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
As I’ve watched the Religious Right go into conniptions over health-care reform, I’ve been tempted to ask, “So what do you want instead?”
Our current patchwork system hardly seems sustainable. It leaves 35 million people uninsured and puts everyone else at the mercy of insurance companies that deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, often look for ways not to cover illnesses and continually jack up premiums. Read more
TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s 80th birthday is on Monday, and to mark that momentous occasion, the Virginia legislature decided to pass a resolution lauding him a great American, visionary leader and all-around swell fellow.
The resolution is full of the “whereases” and flowery language that are common in this type of thing. It lauds Robertson’s creation of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Coalition. Read more
TV preacher Pat Robertson's recent callous comments about Haiti have attracted quite a bit of attention.
Once again, Robertson has stuck his foot firmly into his mouth. Americans United and many other groups have issued statements denouncing him. Progressive commentators like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have blasted him. I expect the editorial cartoonists will have a field day. Read more
Told ya so!
Back in April, when Religious Right bigwig James Dobson announced his "retirement" from Focus on the Family, Americans United was skeptical. We pointed out that while Dobson was giving up some managerial duties, he still planned to broadcast over the radio, issue monthly letters to supporters and hand out political endorsements. It didn't look like much was changing. Read more
What should public schools do about Halloween?
Americans United has never taken a formal position on this question, but since I have two children attending public schools, I've given it some thought. It has been on my mind even more so lately since I've been working on a costume for my 11-year-old son that involves a lot of duct tape. He'll be wearing it in a school parade today and for trick-or-treating on Saturday. Read more
Last month I wrote a story for Church & State speculating about possible new leaders for the Religious Right. I focused on Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Rick Warren and others.
One person I did not think to include was Ralph Reed, the one-time wunderkind who served as executive director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition from 1989 to 1997. Read more