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Hoosier Heartache: Vouchers Threaten Public Education In Indiana

I spent the weekend in Indianapolis, where I took part in “Civic Day,” an annual event co-sponsored by Americans United’s Indiana Chapter and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana.

One of the topics discussed was vouchers. I gave an overview of the sectarian and secular groups that promote taxpayer aid for religious education and discussed what motivates them. Read more

New Report Says Military Threatened By Ongoing Fundamentalist Influences

 

A new report asserts that the U.S. military remains unduly influenced by fundamentalist Christian groups.

The report, “For God and Country: Religious Fundamentalism in the U.S. Military” was authored on behalf of the Center for Inquiry by James Par­co, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel whose career includes stints as an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy and time on the National Security Council of the White House during the Clinton administration.

Parco’s report lists a series of problems, among them: Read more

By The Power Vested In Whom?

In New York, virtually anyone can perform a wedding ceremony – provided that he or she is first willing to receive online ordination from an entity like the Universal Life Church, a mail-order church that ordains anyone for a fee. At a recent wedding in New York City, Preston Bailey and Theo Bleckmann were married by Joan Rivers, a well-known comedian who received online ordination for the occasion. Read more

Fundamentalist Forces?: New Report Highlights Ongoing Church-State Problems In America’s Military

When U.S. military leaders announced that openly gay men and women would be permitted to service in the armed forces, Religious Right leaders went ballistic.

They asserted that the move would destroy military cohesion and leave our fighting force less able to do the job. Of course, that didn’t actually happen. One year after the change, military leaders reported that the new policy was working out fine. Read more

Midwestern Swing: Church-State Activism Is Alive And Well In America’s Heartland

I just got back from a trip to Indiana and Illinois where I was once again reminded of the importance of local activism.

In Indianapolis, I spoke at an event jointly sponsored by the Indiana Chapter of Americans United and the Center for Inquiry-Indiana. Called “Civic Day,” the annual event at the state capitol building is designed to inform residents of challenges facing their state and spur them to action. Read more

Obama And Church-State Separation: The Good, The Bad And The Uncertain

I just got back from New York City, where I spoke at an interesting event sponsored by our friends at the Center for Inquiry.

On Tuesday night, a three-person panel discussed the issue "Church and State in the Obama Era" at All Souls Church, a Unitarian-Universalist congregation. I wouldn't call this event a debate; it was more of a discussion of where we stand under Obama – as I put it (taking off from the title of an old Clint Eastwood Western), "The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain." Read more