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Church Of Mammon?: IRS Says Large Televangelist Group Qualifies As A House Of Worship

If you want to start a church, all you need is your own television show. So says the Internal Revenue Service, anyway.

A recent report by National Public Radio (NPR) told the puzzling story of Daystar, a televangelist network based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The network, which is run by Marcus and Joni Lamb, is “dedicated to spreading the Gospel 24 hours a day, seven days a week” to its potential audience of 2 billion worldwide. Read more

Kennedy Conspiracy Theory: TV Preacher Robertson Wonders If Gay Clerks Influenced Supreme Court Justice

I’ve been monitoring the reaction of Religious Right groups to the Supreme Court’s marriage equality rulings. It’s not pleasant, but somebody has to do it. Read more

A Tribute To Frank Lautenberg: New Jersey Senator Was Strong Supporter Of Church-State Separation

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) died early this morning, and with his death, the last of a generation has passed from the U.S. Senate. At 89, he had been the oldest member of the upper chamber and the last to have served in the Second World War. Read more

Sudden Conversion: Religious Right Warms Up To Church-State Separation In Calif. Yoga Case

Religious Right groups spend a lot of time beating on church-state separation. TV preacher Pat Robertson once called that constitutional principle “a lie of the left” and said it comes from the old Soviet Constitution.

Not to be outdone, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association asserted that Adolf Hitler invented church-state separation.

Others have been less hyperbolic but have still made it clear that they’re no fans of the handiwork of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Read more

Bad Breakfast: Do Congressional Chaplains Plan To Spend Inauguration Morning With Religious And Political Extremists?

Washington is abuzz with preparations for Monday’s inauguration. A number of events, private and public, are taking place.

Among them is something called the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Breakfast (PIPB), which takes place Monday morning at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Despite its name, this is not an official inaugural event. It’s sponsored by a variety of fundamentalist Christian groups and “messianic” Jews. Featured guests include TV preacher Pat Robertson, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Joseph Farah, founder of the website WorldNetDaily. Read more

‘Tis The Season To Be Cranky: Religious Right Gears Up New Round Of ‘War On Christmas’ Claims

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – which means it’s time for the Religious Right to start carping about the so-called “war on Christmas.”

Actually, there have already been several developments in this alleged war. As an unwilling combatant, I’d like to give you a little round-up of the action so far. Read more

Murky Math: Why Ralph Reed’s Latest Political Claims Don’t Add Up

My wife and I are fans of the Sunday New York Times, and yesterday as we were enjoying the paper over a leisurely breakfast, she nudged me to make note of a story on the front page. I looked and was a little taken aback. Glaring up at me was a photo of an old Americans United nemesis – Ralph Reed. The headline read, “An Evangelical Is Back From Exile, Lifting Romney.” Read more

Platform Piety: TV Preacher Pushes Democrats To Add Nod To God

Is God a Republican or a Democrat?

The United States is facing a difficult economy, a high jobless rate, a large budget deficit, potential financial problems with Social Security and Medicare and perilous situations overseas. But this week, instead of focusing exclusively on those concerns, a discussion broke out about the place of God in party platforms.

The Democratic platform draft celebrated the “central role” of faith in American life and endorsed “faith-based” partnerships between government and religion. Read more

Stormy Weather: Why Is Pat Robertson Refusing To Use His Hurricane-Deflecting Powers To Help His Friends In The GOP?

The Republican Party is meeting in Tampa this week to formally nominate Mitt Romney as its presidential candidate. The convention was supposed to get under way today, but there’s a big problem: Tropical Storm Isaac. Florida officials have declared a state of emergency as the storm, which is expected to be a Category 2 hurricane by the time it makes landfall, bears down on the Gulf Coast.

This had led several people to ask: Why is Pat Robertson sitting on his hands? Read more

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