The Dalai Lama really gets it.
The Tibetan spiritual leader is in Washington, D.C., to lead a 10-day peace festival at a venue just a few blocks from Americans United’s national office.
The Washington Post has been reporting on the event. Yesterday the newspaper mentioned the Dalai Lama’s longtime support of the separation of church and state.
On June 1, a new law went into effect in Illinois that grants certain legal rights to same-sex couples. The state hasn’t adopted full marriage equality (yet), but civil unions are now recognized, meaning that same-sex couples enjoy many of the same rights are opposite-sex couples who are legally married.
It’s not often AU can say this -- but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on to something.
The LDS church has made a point to remind its senior leaders to remain politically neutral in the upcoming elections.
“The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” church president Thomas S. Monson and his senior counselors said in a letter sent to top church leaders recently. The letter was also posted as a statement on the church’s website.
Last week, I gave a talk about church-state history at my wife’s church. I called my speech “The ‘Christian Nation’ Myth.”
Although I’m not an attorney, I laid out the case against the idea that the United States is some sort of officially Christian nation as one would in a courtroom, by marshaling the evidence. I put forth the following points:
I will be celebrating this July 4th with my family in Michigan, where I’m about to head in a few hours.
I’ll be attending a parade on Monday and watching some fireworks with my niece and nephew, who are second-generation Americans. Since my niece was three, she’s boasted that she is an American. Now that she is a bit older (she turned five in June), she may finally start to understand what that really means.
It’s an article of faith among school voucher proponents that if we move toward a privatized system of education, competition will spur the creation of excellent schools.
That’s the theory. How does it work out in real life?
Not so well. In Florida, which has been using students with physical and learning disabilities as subjects in a privatization experiment, parents are learning the hard way that many private schools don’t really care about educating children. Their owners are just interested in making a fast buck.
Some of you might recall a bit of a fuss that erupted in the town of King, N.C., last year over the flying of a Christian flag in a public park that serves as a veterans’ memorial.
When Americans United protested on behalf of a local veteran, city officials at first agreed (reluctantly) that to remove the Christian symbol. AU and the vet argued that a sectarian symbol like the cross does not represent all war dead.
Since Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s first day in office, he has made it clear that he no problems blurring the church-state line.
In January, he all but turned his swearing-in ceremony into a religious revival, and he noted his intention to use religion as a way to help the state face its economic and social problems. It now seems those plans are well on their way.