Some “school choice” advocates hold up charter schools as a superior alternative to standard public schools, but as a situation in Pennsylvania has shown, some of these charter schools can lead to misuse of public funds.
Religious Right zealots are always griping when they think public schools are infringing on Christian students’ religious expression, but if there is even a hint that a Muslim student might be praying in school, they get very upset.
In the West Shore School District near Harrisburg, Pa., some parents have been getting pretty angry that Muslim children might be allowed to pray during school hours – even though it hasn’t even been confirmed that any students are actually praying.
I’m all for “Religious Freedom Day,” an annual nationwide event that takes place Jan. 16 to mark the passage of one of the great milestone of freedom of conscience in America: passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom.
But I’m not for people using the anniversary of this important document to spread misinformation about church-state separation and religious freedom in America – and that’s just what the Religious Right is doing.
When the Buncombe County (North Carolina) School System called Ginger Strivelli’s bluff, the Pagan mother of a student at a Weaverville elementary school didn’t back down.
In December, school officials had allowed a local chapter of The Gideons International to make Bibles available at North Windy Ridge Elementary. When Strivelli’s son came home with one, she complained and asked to drop off some Pagan books at the school.
I was in Kentucky Dec. 30 for a post-Christmas visit with family when Gov. Steve Beshear announced his rejection of a hospital merger that would have put church leaders in charge of policy at a public hospital in Louisville. I like the shirts, books and other holiday loot I collected, but that was the best Christmas present of all.
It looks like opponents of creationism are going to have their hands full in 2012. The new year is just a few days old, and already we’ve seen several anti-evolution bills popping up in the states.
In Indiana, state Sen. Dennis Kruse has introduced S.B. 89, a bill that would allow public schools in the state to “require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.”
Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. is up to his old tricks again.
According to media reports, television ads that feature Newt Gingrich extolling the virtues of Liberty University have appeared in Iowa just before today’s presidential caucuses.
It doesn’t take much political imagination to see this as a barely disguised endorsement of the Republican White House hopeful.
It’s cliché to say that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, but it’s also true, and so as 2011 comes to a close it’s a good time to look back at the impact of Roger Williams on church-state separation.
The New York Times ran an interesting piece recently about religion in public schools, making it clear that even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory, school-sponsored prayer nearly 50 years ago, many problems remain.
Americans United has had its share of church-state separation issues in Texas, so it’s good to see that a judge there recently had a religious display removed from outside the Lubbock County Courthouse even if it wasn’t for all the right reasons.
The display, which was left anonymously, was meant to serve as an act of protest against church-state separation. It contained a cross, a baby Jesus in a crib and a handwritten sign that read: “Reunite the church and state, and separation of church and state is not just wrong, the ‘63 ruling of the Supreme Court is unconstitutional.”