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What does religious freedom mean in today's world? Legal issues about religion affect our lives in different ways.
In this, my first Human Rights column, in the Section’s fortieth year, I am pleased that, yet again, this magazine has not shied away from careful analysis of important and difficult constitutional issues.
The relationship of the U.S. government to religious practice regulation, religious speech, and funding of religiously affiliated activities makes for a great deal of controversy. Inconsistent constitutional visions on the Supreme Court promise to keep this controversy brewing.
President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative makes more money available to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and substance-abuse-treatment programs. But it is doing so without regard for the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
Federal court decisions have upheld Bush's Faith-Based Initiative as constitutional. The effort has helped church-based organizations to receive federal funds but with a mandate that this public money must go to the public purpose.
Churches and partisan politics have long been entwined, but recently, U.S. politics have appeared more "religious party" vs. "secular party" than ever. The new IRS Political Activity Compliance Initiative may put a damper on church-based politicking.
A vivid portrait of the internal dynamics of evangelical church politics was sketched by a woman in suburban Atlanta whose Baptist church became one of the organizational cogs for the 2002 Republican victory. Here, from my e-mail correspondence with her, is some of what she described.
How do we achieve the protection of religious liberty? The biggest threat to religious liberty in our public schools is that most do not have policies and practices that reflect the First Amendment.
Georgia enacted a bill in April 2006 legislating that the Bible be taught in high school elective classes as history, without exposure to conflicting interpretations from various Jewish, Christian, and academic sources. How will such classes fare against legal challenges under the First Amendment?
The U.S. workforce is more diverse than any other. Religious discrimination claims and lawsuits are on the upswing. A recently proposed federal bill would increase employer obligations of religious accomodation.
Some health-care professionals object to providing emergency contraception. These professionals promise to provide care, not conscience, but where do professionals' rights end and patients' rights begin?
The media can actively determine public attitudes of religious tolerance or intolerance. The religious and secularists alike should recognize the power of the media to enhance, rather than undermine, religious tolerance.
Lisa Herdahl and others have stood up for their constitutional rights in cases involving freedom of (or from) religion in public schools.