Presidents Day is a good time to reflect on some of the great things chief executives have said about separation of church and state and religious freedom.
Today the nation marks two significant holidays: We observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Religious Freedom Day.
We’ll have more to say about King's important -- and often overlooked -- views on separation of church and state later today on this blog. For now we'll look at Religious Freedom Day and why it’s important.
Yesterday, the country marked an important anniversary dealing with religious freedom that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Jan. 1, 1802, was a busy day at the White House for President Thomas Jefferson, who had a special visitor. His friend John Leland arrived from Massachusetts with a gift: a 1,200-pound wheel of cheese.
Known as the “mammoth cheese,” the wheel was a present from Jefferson’s Baptist admirers in New England. It was accompanied by a card reading, “The Greatest Cheese in America for the Greatest Man in America!”
Americans United in July filed a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep.
These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. That is certainly a laudable goal, but in this case, we believe the state has gone too far.
Note: Today’s blog post originally ran last year to mark Independence Day. For more information about the “Christian nation” myth, see this Americans United brochure.
Today is Independence Day, and many of us will be meeting up with family for cook-outs, picnics, reunions and other events.
Tomorrow is the birthday of an unsung hero of church-state separation: the Rev. John Leland.
Leland, born in Grafton, Mass., on May 14, 1754, became a nomadic Baptist preacher after abandoning the Congregationalism of his early years. He eventually moved to Virginia in 1775, where he quickly became a prominent religious and political figure.
Just days after some in the media declared the Religious Right to be losing its political power, evangelical favorite U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won the Iowa caucus thanks to a big turnout from his base.
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.