The Common Good

Results for Church and State

What Does It Really Mean to ‘Believe?'
Originally Posted: 09/17/2014 - 9:05am | Type: Blog

Given that the crux of this issue revolves around what InterVarsity’s student leaders ostensibly do or do not believe, perhaps this is an opportunity for Christians to (re)consider their affinity for “belief s ...

Secular Coalition Flunks Most Congress Members on Church-State Report Card
Originally Posted: 04/02/2014 - 6:15am | Type: Blog

If some secular organizations had their way, much of the current class of lawmakers would flunk out of Congress. If some secular organizations had their way, much of the current ...

Supreme Court to Consider Religious Prayer At Government Meetings
Originally Posted: 11/01/2013 - 9:16am | Type: Blog

In a case that could determine restrictions on expressions of faith in the public square, the Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider religious prayers that convene government meetings. ...

Air Force Academy Drops ‘So Help Me God’ from Honor Oath
Originally Posted: 10/28/2013 - 5:52pm | Type: Blog

Air Force Academy cadets will no longer be required to include the words “so help me God” when taking their annual Honor Oath. Air Force Academy cadets will no longer be required ...

ACLU Says Magistrate Can’t Order ‘Messiah’ Name Change
Originally Posted: 08/13/2013 - 1:22pm | Type: Blog

A Tennessee judge should not have barred a couple from naming their child “Messiah,” said the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee. NASHVILLE, Te ...

Can a Hebrew Charter School Teach the Language but Not the Faith?
Originally Posted: 08/08/2013 - 8:24am | Type: Blog

As a public school, Sela can’t ask students about their religion, but Lody estimates that only about 20 percent of the school’s 120 students will be Jewish, and more than half will be African-American. ...

In God We Trust
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 10:46am | Type: Blog

As leaders providing spiritual guidance in a country that is often associated with strong nationalistic tendencies, offering a word that speaks to the messy relationship between “God and Country” is a task tha ...

10 POLITICAL Things You Can't Do While Following Jesus
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 8:46am | Type: Blog

Jesus didn't worry much about stepping on political toes, and the Bible insists that governments be just toward the least of these (the books of the prophets alone make this point very clear). ...

On Scripture: Religious Liberty for the Rest of Us
Originally Posted: 06/12/2013 - 7:53am | Type: Blog

Eleven legislators, all white male Christians, backed a bill to codify Christianity in state law, saying the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not trump the state’s rights. The effort died a quick ...

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Prayer at Government Meetings
Originally Posted: 05/21/2013 - 8:20am | Type: Blog

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider whether prayers can be offered at government meetings — a practice that’s been common in Congress and throughout the states for more than two centuries. ...

Tax or Fee? Pastors Push Back Against City’s ‘Annual Registration Fee’
Originally Posted: 04/15/2013 - 2:59pm | Type: Blog

Church-state separation advocates say by demanding payment of churches for city services, and levying fines for nonpayment (and potentially putting a church in jeopardy of shutting its doors), a municipality w ...

Atheists Sue IRS for Failure to Monitor Church Politicking
Originally Posted: 11/15/2012 - 3:50pm | Type: Blog

A First Amendment watchdog group is suing the Internal Revenue Service for failing to challenge the tax-exempt status of churches whose pastors engage in partisan politicking from the pulpit. ...

Jesus Didn't Vote Today: A Poem
Originally Posted: 11/06/2012 - 10:48am | Type: Blog

Jesus didn’t vote today Not tomorrow Not yesterday Jesus didn’t vote today Not tomorrow Not yesterday Jesus didn’t need the bullet or the ballot box or The bomb or bayonet o ...

God Is Still Not A Republican, Or A Democrat
Originally Posted: 05/23/2013 - 3:22pm | Type: Blog

Our efforts appeared to inject some common sense into our nation’s political discourse, but given recent electoral statements and newspaper ads from some conservative Christian leaders, it appears the message ...

Bhutan Bans Religious Activities Ahead of Elections
Originally Posted: 10/16/2012 - 9:35am | Type: Blog

Political leaders in the tiny Buddhist nation of Bhutan have announced a nearly six-month ban on all public religious activities ahead of the upcoming elections, citing the Himalayan nation's constitution ...

Pastors to Challenge IRS on Political Endorsements — and They'll Likely Win
Originally Posted: 10/04/2012 - 2:16pm | Type: Blog

LOS ANGELES — In a matter of days, some 1,400 American pastors are planning to break the law. And they’re likely to get away with it. As part of “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” on Oct. 7, religious leaders across the ...

No Need to Fear
Originally Posted: 08/17/2012 - 3:05pm | Type: Blog

Not too long ago someone warned me that our government would soon “come after churches that don't toe the party line.” Another told me that our government was out to destroy the Christian faith. I think t ...

What Religious Freedom Is — And Is Not
Originally Posted: 07/30/2012 - 3:04pm | Type: Blog

Today, the State Department released its 2011 International Religious Freedom Report. Religious freedom means different things in different places. Right now, it’s difficult to vo ...

Thomas Jefferson: Our Least Religious President
Originally Posted: 07/04/2012 - 9:15am | Type: Blog

In his new book, "The Jefferson Lies", Barton argues that academics have spread a series of falsehoods about Jefferson — that he was a racist, a secularist and an advocate of strict church/state sepa ...

Atheists Challenge the Tax Exemption for Religious Groups
Originally Posted: 06/15/2012 - 7:54am | Type: Blog

How much money does the U.S. government forgo by not taxing religious institutions? According to a University of Tampa professor, perhaps as much as $71 billion a year. How much m ...

White House Releases Guidelines for Faith-Based Partnerships
Originally Posted: 04/30/2012 - 4:16pm | Type: Blog

A new White House report that offers guidance on public/private partnerships between the government and faith-based groups leaves critical questions unanswered and does not resolve the issue of religious group ...

Death by Faith Healing: A Church-State Separation Dilemma
Originally Posted: 04/18/2012 - 10:33am | Type: Blog

The sovereignty of religion in the United States is a thorny issue when it comes to state powers. But most Americans can agree that there are lines that even the Church cannot cross. ...

From Jim Wallis to Billy Graham, on His 93rd Birthday: "Thank you!"
Originally Posted: 11/08/2011 - 4:37am | Type: Blog

Billy Graham is 93 years old today. And all over the world, people are discussing his influence and impact and remembering their own encounters with the world's leading evangelist. ...

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Pivotal Church-State Case This Week
Originally Posted: 10/05/2011 - 7:24am | Type: Blog

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begin hearing oral arguments this week in one of the most important church-state cases in decades. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to begi ...

Separation (of Church and State) Anxiety
Originally Posted: 10/05/2011 - 5:24am | Type: Blog

Part of a university education is learning how to navigate the complicated and often competing value systems of different social groups. Part of a university education is le ...

Working for the Kingdom of God: A Defense
Originally Posted: 09/24/2011 - 4:14pm | Type: Blog

Deep down I don't believe in the separation of church and state. Deep down I don't believe in the separation of church and state. Oh, I am against the idea of a state c ...

Terry Jones: We Have Lost Our Brother
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:35am | Type: Blog

In a blog posted on <a href="http://blog.sojo.net/2010/09/14/we-have-our-brother-back/" target="_blank">God's Politics on September 14, 2010</a>, I wrote that I rejoiced th ...

The Most Controversial Prayer at the National Prayer Breakfast? A Prayer for Peace
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:35am | Type: Blog

The <a href="http://blog.sojo.net/tag/national-prayer-breakfast/" target="_blank">National Prayer Breakfast</a> is based on broad inclusivity, inviting "individuals of vari ...

Social Justice is Not Totalitarianism
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

<p style="text-align: left;"><a href="http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&amp;issue=soj1009&amp;article=why-does-glenn-beck-hate-community-organizers" tar ...

What Do Glenn Beck and Alan Grayson Have in Common?
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

Here's a logic lesson for you: Both Beck and Grayson use the argument "If A is a B, and A is also a C, then all Bs are Cs." And they shouldn't use this kind of argument. ...

The Church Must Retain a Prophetic Voice
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

We have all heard the old saying that Satan's greatest ploy is to get people to stop believing in him. We have all heard the old saying that Satan's greatest ploy is to ...

Beck, Nazis, and Civil Dialogue
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

Glenn Beck can do better. Fox News can do better. When it comes to upholding truth and having civil dialogues, let's be honest, we all can do better. Glenn Beck can do better ...

We Won't Back Down from Beck
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

Ah, the evils of "social justice"! Ah, the evils of "social justice"! Until recently, I bet most of you didn't realize how dangerous that concept is, and ...

Bad Theology in the House of Representatives
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

<p style="text-align: left;">Wednesday morning I listened to a House Judiciary Committee <a href="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/294531-1">hearing on "The Ethical Imper ...

Why Christianity and July 4th May Be Compatible
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

This past Fourth of July weekend, I reflected on Kurt Willems' <a href="http://blog.sojo.net/2010/07/02/why-christianity-and-july-4th-are-incompatible/">recent post</a>, which had a ...

Calling People to Faith
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:34am | Type: Blog

<em>Several months ago, I was invited to speak at </em><a href="http://www.lifest.com/"><em>Lifest</em></a><em>, a Christian festival in Wisconsin with more ...

Huckabee Got it Right
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:19am | Type: Blog

Mike Huckabee is done as a presidential contender. That's the word on the street. Mike Huckabee is done as a presidential contender. That's the word on the street. Wh ...

Dinesh D'Souza, the New Atheism, and Constantinian Christianity
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:18am | Type: Blog

Last week at the Innovative Evangelism Conference, I got a chance to hear <a href="http://www.dineshdsouza.com/">Dinesh D'Souza</a> speak to a standing room only crowd. ...

For God and Country (in that Order)
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:18am | Type: Blog

Nobody today will be able to celebrate our many veterans without the <a href="http://www.google.com/news/more?pz=1&amp;cf=all&amp;ncl=dGVEwVrxusKklQMKSmmL9hfvxDoyM&amp;topic=h">memo ...

Video: Colbert on the 'Desert Cross' Church-State Controversy
Originally Posted: 08/31/2011 - 3:39pm | Type: Blog

<p>I had invited one of our regular bloggers to comment on the <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8295490.stm">"desert cross" controversy</a>--a Supreme Court ca ...

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:18am | Type: Blog

This week, a friend sent me a link to a video from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas titled <a href="http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=1701">"Taking the Hill."< ...

Praise and Criticism for Obama's Cairo Speech
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:18am | Type: Blog

The world stood at attention as President Obama gave a historic speech to the Muslim world. In mainstream U.S. The world stood at attention as President Obama gave a historic spee ...

A Christian Mistake
Originally Posted: 02/28/2011 - 7:29pm | Type: Magazine Article

Jim Wallis On ominous red-on-black lettering, a recent Newsweek cover carried the headline, “The Decline and Fall of Christian America.” T ...

Video: Jim Wallis on CNN Discussing Obama's Faith Council
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:17am | Type: Blog

Jim Wallis, Eboo Patel, and Rabbi David Saperstein discuss the role of President Obama's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Jim Wallis, Eboo Patel, and Rab ...

Pastor-in-Chief
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 7:17am | Type: Blog

In this week's town hall meetings, President Obama demonstrated an important aspect of his office: Pastor-in-Chief.</p> In this week's town hall meetings, Presiden ...

New Faith-Based Initiatives Report: 'Serving People in Need, Safeguarding Religious Freedom'
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 6:52am | Type: Blog

I have long supported effective partnerships between government and faith-based organizations. I have long supported effective partnerships between government and faith-based orga ...

Time to Open up a Two-Way Street
Originally Posted: 07/14/2011 - 6:51am | Type: Blog

Dear President-elect Obama,</p> Dear President-elect Obama, I am sending you some wonderful memos, letters, and reflections on what your election means , and what peo ...

Twin Towers vs. the Ninth Ward
Originally Posted: 03/03/2011 - 3:37pm | Type: Magazine Article

Rose Marie Berger The biggest obstacle to proper preparedness might well be ideology. When disaster strikes, c ...

Spare Change and Social Change
Originally Posted: 03/03/2011 - 3:37pm | Type: Magazine Article

Julie Polter Individual efforts and social responsibility go hand-in-hand. Caring for people who are poor has ...

Who Will Protect Us From Him?
Originally Posted: 04/06/2011 - 6:25am | Type: Magazine Article

Jim Wallis George Bush's sense of religion makes him alarmingly self-righteous. As the nation observed t ...