Let’s close out the week with a selection of updates and news tidbits that you might have missed:
The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
I love the Winter Olympics—the ski jumping, the hockey games, the figure skating rivalries and even the curling have kept me glued to my TV for the Vancouver games. I find the athleticism and precision required of these winter sports fascinating, but many of my friends consider the time trials and individual events too redundant to watch.
The infamous “C Street house” is back in the news.
A group of clergy in Ohio, aided by a tax lawyer, has written to the Internal Revenue Service today asking the federal tax agency to examine the house’s tax-exempt status as a church.
If you’re just joining us, the C Street house is a structure in Washington, D.C., owned by a shadowy Religious Right group called “The Family” – a.k.a. the Fellowship Foundation.
Today we celebrate the 278th birthday of our first president, George Washington.
Americans United honors Washington for, among many other things, his commitment to religious liberty and church-state separation. We know the Father of Our Country wanted people of all faiths and none to feel welcome in our new nation.
It may strike you as out-of-season that media outlets have been reporting on the Salvation Army this week. After all, the month of February is drawing to a close, D.C.’s 40-plus inches of snow is beginning to melt and winter is waning.
We should have at least 10 months to hold onto our pocket change before next
December rolls around and the volunteers of the Salvation Army are back in the limelight — wearing their red velour Santa hats, ringing those infamous gold
bells and erecting kettles in front of shopping malls to collect seasonal donations.
For months I’ve been trying to figure out what to make of the “tea party” movement.
Is it merely another band of anti-government, low-tax activists with a libertarian populist edge – or will it become the next wave of the Religious Right? Do the tea partiers intend to stay focused on issues like smaller government or will they take on social issues?
Today’s Washington Post reports that the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington has stopped running its foster-care program to avoid having to license same-sex couples.
Back in November, the Archdiocese threatened to drop contracts with the D.C. government to provide social services if the D.C. Council approved a same-sex marriage bill. Thankfully, their threats did not faze the council, which approved the measure in December.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about R. Rex Parris, the mayor of Lancaster, Calif. Parris found himself in a bit of a hot spot when, during a speech to religious leaders, he asserted, “We’re growing a Christian community, and don’t let anybody shy away from that.”
It’s Presidents' Day. In honor of the holiday, I thought it would be interesting to pull together some quotes by our chief executives on church-state separation and religious freedom.
Most people know that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were great champions of church-state separation. But did you know that James K. Polk had some interesting things to say, as did U.S. Grant?
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it provides some interesting food for thought. Enjoy!