A prominent Jewish group called the Orthodox Union (OU) has announced at its annual conference that it will lobby the state of New York to increase public funding for Jewish day schools and yeshivot – even though this raises some serious constitutional concerns.
In a few weeks, Religious Right groups, aided and abetted by their allies at the Fox News Channel, will start their annual carping about the “war on Christmas.” But before that starts, we have to get through Halloween.
A federal court in New Jersey upheld the state’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors yesterday. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected a claim by two New Jersey parents that the ban violated the Constitution by prohibiting them from choosing the therapy for their child, who, they said, suffers from “unwanted” same-sex attractions.
Pastor Tom Douglass of Galloway Township, N.J., is no fan of generic prayers before public meetings. That’s why he’s asking city officials to “muscle up” for future invocations.
Back in February, the council unanimously approved a resolution to allow council members to open meetings with an approved, generic prayer. But some local clergy protested this less sectarian approach, and asked that the council return to its old policy of letting clergy deliver prayers to open meetings, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and some of his political allies are attempting to funnel millions in taxpayer dollars to two sectarian institutions that train members of the clergy – and they’d prefer to keep citizens in the dark about the details.
With all of the hubbub over today’s ruling on health care at the Supreme Court, it’s easy for other stories to get overlooked. Here’s one from New Jersey that’s shouldn’t: Gov. Chris Christie has conceded that his school voucher plan is dead for this year.
Christie was asked about the matter during a recent town hall meeting in Mahwah. He said the bill was dead and blamed its derailment on Sheila Oliver, the state Assembly speaker, who Christie said refuses to move the bill.
The summer movies are coming out, and our silver screens are already filling up with Snow White, superheroes and spaceships.
If you're in the mood for something a little different, I'd like to recommend a new documentary about religion in public schools that you can watch for free right at your computer.
I am always amazed at people who believe that coerced religious worship could be of any value.
Why would a seriously devout person take part in such prayer? More to the point, what sort of deity would be pleased by it?
Nevertheless, such prayers prosper across the nation. Even worse, they are often used as a political weapon.
If it were left up to Gov. Chris Christie, public education in New Jersey would be a free-for-all.
At a town hall in Manalapan, N.J., last week, Christie said he believes public school districts should get to determine whether to teach creationism in science classes because that’s a decision that should be made “at the local level.”
When asked at a press conference yesterday about this issue again, Christie reiterated his stance.
Across the country, public schools are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The school system my daughter and son attend has increased class sizes, and some popular programs are on the chopping block.
This, then, would seem to be a poor time to divert tax money into religious and other private schools. (Learn more here.) Yet consider what’s going on in several states: