Officials at the College of William and Mary have reached a compromise to return a cross to the school's Wren Chapel. Display of the cross, and the role of religion at public institutions in general, became the center of a heated debate among students, faculty, staff and alumni when President Gene R. Nichol ordered the Christian symbol removed from the chapel last October. Read more
Last week, we here at "The Wall of Separation" noted that the Supreme Court had heard arguments in an important case dealing with the right of taxpayers to challenge White House expenditures promoting the "faith-based" initiative.
The media has a tendency to portray legal showdowns like this in simplistic terms. The advocates of church-state separation are in one camp, and the religious conservatives are in another. Read more
Religion may have its place in the public school curriculum, but science courses are not the proper forum.
Recently the Idaho Science Teachers Association (ISTA) stood up for science education and church-state separation by declaring that "intelligent design," the latest variant of creationism, has no place in science class. Read more
Beware! If you are reading this, it might mean you're a member of a "cult" that seeks to tear down religion and destroy all that is good in America.
At least that's the view expressed in a recent letter to the editor in the conservative Washington Times newspaper. Letter writer David McGinley of McLean, Va., is entitled to his opinion, of course, but not his own set of facts. Unfortunately, his particulars go astray in more than a few places. Read more
Yesterday's "Wall of Separation" noted that the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case dealing with the right of taxpayers to challenge the "faith-based" initiative in court.
The stories in today's newspapers reporting on the arguments are startling for one thing: They underscore how extreme the Bush administration's view on church-state relations is. Unfortunately, a high court majority may be poised to accept it. Read more
The U.S. Supreme Court this morning heard oral arguments in an important case that could affect your right to defend the separation of church and state in court.
At issue in Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation is a dispute over "standing" – the right to sue. Read more
Religious affiliation conveys information about a person – but only so much. It is, at best, a shaky guide for judging political candidates.
Nevertheless, the media and some segments of the electorate seem to obsess over the religious views of candidates. Two recent examples come to mind. Read more
And now for a quick pop quiz. Read the following comments and determine if they constitute preaching:
"If you reject [Jesus'] gift of salvation, then you know where you belong."
"[Jesus] did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he took your sins on his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he's saying, 'Please, accept me, believe.' If you reject that, you belong in hell." Read more
Periodically, a self-appointed political pundit comes along and announces the death of the Religious Right. You can count on it happening every two or three years.
This time, moderate evangelical minister Jim Wallis is presiding at the Religious Right's alleged funeral. Wallis, author of the popular book God's Politics, asserted recently in Time magazine that America has entered a post-Religious Right era. He insisted that other religious voices will now dominate. Read more
Although President's Day was marked, celebrated or shrugged off by Americans on Feb. 19, today marks the 275th birthday of the nation's first president, George Washington.
On Feb. 22, 1732, Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Va. He was hugely successful in forging a young nation, partly because of his staunch commitment to religious liberty for all. Read more