The latest scare story making the Religious Right rounds involves a group of Colorado high school students who were told they could not meet during the school day for Christian prayer. As usual, the situation is not what it seems.
When an individual doesn’t feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply tell lies. Another, perhaps more common tactic, is to omit certain pieces of information, thus giving the listener an incomplete picture.
The latter tactic was on full display this year during the Religious Right’s “Values Voter Summit” last week, and perhaps no one used it better than a man named Kelly Shackelford.
A city councilman in Washington state has a stance on pre-meeting prayers that is too extreme for even some staunch Religious Right allies to accept.
John Trumbo of the Kennewick City Council recently suggested that council meetings ought to open with an invocation “directed in name and reference to the same God addressed in the Founding Fathers’ signatory documents that established this nation,” the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald reported.
Have you heard the latest? The Internal Revenue Service has entered into a secret deal with an atheist group to monitor pastors all over America and squelch their political speech!
That’s the latest paranoid fantasy from the Religious Right. The truth, as is often the case, is much more mundane.
Before we get to the meat of things, some background: A lot of us in the separation of church and state community have been frustrated over the blatant partisan political activity that some churches (on the right and the left) engage in.
The Town Board of Greece, N.Y., has issued its formal policy on pre-meeting prayers, leading to a combination of confusion and backlash.
Almost four months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that while communities are free to open their meetings with predominantly Christian prayers, they may not exclude other points of view.
Some commentators continue to insist that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was no big deal. It’s a narrow ruling, they insist, and there are other ways to ensure that women can get access to birth control.
I spent a frantic morning at the U.S. Supreme Court, where Americans United’s challenge to government-sponsored sectarian prayer, Town of Greece v. Galloway, was argued.
I wasn’t inside the court for the argument, but AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, Legal Director Ayesha N. Khan and several other AU staff members were. They reported a spirited session, with both sides being peppered with questions from the justices.
For most of President Barack Obama’s time in office, there has been a pretty steady drumbeat from the Religious Right and its allies about his supposed “war on religion.” That claim, among others, was used to motivate right-wing fundamentalists to work assiduously to defeat Obama in 2012.