Some far-right Christians have a hard time obeying the law. Among them is Religious Right attorney Matt Barber, who really dislikes the idea of church-state separation and particularly has a bone to pick with the Internal Revenue Code’s prohibition against pulpit politicking by houses of worship.
Abraham Lincoln faced his share of sharp criticism from political opponents during his career, but among the most stinging accusations against him may have been an implication that the future president was “an open scoffer at Christianity” – in other words, an atheist.
“That I am not a member of any Christian church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or any denomination of Christians in particular,” Lincoln wrote in July 1846, shortly before winning election to Congress. Read more
The year was 1832, and a cholera epidemic was ravaging the United States.
Doctors of the day were powerless to stop the disease. As its depredations spread, some desperate members of Congress decided that only divine intervention could save the country. They proposed an official day of fasting, humiliation and prayer.
President Andrew Jackson was not impressed. Jackson announced that if Congress were to pass such a resolution, he would not sign it into law. Read more
Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it’s not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn’t be overlooked. Our country is in the middle of a campaign, spearheaded by far-right religious groups and their political allies, to redefine religious freedom. We cannot allow this to happen. Read more
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) urged courts and legislators to “tear down” the wall of separation between church and state in a November opinion column for The Washington Times.
“Simply put, the idea of a rigid separation between church and state is without any basis in our history or laws,” Hatch wrote. He went on to argue that most Founding Fathers didn’t agree with Thomas Jefferson’s concept of a “wall of separation” between church and state; instead, Hatch said they favored John Adams’ view, which he characterized as a “mild and equitable establishment of religion.” Read more
When most people consider the qualities they want in a president, things like the ability to manage the economy, forge political compromises and tend to foreign policy come to mind.
But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has an additional qualification: He believes it’s absolutely essential that the president be a believer who prays regularly. Read more
Mark Levin is an incendiary right-wing radio talk show host who has delusions that he is a constitutional scholar. During the recent Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Levin decided to offer an opinion on the separation of church and state.
“Separation of church and state is not in the Declaration, it’s not in the Constitution,” Levin told the crowd. “It’s in a letter that [Thomas] Jefferson wrote. I’m a big admirer of Jefferson. Jefferson was not at the Constitutional Convention.” Read more
Tomorrow is Independence Day, and many of us will be meeting up with family for cook-outs, picnics, reunions and other events.
While I’m certainly not recommending that you get into an argument with your Uncle Lou who watches too much Fox News, I acknowledge that it might happen. If it does and the topic of America as a “Christian nation” comes up, here is some information you might find useful. Read more
Let’s say a legislator in your state came up with the bright idea to force everyone to pay a special tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion.” What would you do?
You’d probably fire up your computer and use social media and Twitter to mobilize opposition. You might start an online petition or lobby the legislature directly.
But if it were 1785, and you didn’t have any of those tools, you might just have to do what James Madison did – reach for a quill pen and write a broadside so powerful it would sink the idea. Read more