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Church and State

Church, State and the Utah Problem

Justin Utley | Posted 06.09.2016 | Politics
Justin Utley

For years, the most common slogan on Utah license plates was simply, beautifully, "Greatest Snow on Earth." A few years ago, plates bearing the new S...

Atheists Sue Congress After House Chaplain Rejects Secular Guest Invocation

The Huffington Post | Nick Wing | Posted 05.06.2016 | Politics

Each session of the U.S. House and Senate begins with an opening invocation, delivered either by the chaplain of the chamber or a guest invited by a m...

The UnChristian Quest for a Christian America

Lee C. Camp | Posted 04.21.2016 | Religion
Lee C. Camp

Some of the basic and elementary theological reasons the very notion of a "Christian America" is problematic (pat me on the back; I am restraining my language) include the following:

Tennessee Governor Vetoes Bible Bill

The Huffington Post | Paige Lavender | Posted 04.15.2016 | Politics

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible his state's official book. On April 5, the state Senate voted 19-8 to appr...

We Can See Jerusalem from Our Backyards: Tennessee Makes Holy Bible the Official State Book

Karen Alea | Posted 04.06.2016 | Politics
Karen Alea

After thirty minutes of discussion, Tennessee lawmakers voted 19 to 8 to make the "Holy" book (yeah, right there in the title, guys) our official state book.

Atheist Group Files Suit To Remove 'In God We Trust' From Currency

The Huffington Post | Ryan Grenoble | Posted 01.18.2016 | Politics

A group of atheists seeking to drop the phrase "In God We Trust" from U.S. currency filed a federal lawsuit this week in Akron, Ohio, arguing the expr...

Will Someone Please Point Out Ben Carson's Religious Hypocrisy?

Chris Weigant | Posted 09.28.2015 | Politics
Chris Weigant

Ben Carson is trying to portray his stance on Muslims and Sharia law as defending the United States Constitution. But by making the argument for the separation of mosque and state but not church and state, he is showing his own hypocrisy.

Can Religion Play a Positive Role in Politics?

Muqtedar Khan | Posted 05.29.2016 | Religion
Muqtedar Khan

As a Muslim intellectual living in the West, I have always marveled at the durability of the idea of secularism. For a civilization that boasts considerable sophistication, in most areas, to assume that politics and religion constitute two separate realms is uncharacteristically naïve.

A Biblical Argument (Sort of) in Opposition to the Bible as Tennessee's State Book

Lee C. Camp | Posted 06.16.2015 | Religion
Lee C. Camp

In the name of transparency, I voice three things: One, I've spent more time with the Bible open before me than any other book. I would not be who I am today, whether for good or ill, apart from the book.

Separation of Church and State -- Part 2: The Tartuffe Factor

Frank Breslin | Posted 01.01.2015 | Education
Frank Breslin

There was a second reason why the Founders feared that bringing religion into politics would have a divisive effect on our young nation -- the rise of political and religious opportunists, who would inflame political issues to further themselves.

Jody Hice: Taking Bibles Out Of Schools Led To 'Things Like Pedophilia' At Penn State

The Huffington Post | Paige Lavender | Posted 10.29.2014 | Politics

Republican Jody Hice, a conservative radio host and candidate for Georgia's 10th District, suggested the removal of the Bible and prayer from schools ...

Pseudo-Events Clash

Martin Marty | Posted 12.01.2014 | Religion
Martin Marty

More than a half century ago, historian Daniel J. Boorstin -- a Ph.D. dissertation-adviser of mine -- taught us to distinguish between events and pseudo-events.

Federally Funded Discrimination -- Did Obama Go Far Enough?

Shayna A. Pitre | Posted 10.02.2014 | Politics
Shayna A. Pitre

Religious organizations receiving federal contracts can no longer discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees. Some question whether President Obama has gone too far. Others question whether he has gone far enough.

The Mt. Soledad Cross and the Religious Case for Secularization

Kent Hayden, M.Div. | Posted 06.10.2014 | Religion
Kent Hayden, M.Div.

Those who are able to encounter the sacred through those symbols should join the voices of the protesters and call for a more secular state.

Geraldine Ferraro's Daughter Says Her Mother Would Have Loved The 'Gutsy' Wendy Davis

The Huffington Post | Natasha Bach | Posted 03.21.2014 | Politics

Donna Zaccaro, documentarian and daughter of Geraldine Ferraro, stopped by HuffPost Live Thursday to discuss her upcoming film about her mother's jour...

Friday Talking Points -- Republican Sandwich Filling Hits The Fan

Chris Weigant | Posted 02.12.2014 | Politics
Chris Weigant

One bit of minor calendar news before we get on with it: for the next two weeks, this column will be on hiatus. Instead, it will be pre-empted by our annual awards columns where we note the notable and laud the laudable from the past year.

A New Understanding of Legislative Prayer

Bruce Ledewitz | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Bruce Ledewitz

The problem is, of course, that such prayers seem an obvious affront to the governmental neutrality toward religion that Supreme Court precedent interpreting the Establishment Clause of the first amendment requires.

Keeping Church at Arm's Length From State

Ted N.C. Wilson | Posted 01.23.2014 | Religion
Ted N.C. Wilson

There's a difference between government allowing certain actions with which we might disagree on moral grounds... as opposed to compelling them. That is the fine line that is religious liberty.

Will Affordable Care Act's Alternative Medicine Coverage Establish Religion?

Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D. | Posted 11.11.2013 | Religion
Candy Gunther Brown, Ph.D.

Critics question whether insurance should cover health-care treatments of questionable efficacy. There is potentially a bigger problem that few people have noticed -- the proverbial elephant in the room.

Lawyer Insists Yoga In School Is Religious And Confusing To Children

HuffPost Live | Posted 08.22.2013 | Religion

With public pressure to keep religion out of public schools, a new phenomenon is making life more complicated: yoga in schools. In July, Californi...

School Artwork Reads: "God Is Dead"

The Huffington Post | Rebecca Klein | Posted 08.19.2013 | Religion

One Georgia parent is very upset after viewing works of art displayed on her child's classroom wall that contain the phrase “God is dead.” Offi...

Should Religious Leaders Be Allowed To Endorse From The Pulpit

Religion News Service | Sarah Pulliam Bailey | Posted 08.15.2013 | Religion

(RNS) A commission of religious leaders has called for clarity in churches’ ability to endorse candidates and issues from the pulpit without fear of...

Evangelicals Are Too Political and Other Myths

Skye Jethani | Posted 09.02.2013 | Religion
Skye Jethani

In the wake of the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings, evangelicals shouldn't only be investigating their view of marriage, sexuality, and politics, but also their perception of themselves and who is shaping it.

So Damn Superior: Parsing Partisan Politics

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.14.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Do both extreme conservatives and extreme liberals act more superior than moderates, or are conservative views alone linked to dogmatism and belief superiority?

Pussy Riot + The Russian Orthodox Church = It's Complicated

Scott MacDougall | Posted 08.10.2013 | Religion
Scott MacDougall

When it comes to the relationship between Pussy Riot and the Russian Orthodox Church, it might not be true love, but it certainly isn't irreconcilable differences, just as most true and meaningful things tend to be.