Tag Archives: Focus on the Family

Subtle Violations Of The First Amendment May Still Be Found In Public Schools

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image of a young girl praying from freeimages.comObvious violations of the first amendment in public schools can include a sign with an obvious religious message, a teacher proselytizing, or a school promoted event sponsored by a religious group that includes a sermon or prayer. There are, however, many smaller violations going on all the time that might be harder to see or stop. It takes all of us, checking into our local schools, to police these minor violations and to educate people about the 1st amendment.
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The HubBub Over the Tim Tebow Fallacy

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I happened to see both Tim Tebow/Focus on the Family (FOF) ads during the Super Bowl last night and just didn’t see the what the fuss was all about.

Some people said the ads would be an obvious nod against abortion but neither ad was obvious. They were about as generic and bland as those Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ads we’ve all seen before.

It could be the ads were watered down after the crap hit the fan about it and FOF withheld news of the change to get their max PR out of the issue as the right wing likes to do.

In the end the pro-choice crowd looks like a bunch of harpies as much as the right wing did when they complained about the Move-On Iraq War ad some time back. That’s why I always hold my outrage until I can actually see the item I am suppose to be outraged about. Getting bent out of shape over something that turns out to be nothing is a waste of time and makes one look stupid.

I did get a good chuckle over the fact that FOF would now have to pay millions of dollars for the two ads and they are still hurting for money as donations are down overall for their group.

I figure it was FOF’s plan all along. If CBS refused the ad then that was a win for them. If the liberal side got up in arms about the ad, the free PR was a win, and if CBS aired the ads they would reach approximately 98 million eyes – another win.

Meanwhile Richard Dawkins has a good post in the Washington Post “On Faith” section titled “The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy” that goes over the old and tired “if so and so’s mom had the abortion (fill in famous name) wouldn’t have been born…” argument.

The Great Tim Tebow Fallacy

National Day of Prayer not needed

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May 7th was the so-called National Day of Prayer. It is an ad hoc “day” sponsored by the religious right front group Focus on the Family to misinform us all about the erroneous claims that fundamentalist Christians are being persecuted in the United States. President Bush made a public spectacle of the “event” but President Obama only continued the proclamation part. That is a good sign, but there are other reasons to drop the National Day of Prayer.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State have several reasons posted on their website including:

Americans don’t need the government to tell them when or how to pray.

Americans have the right to pray for whomever they want and in what manner they like. But we don’t need an officially designated government proclamation to do that. Our people are free to engage in worship whenever they want. Allowing government to set aside certain days for prayer and worship implies that the state has some say over our religious lives when it does not. It is simply not the business of government to advise when, if and how people pray.

What’s wrong with national day of prayer?

Denying a request for a religious proclamation, Thomas Jefferson wrote:

“I consider the government of the US. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.…. I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it….[E]very one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, & mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the US. and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.”

Jan. 23, 1808 letter to a minister named Samuel Miller

Finally, this video from comedian Lewis Black, while a bit dated, expresses why I don’t like my elected officials to hold their religions on their sleeves:

Lewis Black on Politics and Religion

Religious Right Grasping at Straws

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On October 4th, Dr James Dobson wrote in an op/ed article in the New York Times that “if neither of the two major political parties nominates an individual who pledges himself or herself to the sanctity of human life, we will join others in voting for a minor-party candidate.”

This was a shot across the bow of the GOP because the current front runner – Rudi Giuliani – failed the so-called “value voters” litmus test.

But why not support one of the other GOP candidates. One who seems up their religious alley is Mike Huckabee. He agrees with their views on abortion and gay marriage and he was one of the few GOP’ers who said he didn’t believe in Evolution.

Evolution is a complex issue. It’s a complex issue to discuss the origins of life. And that’s really the question as I interpreted it and understood it. What are the origins of life? Do you believe that life is the result of some metaphysical accident that happened eons ago and there has been this ongoing process of mutation and random selection that has resulted in life as we now know it? And if so, then it’s probably going to keep changing, and who knows where, how and when. And that’s fine, people can certainly believe that.

There are others of us whose basic premise of the origins of life is that there is a God and that he is the dynamic behind it – that there is a prime mover, as some of the ancient philosophers used to speak. I subscribe to that. And as I said last night, for me, it’s as simple as “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”

A science book that I read today is dramatically different from the science book I would have found in the school classroom 50 years ago or 100 years ago. But the origin of life as it is expressed in the Scripture is consistent and has been now for several thousand years. I can embrace that, and to me it is not a conflict with science; it can be compatible with science.

Whither Social Conservatives? A Conversation with GOP Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee

So why don’t people like Dobson get behind Huckabee?

Because in one recent poll Huckabee is 6th among GOP contenders.

Would the religious right want to hitch their wagons to someone who probably won’t win the nomination? If the guy lost then their supposed “power” would be suspect.

However if they could get a front runner to change their attitude and court them and then they end up losing to the Democrat then the right can say they caused that person to lose because they were being taken for granted. They can spin how powerless they really are.

See how politics works.

See also For a Trusty Voting Bloc, a Faith Shaken