A predictable outcry from social conservatives has greeted the Obama administration’s decision to move towards rescinding the “conscience” rule permitting health care workers to refuse to provide care if they have religious scruples about doing so. For example: “It is open season to again discriminate against health-care professionals,” said David Stevens, head of the Christian […]

Dolan on Williamson: Pope’s bad

Maybe. In its story on New York’s new archbishop, the Jewish Week got this from Paula Simon, executive director of Milwaukee’s Jewish Council for Community Relations. Simon, in a telephone interview with The Jewish Week, said the archbishop apologized for the impression given by the pope’s action that the Catholic Church condones denial of the […]

So long, Jimbo

Or not. According to Eric (“Nothing Happens in Colorado Springs that I don’t know about”) Gorski, Dobson will continue to be the marquee personality of Focus on the Family. The question is whether his slow fade from administrative responsibilities will make any difference in the organization’s life and times. As a force in the wide […]

Common Ground, Intl. Division

You’ve got your secular human rights advocates and your unsecular religious liberty advocates, and last week, Hillary Clinton pissed off both by assuring the Chinese that such matters would not get in the way of the two countries working together on the global economic crisis. True no doubt, but not the kind of thing secretaries […]

Not so Pleasant

Yesterday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision, Pleasant Grove City v. Summum, was, strictly speaking, not about religion and yet was all about religion–weaving yet more potential tangles into the tangled web of Establishment Clause jurisprudence. The Summum religious sect does not get to place its principles as a monument in a Pleasant Grove park as a […]


Last July 1, when he announced that he would continue President Bush’s faith-based office in the White House on bigger and better terms, Barack Obama said: But what we saw instead was that the Office never fulfilled its promise. Support for social services to the poor and the needy have been consistently underfunded. Rather than […]

Approved Prayers

Dan Gilgoff has sleuthed out that the White House Office of Public Liaison has been vetting the invocations that have been solicited to open the president’s speeches on the economy around the country. Is this something to be disturbed by? Not surprisingly, Barry Lynn thinks it is: “The only thing worse than having these prayers […]

Christian Clout

Reports of the demise of the religious right have issued periodically since the 1980s, usually linked to the declining fortunes of marquee national organizations like the Moral Majority, Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family. What has sustained the movement, however, are the state and local groups that have done the grunt work of grass […]