state

Photo courtesy of RNS

Supreme Court building in Washington, DC (2009). Photo courtesy of RNS

WASHINGTON — 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.

At issue in Greece v. Galloway is whether such invocations pass constitutional muster, even when government officials are not purposefully proselytizing or discriminating.

Can a town council, for example, open its meetings with prayers invoking Jesus Christ, as happened repeatedly in the town of Greece, N.Y.?

“There’s a whole lot at stake here,” said Ira Lupu, a law professor at George Washington University who specializes in the First Amendment’s religion clauses.

“This case is about first principles: whether the government of a town, acting through its town board, can advance a particular brand of Christianity or any other faith,” said Lupu.

On the other side of the question, Jeff Mateer of the Texas-based Liberty Institute invokes free speech rights and hopes the court will reason that government has no business parsing the words of those who wish to pray in a public forum.

QR Blog Editor 07-16-2012

Despite the recent Supreme Court ruling on Arizona's immigration laws, the battle between legislators at the local and federal level is still raging, writes Adam Sorensen for Time:

"Last Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a press conference to announce that he didn’t want his city’s law-enforcement authorities to follow federal requests to hold some undocumented immigrants, picked up on other charges, for deportation. The national media’s ears perked up. Emanuel, a former Chief of Staff to President Obama, was at loggerheads with his old boss — good copy in the making. But on the same day, back in Washington, D.C., much bigger news was developing on the future of federal and local cooperation on immigration policy. John Morton, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told a House subcommittee that his efforts to persuade officials to honor any of ICE’s detention requests in the jurisdiction of Cook County, which includes Chicago, had hit a wall. 'I won’t sugarcoat it,' he said. 'I don’t think that approach is going to work in full.'”

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the Web Editors 10-04-2011

This Friday, October 7, 2011, marks 10 years since the United States invaded Afghanistan in the name of the "War on Terror." Sadly, this summer President Obama announced he'll continue our military presence in the country until 2014, and Congress has agreed to follow his lead.

Where do we go from here?

Austin Carty 10-02-2011
In teaching my students the concept of a thesis the other day -- trying to convey that a thesis not just a sentence but rather an overarching statement of what the whole paper will be about -- it occu
the Web Editors 09-22-2011

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Andrew Simpson 08-04-2011

When the Alabama legislature passed their infamous, anti-immigrant law (HB 56), the religious community in the state immediately cried foul. Jim Wallis and other national leaders condemned the law as unjust and immoral.

HB 56, which will go into effect September 1, attacks virtually every aspect of immigrants' lives. Among many punitive measures, it authorizes police to detain anyone they suspect is undocumented, mandates criminal penalties for those who transport undocumented migrants, and demands that public schools determine the immigration status of all students.

Richard Rohr 07-19-2011

After having spoken at the Greenbelt Festival in England a number of times now, we at the Center for Action and Contemplation always hoped and planned that we create a similar festival for spirituality and the arts in the United States. We had nothing comparable, and it was a niche waiting and needing to be filled. Therefore, we were honored to be a part of the first Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina last June, and hope that we can convene a truly ecumenical, radical, and socially engaged crowd of people living at the intersection of justice, spirituality, and creativity -- and those who want to be!

Laurna Strikwerda 07-07-2011

Ten days after 9/11, Rais Bhuiyan, an immigrant from Bangladesh, was working at a gas station in Dallas, Texas when a man walked in with a gun. Thinking the store was being robbed, Bhuiyan opened the cash register

Debra Dean Murphy 07-07-2011

I couldn't bear to watch any of the coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial. I heard snippets of information on occasion: intimations of incest; a car that "smelled of death"; fist fights breaking out as the curious and obsessed (or the profoundly bored?) tried to get a seat in the Florida courtroom.

Alan Storey 06-07-2011
His name is Potlako. Potlako means "earlier than expected," I suppose he was named Potlako because he was either a premature baby or he followed soon -- too soon -- after his elder brother.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow 03-24-2011
During the past week we have seen both the worst and the best versions of Palestinian action.
Jacqueline Klamer 02-22-2011

More than a year after an earthquake stalled the country's economy, some business owners in Haiti have recovered and expanded production faster than expected. "The key word is innovation," says Daniel Jean-Louis, business professor in Port-au-Prince.

Duane Shank 02-11-2011
After 18 days of ever-growing protests, Egyptian Vice-President Omar Suleiman went on state television with a terse an
Bill Mefford 02-08-2011
The nearly 2.3 million people in U.S.
James Lee Burke 07-28-2010
Sometimes I think we forget whose country this is.
Debra Dean Murphy 07-07-2010
"You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own forever." (The Book of Common Prayer)
David Cortright 05-18-2010
The nuclear fuel swap deal signed between Iran and Turkey and Brazil is a positive development that deserves U.S. support.
Rose Marie Berger 05-18-2010
I was in a "webinar" (live online presentation thingy) recently with Erica Chenoweth from Wesleyan University.
Cesar Baldelomar 05-17-2010
Arizona's lawmakers just keep finding ways to transform their xenophobia into law. First, they questioned whether Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a legitimate holiday.

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