You’ve probably heard that Air America, State of Belief’s former network, has filed for bankruptcy and …Read More
Spring Newsletter 10
On March 11th, the Texas State Board of Education (Texas SBOE) voted on a variety of amendments to the state social studies, world history and U.S. government curricula. Prepare to be appalled at the outcomes. As reported by the Texas Freedom Network, the Board voted to:
– Include exploration of the right to bear arms in the curriculum on First Amendment rights and free expression;
– Strike down an amendment that would have required students to “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.”
Servicemen and women are often viewed as “ultimate” Americans. Their patriotism drives them not only to perform a citizen’s basic duties, but to take on the additional responsibility of physically putting themselves between the rights and freedoms of Americans and those who would alter or restrict those freedoms. It’s logical to assume that such champions would themselves be beneficiaries of the things they defend but, when it comes to religious freedom in the military, this isn’t always the case.Read More
“Did you accomplish anything this week?” That question is posed to me every weekend by one or more people. Often the answer is “yes,” though my sense of accomplishment varies. Earlier this month, on March 9th, that query raced through my head as I spent most of the day in a meeting in an office of the White House. The accomplishment made that day, a step in the right direction for the ever-controversial faith-based initiative, was a small one; however, it involved far more than that single day. It required an investment of focused attention, persistent action, research, commentary and advocacy that began in 1999 and stretches ahead of us still.
Coded references to New Testament Bible passages about Jesus Christ found on military equipment? It seems like something you might read about in a Dan Brown novel. But earlier this year, an ABC News investigation discovered these references on rifle sights used by the U.S. military.
In 2005, when a small group of students, volunteer faculty and staff met in Tennessee to discuss the lack of what folks used to call “civics” in our public schools, they didn’t know that five years later they would have built a program that encompassed 156 alumni from more than 25 faith traditions, including those adhering to no faith tradition. Through this program, which became LEADD (Leadership Education Advancing Democracy & Diversity) in 2006, high school students have been immersed in the history of the First Amendment, particularly its Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, discussing religious pluralism in America and how our common future is dependent upon an appreciation of our diversity.