Travel back in time with me for a moment. It’s 1956, and we’re in the Deep South. An interracial couple approaches the county clerk to apply for a marriage license. The clerk says, “Oh, no! Don’t you know that the Bible mandates separation of the races? I refuse to give you a license because it violates my religious beliefs.”
We often say that the Religious Right and its allies don’t give up easily, now here’s some proof. Less than one month after the overwhelming defeat of Florida’s Amendment 8, which would have allowed taxpayer money to flow to religious institutions, students attending a fundamentalist Christian college have been made eligible to participate in a state-funded grant program.
Is the Internal Revenue Service still enforcing the federal tax law ban on partisan politicking by churches and other non-profits?
IRS officials say they are.
In an interview with NBC News, IRS spokesman Dean Patterson repudiated comments by a regional IRS official who said recently that the agency was "holding any potential church audits in abeyance" while it revises its regulations in light of a 2009 federal court decision.
The Religious Right makes it seem like nearly every pastor in America would endorse political candidates from the pulpit if only the pesky tax code didn’t prohibit it, but a new survey shows that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Nearly one in five adults in the United States say they have no religious affiliation.
This survey finding, released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is pretty significant. In 2007, 15.6 percent of adults said they had no religious affiliation, and that number has grown by about 1 percent each year. It hit 19.6 percent in 2012.
As many of you know, on Sunday more than 1,000 pastors nationwide took part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to encourage clergy to openly violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates.
AU staffers spent the holiday weekend fielding media calls about this. The Rev. Steven Baines, AU’s assistant field director for religious outreach, talked to several reporters.
It seems that one person’s information is another person’s intimidation.
Several weeks ago, Americans United sent 60,000 letters to houses of worship nationwide urging them not to endorse political candidates this election season. We didn’t do that because we were bored – we did it because we’ve seen an uptick in Religious Right efforts to enlist churches into partisan politics.
Yesterday I received some interesting mail from two residents of Colorado. Each envelope contained the same thing: a 20-page glossy publication produced by Ridgway Christian Center in Ridgway, Colo.
The publication features a calendar of upcoming ministry events and a list of conservative websites that the group recommends. But the most interesting thing about the publication is its cover: It’s a photo of a bunch of American flags headlined, “Honor God! Love your country! VOTE REPUBLICAN!”
If you’re the parent of young or teenaged kids, you’re probably concerned about bullying. It’s one of those unpleasant facts of life that just about everyone who has children must eventually confront.
Since children spend much of their time in school, those institutions are the focal point for anti-bullying efforts. Thankfully, the national conversation over this issue has become a lot more serious in recent years, and many schools have adopted anti-bullying policies.
A recent ruling from a federal court in Texas about churches and politics has been overlooked – but it shouldn’t be.
Regular readers of this blog might recall a flap that erupted in El Paso after the city approved an ordinance extending health-care benefits to domestic partners. Pastors at some local fundamentalist churches went bonkers and announced plans to recall Mayor John Cook and El Paso City Council Members Steve Ortega and Susie Byrd.