As usual, the Religious Right’s outrage over a so-called “attack” on faith in a public school isn’t quite what it seems.
Every couple of years, a story surfaces in the media about Religious Right leaders and their latest whine-fest. The script goes like this: They’re not happy because they still haven’t gotten everything they want.
A new report by Baylor University researchers shows that Americans are more religiously diverse than ever. Although the United States is still a deeply religious country, 20 percent do not have an affiliation with any specific faith tradition. (That number was 3 percent in the 1960s.)
The Supreme Court’s June rulings on marriage equality were definitely a blow to the Religious Right. The reaction of these groups was nothing short of hysterical.
So what does the future hold for this movement? Some analysts are quick to point at cultural and demographic trends that they say spell doom for the Religious Right. I’m not so sure.
The end of the year is a time for lists. You’re probably seeing a lot of them – “25 Best Books of 2012,” “10 Overlooked Movies,” “What’s Hot and What’s Not” or whatever.
Along those lines, here’s a list of the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2012 (listed in no particular order):
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.
A few weeks ago, I was rummaging through a storage closet at home when I came across a stamp collection I kept when I was a kid.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) last week promoted an “education reform” plan that includes taxpayer-funded school vouchers for tuition at religious and other private schools.
The proposal is supposedly targeted at low-income families with kids in “failing” public schools. The vouchers would permit these students to transfer to other private or public schools, including religious schools, provided the school chooses to accept the student.
The Religious Right likes to invoke American history to advance its agenda, but sometimes the truth of that history doesn’t fit with the fundamentalist narrative. When that happens, people like David Barton decide to write revisionist textbooks and peddle those books to public schools.
There are people in this country who belong to fundamentalist Christian religious groups and who believe that they have the right (and perhaps the duty) to run your life.
That is a fact. These people exist. I’ll be spending some time with them this weekend at the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit.”