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Whom Would Jesus Endorse?: Religion Still Dominates Presidential Race

Real estate mogul and GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s knack for drawing his opponents into unproductive arguments has claimed yet another victim: Pope Francis.

As he’ll happily remind you, Trump is all about building a big ol’ wall between Mexico and the United States. And he wants Mexico to pay for it. Read more

Give Us Your Huddled Masses (If They’re Christians): GOP Hopefuls Call For Rejecting Muslim Refugees Fleeing ISIS

The U.S. government should refuse to resettle Syrian Muslims, two presidential candidates announced this weekend. Reacting to Friday’s devastating Paris attacks, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) both advised the government to agree to resettle only Syrian Christians. Read more

Long Live The Culture Wars: Could Social Issues Dominate In 2016?

Conventional wisdom holds that social issues won’t have much impact on the 2016 presidential election. Americans are more concerned about jobs and the economy, and besides, some recent polls show that Americans are less religious and moving to the left on social issues.

That’s the conventional wisdom. But there’s a problem – conventional wisdom can be, and often is, wrong. Read more

Getting Medieval: In Florida, A Catholic Mogul Seeks To Base An Entire Town On His Personal Theology

The small town of Ave Maria, Fla., is home to Ave Maria University, a strictly Catholic institution  – and critics say, an undemocratic form of government dominated by one man’s interpretation of religious doctrine.

The community of about 2,500 souls is a project of eccentric millionaire and Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, who reportedly planned the town as an ultra- conservative Catholic enclave in an isolated stretch of Florida countryside. Read more

Diplomacy Debacle: Religious Right Falsely Claims Vatican Embassy Will Be Shuttered

The State Department’s decision to relocate its mission to the Vatican to its larger Italian embassy has become the Religious Right’s outrage of the month. Officials call it a money-saving move, but fringe commentators rushed to argue it’s an “egregious slap in the face” to American Catholics.
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What Federal Debt?: Congressional Republicans Want New Subsidy For Religious Schools

Watch for a major fight in Congress over taxpayer subsidies for religious and other private schools.

In his Republican response to the State of the Union this week, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) touted “school choice,” a euphemism for vouchers.

“We need to give all parents, especially the parents of children with special needs, the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice,” Rubio said. Read more

Forever Catholic?: State Law Lets Monaghan Control Florida Town's Fate

Is there a theocracy flourishing in South Florida?

According to reports from The Naples News, there just may be. The newspaper is in the midst of a three-part series on the town of Ave Maria, which came to be after Tom Monaghan, an ultra-conservative Catholic from Michigan, bought 100,000 acres of land just west of Naples.

Many have flocked to Ave Maria, which is home to a Catholic university, a Catholic law school and a huge Catholic Church. But few probably knew quite what they were getting into. Read more

Defend The Walls!: Arizona Decision Shows Why State Constitutions Must Be Preserved

The U.S. Supreme Court isn't as diligent as it used to be on protecting taxpayers from being compelled to support religious schools and other ministries. In 2002, the high court upheld Ohio's school voucher plan, even though most of the money goes to sectarian schools.

That's why state constitutions are so important. They have become the new front-line defense in the battle to prevent people from being forced to support sectarian education. Read more