanced band tooting away on a variety of songs.
The pieces were drawn from various cultures. We heard an old Russian song called “Minka’s Sleigh Ride,” a Japanese folk tune titled “Sakura, Sakura” and my personal favorite – “The Three-Minute Nutcracker,” all of your favorite numbers from the Nutcracker ballet condensed into 180 seconds.
On Saturday, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the armed forces. The Religious Right is not pleased.
To hear Religious Right leaders tell it, the end is nigh. How soon before the North Koreans come rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue?