As I mentioned on Friday, I spent the weekend attending the “Values Voter Summit,” the annual Religious Right uber-conference sponsored by the Family Research Council and its allies. This was the sixth time I’ve been to this event, and I wasn’t the only one there from Americans United. (Barry Lynn and three other staffers were there as well.)
It’s going to be a lovely fall weekend in Washington, D.C., -- and I’ll be spending most of it inside surrounded by thousands of Religious Right zealots.
Yes, it’s time for the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit.” This annual gathering, which begins today, has become the nation’s premier Religious Right confab. I wouldn’t think of missing it! After all, how often do you get to hear Ed Meese speak these days?
There are people in this country who belong to fundamentalist Christian religious groups and who believe that they have the right (and perhaps the duty) to run your life.
That is a fact. These people exist. I’ll be spending some time with them this weekend at the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit.”
The first Monday in October was just two days ago, and if you’re a law junkie, you know what that means: The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session.
This morning, the high court heard oral arguments in the only church-state case on its docket so far. The case, Hosanna Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, deals with some fairly complex issues but is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
Introductions are hard. I never know exactly what to share about myself upfront, so I’ll do my best to stick with the essentials. My name is Simon Brown, and I am the new communications associate at Americans United. I may be new to AU, but I’ve reported extensively on church electioneering for Tax Notes (it was my first story for that publication), so it’s fitting that my first blog post here is on this issue.
On Oct. 2, a few fundamentalist clergy around the country will observe “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” They will take to their pulpits and endorse or oppose candidates in defiance of federal tax law, which prohibits nonprofits from intervention in elections.
It didn’t get much attention, but Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia gave an interesting address recently at a Catholic university in Pittsburgh.
Scalia spoke at an event marking the 100th anniversary of Duquesne University Law School. It was the usual lament from the ultra-conservative justice: American society is going hell because not enough people agree with Scalia.
Tomorrow is “See You At The Pole 2011,” an annual prayer observance at public schools. Students gather around the flagpoles at their schools before classes to engage in Christian devotions.
Because most of these SYATP events are voluntary and student-initiated, they generally do not violate the constitutional separation of church and state. Each year, however, Americans United gets complaints about schools where teachers and administrators participate inappropriately.