Subscribe to RSS - James Madison

Presidential Proclamations: Some Chief Executive Thoughts For The Holiday

Today is Presidents’ Day. Celebrate by reading some great presidential classics of religious liberty!

Start with George Washington’s letter to Touro Synagogue, one of the most succinct statements ever issued about religious liberty.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, which contains the famous “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor, is always worth your time. Read more

Plate Problem: Texas DMV Approves ‘One State Under God’ License Plate

The governing board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has just approved a new license plate with three crosses and the words “One State Under God.”

This is the same governing board that had previously approved tags with “God Bless Texas,” “God Bless America” and “One Nation Under God.”

Supporters of the latest religion-themed plate celebrated the board’s decision as a victory for freedom of religion and speech. Read more

Alternative Universe: Iowa Presidential Forum Exposes Religious Right Disconnect From Reality

I spent two hours Saturday evening in front of my computer watching the Religious Right’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum.” The event, which took place at First Federated Church, a large fundamentalist congregation in Des Moines, featured six of the leading Republican presidential candidates – U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S senator Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Read more

Faith, Freedom And Frankfurters: An Independence Day Reflection

Last week, I gave a talk about church-state history at my wife’s church. I called my speech “The ‘Christian Nation’ Myth.”

Although I’m not an attorney, I laid out the case against the idea that the United States is some sort of officially Christian nation as one would in a courtroom, by marshaling the evidence.  I put forth the following points: Read more

Superb Statute: Celebrate Religious Liberty January 16

Jan. 16 is National Religious Freedom Day.

The day was created by Congress in 1993, and every year the president issues a proclamation. (The 2011 proclamation hasn’t been released yet, but you can read the 2010 one here.) The day is designed to commemorate the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on Jan. 16, 1786. Read more

Extreme Makeover: Religious Right And Its Political Allies Call For Redrafting Our Founding Document

Friday is Constitution Day. As national holidays go, it’s no Thanksgiving. Many Americans don’t even know about it; few will attend events to mark the day. Read more

Rotten Potato: ADF’s Cortman Attacks AU After Federal Court Denies His Own Private Idaho

A big part of our job here at Americans United is to annoy the Religious Right. If the Religious Right’s not happy, then there’s a good chance we are.

And today, one Religious Right group in Arizona is very unhappy. Read more

Virginia Reels: Religious Right Gov. Dances To Pat Robertson’s Tune

More than 200 years ago, Virginia was the most powerful state in the fledgling United States of America, spawning visionary leaders like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

How times have changed in the Old Dominion.

Instead of leaders such as Jefferson and Madison, who fought state-established religion and labored to bring full religious liberty to all, Virginia’s government today is saddled with a collection of ideologues who kowtow to the Religious Right and constantly seek to fan the flames of the “culture war.” Read more

Prayer Day Decision: The Religious Right (Predictably) Gets It Wrong

Last night, Americans United celebrated a decision by a U.S. district court judge who ruled the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, AU’s executive director, hailed the decision as a “tremendous victory for religious liberty. Congress has no business telling Americans when or how to pray.” Read more

Pages