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Pope Problems: Papal Visit Incurs Significant Taxpayer Expense

Pope Francis has landed and American taxpayers are footing the bill.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the World Meeting of Families agreed on Friday to shoulder Philadelphia’s costs for hosting the pope. The Meeting is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and is held every three years in a different world city. This year, it’s located in Philadelphia. Read more

The Italian Job: Religious Right Lawyers Sell Out Minority Evangelicals In Crucifix Case

Religious Right legal groups are all excited over a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights dealing with crucifix displays in public schools in Italy.

The European high court, ruling 15-2, overturned a lower court decision and declared that the crucifixes can stay. They don’t oppress anyone’s rights, the court said, and European nations are entitled to some latitude in dealing with topics such as this. Read more

Diplomatic Demands: Vatican Vetoes U.S. Ambassador Candidates Who Fail Religious Test

One of my heroes in the church-state world is a feisty Southern Baptist minister named James Dunn.

James ran the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty here in Washington for many years. He is firmly grounded in the historic Baptist view that separation of church and state is good for both institutions. Woe to anyone who suggested that James was operating out of hostility toward religion. A man of deep faith, James would quickly set you straight on that. Read more

Nevertheless, They Will End Up Apologizing: Galileo, Darwin And The Vatican

A story is told about the 17th Century astronomer Galileo. Supposedly, after he was ordered by the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church to recant his theory of the heliocentric universe, Galileo left the room muttering under his breath, "Eppur si muove" – Italian for "Nevertheless, it does move."

The tale is considered apocryphal, which is a shame because it's one of those stories that I wish were true. Read more