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On Your Knees!: Cruz Insists That Good Leaders Need God

When most people consider the qualities they want in a president, things like the ability to manage the economy, forge political compromises and tend to foreign policy come to mind.

But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has an additional qualification: He believes it’s absolutely essential that the president be a believer who prays regularly. Read more

Dismissing Jefferson: More Bad History From The Religious Right

Mark Levin is an incendiary right-wing radio talk show host who has delusions that he is a constitutional scholar. During the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Levin decided to offer an opinion on the separation of church and state.

 “Separation of church and state is not in the Declaration, it’s not in the Constitution,” Levin told the crowd. “It’s in a letter that [Thomas] Jefferson wrote. I’m a big admirer of Jefferson. Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention.” Read more

Fireworks For The Fourth: No, The United States Was Not Founded To Be A ‘Christian Nation’

Tomorrow is Independence Day, and many of us will be meeting up with family for cook-outs, picnics, reunions and other events.

While I’m certainly not recommending that you get into an argument with your Uncle Lou who watches too much Fox News, I acknowledge that it might happen. If it does and the topic of America as a “Christian nation” comes up, here is some information you might find useful. Read more

Remembering The Memorial: Happy Birthday To A Classic Of Religious Liberty

Let’s say a legislator in your state came up with the bright idea to force everyone to pay a special tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion.” What would you do?

You’d probably fire up your computer and use social media and Twitter to mobilize opposition. You might start an online petition or lobby the legislature directly.

But if it were 1785, and you didn’t have any of those tools, you might just have to do what James Madison did – reach for a quill pen and write a broadside so powerful it would sink the idea. Read more

Commander-In-Belief?: Americans Have A History Of Thinking The President Isn’t Christian Enough

It is well documented that the Religious Right thinks President Barack Obama either isn’t religious enough or is the “wrong” religion. But it turns out that when it comes to presidents and their personal beliefs, these sentiments are nothing new. As it turns out, Americans have a long history of claiming that the president just isn’t Christian enough for their liking. Read more

Mere Words?

By Jonathan Engel

Like Joshua in the Bible, there are Americans today who would like to blow their trumpets loud and strong in order to destroy the “wall of separation between church and state” of which Thomas Jefferson spoke approvingly in his 1802 letter to the Danbury, Conn., Baptists.

But instead of trumpet blasts echoing off the walls, the faithful are shouting a mantra of sorts that they tend to repeat loudly and ad nauseam, those words being: “Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution!” Read more

Fundamentally Extreme

By Rev. Dr. Rollin O. Russell


Far-right fundamentalist Christians have their own version of American history as well as of human history and the cosmos, facts and science to the contrary not withstanding. Both are being pushed zealously by the Religious Right, and most Americans are unaware of the strange ideology that motivates these efforts. Here is the back story. Read more

Presidential Proclamations: Some Chief Executive Thoughts For The Holiday

Editor's Note: Today's blog is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Presidents' Day 2012.

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.