Religious Right groups have argued for a long time that a president has to do more than oversee the economy, direct international relations and run the Executive branch. He or she is also expected to set a moral example. During the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Religious Right groups frequently complained – unfairly, in the view of many Americans – that these two men had failed in that regard.
President-elect Donald Trump may have struggled to attract A-list celebrities to perform at his inaugural ceremonies, but there will be no shortage of clergy on hand Friday to pray him into office.
Six religious leaders are expected to speak during the inauguration: Protestant pastors Franklin Graham, Paula White, Samuel Rodriguez and Wayne T. Jackson will join Roman Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Rabbi Marvin Hier. Trump’s lineup reportedly is the largest contingent of clergy at an inauguration at least since Ronald Reagan last took the oath of office.
Part of my job involves monitoring the activities of Religious Right groups, which means every day my email box receives messages from groups like the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and American Family Association (AFA).
The AFA has lately been going around the bend about something called the “gender unicorn.” This unicorn, which has apparently surfaced (metaphorically speaking) in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, has Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, in quite a tizzy.
Over the weekend, Americans United joined thousands of people here in Washington, D.C., at Capital Pride. We had an informational booth there and were pleased to meet with many people who support our mission.
Inevitably, the tragic murders of 49 people and the wounding of dozens more at a gay club in Orlando early Sunday morning weighed on the minds of many. But the horrific attack didn’t deter people from attending D.C.’s event. AU was pleased to be there and considered it an opportunity to show our support for the LGBTQ community at this difficult time.
It’s unconstitutional for faith-based organizations (FBOs) to proselytize using public funds, but some FBOs manage to circumvent these rulings by conducting their evangelistic charity projects overseas. In a recent article for Firstpost, an Indian website, Rupa Subramanya argues that this may begin to strain foreign relations, just as it strains the boundaries of constitutional law.
It’s almost Christmas, and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) isn’t going to let you forget it. In a special resolution introduced Wednesday, the congressman celebrated his idea of the reason for the season — and condemned church/state separation advocates in the process. (Lamborn introduces the resolution every year.)
“We give thanks for Jesus’ message of love and peace and remember the sacrifice He made for us all. It is a season of giving, of love, and of joy,” he said.
The ongoing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of Tea Party groups took another twist yesterday when evangelist Franklin Graham complained that the ministry founded by this father, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), was also investigated by the tax agency.
The role of the Religious Right in the Republican Party and national political life is under a lot of scrutiny these days.
Everyone from Ralph Reed and Richard Land to Billy Graham and Tony Perkins did everything in their considerable power to steer the election to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and they failed miserably. These folks even lost a string of referenda on issues such as taxpayer funding of religion, reproductive rights and marriage equality.
At a luncheon today, Americans United will present awards to two people who have worked hard to preserve religious freedom for all.
Corwyn Schultz will receive AU’s Religious Liberty Award. As a high school senior last year, Corwyn had the courage to stand up to official, coercive forms of prayer at his graduation ceremony. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order striking down the prayers, but unfortunately a higher court overturned it. The case, which is sponsored by Americans United, is ongoing.