Category: History

August 25, 2012
image of Mitt Romney
The 1st amendment won’t allow me to id this guy

Both Mitt Romney and President Obama gave lengthy interviews to the National Cathedral’s magazine, “Cathedral Age”. I believe that we live in a secular republic where the government ought to be religiously neutral. There is no religious test to hold office but this interview did gives us a case study in Christian privilege that some like Mitt Romney believe they deserve. While he tore into the wall between church and state, in another interview he tried to use his religion as an excuse not to reveal his tax returns.

August 14, 2012
image of an Amish Buggy

I noticed an Associated Press (AP) story published Monday evening with a very misleading headline. It read “Amish in Ohio Hair-Cutting Case Seek to Avoid Oath”. Why is it misleading? Those of us who struggle to support separation of church and state know why it is misleading. The AP headline was basically biased toward people who don’t want to swear an oath in court.

The story was about the current criminal case in Ohio involving a dissenting sect of Amish people who had cut the hair and beards of other Amish people who they thought were observing their faith incorrectly. The story leads with:

August 9, 2012
image of BSA says no LGBTs

It was reported in the Washington (DC) Blade that through a White House spokesperson, President Obama said he opposes the ban on LGBT participation in the Boy Scouts of America. The ban was recently affirmed after a secret two year evaluation. The President made a point to say he would not resign as Honorary President of the BSA. Does staying as the honorary president undercut his opposition to the ban?

August 6, 2012
image of Hole in the wall leads to trouble

The Catholic church and other religious conservatives are suing the government to invalidate the new health care regulation that forces them to provide insurance coverage for birth control for non-clergy workers. This follows the recent history of legal religious accommodation like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. But these attempts to knock down the wall of separation of church and state leads down a road I don’t think most people have thought about in trying to roll back religious neutrality.

June 25, 2012
image of the Mt Soledad Cross
San Diego’s Mt Soledad Cross

One bit of good news from the Supreme Court today was it refused to hear an appeal in Trunk v. City of San Diego which concerned the constitutionality of the San Diego’s Mt. Soledad Cross. By refusing to hear the appeal it let stand the 9th Circuit’s last ruling in the long fought 1st Amendment case which said the cross now on Federal land is still unconstitutional. Of course one justice took the unusual step to issue a statement and possible hint to pro-cross people on how to keep the cross on Mt. Soledad.

The 9th Circuit ruled in January of 2011:

June 7, 2012
inage of Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)

On June 6th, the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion during World War II, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) spoke on the floor of the Senate to ask for passage of the World War II Memorial Prayer Act of 2012 which calls for a plaque, to be installed on the National World War II Memorial, inscribed with a prayer President Roosevelt spoke when announcing the operation over the radio in 1944. Although tax payer money won’t be used for the making of the plaque, it still will be on a national memorial on public land that is suppose to honor all soldiers who fought in the war. Portman’s bill is as misguided as someone putting the 10 Commandments up in a court house.

Here is the text of the bill that was introduced on May 10th: