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Storm Damage And Religion: Hurricane Sandy Didn’t Blow Away The Constitution

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal contained an opinion piece by Avi Schick, an attorney in private practice in New York. Schick demands taxpayer aid to pay for houses of worship damaged by Hurricane Sandy and implies that this is just a commonsense thing to do.

I was born and raised on the Jersey shore. My parents are still making repairs to their house, which sustained damage in Sandy’s wake. Believe me, I understand that this is serious business. Read more

Poison Pen: James Dobson’s Latest Missive Misses The Mark

A letter drafted by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family (FOF), has been getting some attention on social media sites and blogs lately.

In the missive, Dobson, a child psychologist who founded what has become one of the largest and most powerful Religious Right groups in the nation, surveyed the results of the November election. He’s not happy. Read more

Inaugural Imbroglio: Controversial Pastor Pulls Out Of Presidential Swearing-In

In 2009 when President Barack Obama was first inaugurated, many of us were puzzled as to why he invited the right-wing evangelical pastor Rick Warren to offer the invocation.

As I told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann at the time, Warren is “Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt.” I expressed dismay that a prominent Religious Right figure was being included in the ceremony and said that after eight years of George W. Bush, we had surely heard enough from that crowd. Read more

Wedding Announcement: Obama Shift On Marriage Equality Reignites ‘Culture Wars’

By now, everyone knows that President Barack Obama said yesterday that he personally favors marriage equality. Obama said his views on the issue have evolved and told ABC News, “I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” Read more

Standing Up For Birth Control: Religious Voices Speak Out In Contraceptive Debate

Every morning, it seems, I pick up The Washington Post and read another article or column about President Barack Obama’s decision to require employers to provide free coverage of birth control in their health insurance plans.

The move, announced on Jan. 20 by the Department of Health and Human Services, has sparked some controversy because, while it exempts houses of worship, it doesn’t exempt church-related institutions. Thus, church-owned hospitals, colleges and other entities will have to buy insurance plans for their employees that include contraceptive coverage. Read more

Gerson Goes Goofy: Columnist Bashes Obama’s Decision To Side With People Over Prelates

I know that there are thoughtful conservative commentators in the world, but I do have to wonder why, when it comes to issues of religion and church-state separation, so many of them go off the deep end.

Consider Michael Gerson. The former speechwriter for President George W. Bush is now a syndicated columnist, and, while I don’t agree with much of what he says, he sometimes writes columns that make me think. Read more

Towey’s Hypocritical Hooey: Bush ‘Faith Czar’ Complains About Politicization Of White House Faith-Based Office

James Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives under President George W. Bush, had an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal recently carping because President Barack Obama has used his administration’s “faith-based” offices to let Americans know about the new health-care law.

Towey says if he had politicized his office that way, Bush would have fired him.

Oh, now that is rich. Read more

Prayer Day Politics: In Louisiana, Religion And Government Mix Like Oil And Water

I understand why people living along the Gulf Coast are frustrated. The BP oil spill is an unmitigated environmental disaster, with as much as 2.5 million gallons of oil pouring into the region every day.

What’s especially frustrating is that, despite all of our modern technology and know-how, we don’t seem to be able to plug the well. The oil just keeps gushing forth. Read more

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