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
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
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
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.
Two weeks from today, the nation will celebrate Religious Freedom Day.
Don’t feel bad if you were not aware of that. Most people aren’t. Religious Freedom Day, which is celebrated every Jan. 16, tends to be somewhat obscure. My desk calendar, which includes Groundhog Day, Armed Forces Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday, does not list Religious Freedom Day. Read more
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) once said of himself and his Religious Right allies: “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side….” After Santorum’s recent comments about church-state separation, it’s not hard to see why. During a conference call with members of extremist pastor (and failed Virginia political candidate) E.W. Read more
If there were a prize for unmitigated gall, it would be awarded today to Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Moore, speaking during a recent panel discussion at the Evangelical Leadership Summit, an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., told the crowd that they need to “reclaim” the phrase separation of church and state, a term he admitted that “we long ago tossed overboard.” Read more
OK, now we’ve done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when it comes to issues of sexuality have really torqued off the Religious Right – so much so that some of them are thinking of going into exile. Read more
The Supreme Court’s recent (and horrendous) ruling in the Hobby Lobby case dealing with workers’ access to contraceptives has turned the spotlight on the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group that sponsored many of the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. Read more