Prayer by Popular Vote?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on May 5, 2014, that local governments can, under certain conditions, open their meetings with prayers—even if those supplications to the deity are Christian most of the time. I can’t... Read More
A Charter for Controversy? Public school “alternatives” still must abide by the separation of church and state
Starting in the late 1980s charter schools were pitched to Americans as a harmless and non-threatening alternative to traditional public schools. That’s come to pass in some states. But in others, we’re beginning to see... Read More
Rights Or Restrictions? The new debate over the meaning of religious freedom
In March the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two important cases that could establish new parameters for what religious liberty means. The two cases, which the high court has consolidated into one, concern... Read More
Religion in America: Crisis of Faith or Crisis in Faith?
Leaders of religious right groups are fond of claiming that the United States faces a crisis of faith. They’re right, but they’re off by one word. It’s not a crisis of faith, it’s a crisis... Read More
Holiday Hassles Standing Up to the Religious Right’s “Christmas Police”
For some reason the Jehovah’s Witnesses like to work my neighborhood. It’s not uncommon for me to come home at night and see a copy of the Watchtower or Awake! crammed under the doormat. A... Read More
Hysteria Alert Churches Fear They’ll Be Forced to Marry Same-Sex Couples
In June the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act and dismissed, on technical grounds, a case challenging same-sex marriage in California. The rulings were considered victories for... Read More
High-Stakes Test The Supreme Court and the Future of Church-State Separation
The name Alton Lemon may not ring any bells for you, but it should. Lemon, who died on May 4 at age eighty-four, was the lead plaintiff in an important 1971 Supreme Court case dealing... Read More