Mayor Tom Hayden of Flower Mound, Texas, rang in the new year by with a controversial use of his public office: He declared 2014 to be the “Year of the Bible,” based on a “One Year Bible” program that divides Scripture readings into a daily format over 12 months.
In an interview with a local TV station, Hayden spoke bluntly about his motivation. “There's so much benevolence on helping your fellow person,” he told reporters.
It’s that time of year when people are compiling lists. So let’s look at the Top Ten Church-State Stories of 2013.
Earlier this week, FoxNews.com published a column by Religious Right attorney Kelly Shackelford accusing Americans United and other groups of ignoring the allegedly overwhelming evidence that there is a “war on Christmas.”
In his column, Shackelford mentioned several incidents that he insists are proof of this war. Let’s take a closer look at them, shall we? Read more
The Religious Right’s creationist campaign continues to threaten Texas public schools.
The controversy began when Texas’ State Board of Education appointed a number of creationists to review panels meant to ensure the quality of new biology textbooks. Despite valid concerns raised by watchdogs like the Texas Freedom Network (TFN), creationists remained on the panels.
Whenever I hear someone – especially a politician – say that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, I just want to start screaming.
As I’ve pointed out many times on this blog and in other forums, that statement is inane and shows great ignorance of our founding principles. Religious Right figures started using it a few years ago, apparently believing they had stumbled onto something clever. In fact, they are simply spouting puerile nonsense. Read more
Texas legislators appear to have too much time on their hands. Members of the House of Representatives just passed legislation protecting everyone’s right to say “Merry Christmas.”
That’s right. It’s mid-May, and some Lone Star lawmakers are worried about Christmas and how it might be acknowledged in public schools. They’re so worried, in fact, that they’ve passed a bill guaranteeing the right to say “Merry Christmas” and display certain holiday symbols in schools. Read more
Texas legislators had what they thought was a bright idea in 2011: cut $73 million in family planning funds.
Religious Right groups eagerly backed the scheme because some of the money was being funneled to Planned Parenthood, a common target for theocrats’ wrath. The Family Research Council (FRC) trumpeted Texas officials’ decision to “quit its partnership with the abortion tycoons.” Read more
Activists who have defended the separation of church and state for a long time sometimes ask me if there’s a new generation of young people who will carry on this work in the years to come.
The answer is yes. This past weekend, you might have had the opportunity to see one of them on “Moyers & Company” on PBS.
Long-time PBS journalist Bill Moyers interviewed Zack Kopplin, a 19-year-old college student and Louisiana native who causes headaches for creationists everywhere. Read more