Parents in Cupertino, Calif., aren't about to sit around on their hands while Religious Right groups and the right-wing media spread false information about their school. They're fighting back.
Fueled by shoddy reporting and right-wing bombast, the myth that Christmas is being banned spread across America in December.
As noted by Media Matters for America, newspaper columnists, right-wing shouting heads and TV preachers spent much of the month fulminating about supposed attempts by groups, such as Americans United and the ACLU, to kick God out of the public square or to "take Christ out of Christmas."
Church & State has just received notification that it has won a major award from the magazine Utne (formerly Utne Reader ).
The editors of Utne awarded Church & State a "General Excellence Award" for best newsletter in its 2004 Independent Press Awards competition.
The awards are an annual event celebrating independent publishing. Speaking of its 2004 winners, Utne noted, "All are brimming with the creative energy and freedom of thought that make them this year's best of the independent press."
In response to legal action by 11 parents in Dover, Pa., opposing their school board's attempt to present so-called "intelligent design" in science classes, news reports are focusing on the issue of religion in America's public schools.
Has a public school in California banned the use of the Declaration of Independence because of the document's mention of a creator? To listen to a Religious Right advocacy group, school officials at Stevens Creek Elementary School in Cupertino, Calif., have done so.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has long distinguished himself as an opponent of church-state separation. Now, however, more than merely taking a stand against core First Amendment principles, Scalia has decided to turn history on its head.
In the 2004 elections, Religious Right leaders here in America campaigned feverishly for candidates and causes that reflected their religious agenda. Now it seems that their example is being followed in Iraq.
Just as James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and their ilk tried to encourage churches to get involved in partisan politicking, Islamic Shiite leaders in Iraq are not only endorsing candidates, they are helping to choose a slate to promote in their mosques.
Italy has a long Catholic tradition, and today the vast majority of Italians retain at least a nominal allegiance to the church.
But a funny thing has happened along the way: Despite centuries of cooperation between church and state, relatively few Italians today bother to follow church teachings, and the nation has many secular overtones. Although more than 95 percent of Italians say they are Catholic, only about 30 percent attend weekly services (as Catholicism requires), a figure that has plummeted since the 1950s.
Religious Right activists leave no stone unturned in their hunt for hidden homosexual messages in pop culture. Ever since Jerry Falwell outed the purple Teletubby, lesser Religious Right minions have been eager to uncover the next nefarious plot out of Hollywood to corrupt America's children.
Thankfully, the American Family Association is on the case. Recently the Tupelo, Miss.-based group headed by the Rev. Donald Wildmon issued an alert warning parents about Dreamworks Studios' release "Shark Tale."
Claims that Religious Right-style "values voters" swung the presidential election to George W. Bush have been all the rage since Nov. 2. But now, more in-depth analyses of exit polling data have debunked that assertion.