Archive for: 2009

A Church Scorned: Church, State, Marriage, and the Quest for Power

A Church Scorned: Church, State, Marriage, and the Quest for Power

  "And so, by the power vested in me by the State of ___  and Almighty God, I now pronounce you husband and wife. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." This pronouncement is the point in a religious wedding ceremony where the power of the state and the power of the Almighty God come together to fuse […]


Scholarship contest asks high school students to revisit JFK speech on separation of church and state

The Religious Liberty Council of the Baptist Joint Committee on its website announced the 5th annual Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest, which is open to all high school students in the graduating classes of 2010 and 2011. According to the BJC, "this year's contest will commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's landmark speech about the relationship between his religion […]


Religious freedom requires Baptists to hold in tension certain principles (The Baptist Standard)

EXCERPT: DALLAS-Baptists must hold in tension three sets of paradoxical ideas if they are to remain faithful to their heritage and champion freedom, Brent Walker told participants at the T.B. Maston Christian Ethics Award Dinner Oct. 30 in Dallas. … – The two religion clauses in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. – Religious freedom and responsibility. – Civic […]


PBS Series "Liberty's Kids" Now on YouTube

An excellent educational cartoon series for kids (and adults) starring Walter Cronkite as Ben Franklin is now on YouTube. In this episode, Ben Franklin, Moses, and James discover disguised colonists raiding the tea-laden ship that Sarah is aboard. To watch the entire series, go to The official website, which includes activities and information for parents and teachers is located at


HISTORY: Sousa's Band Under Ban of Sunday Blue Law

HISTORY: Sousa's Band Under Ban of Sunday Blue Law

Binghamton, N. Y., November 13, 1922—Harold F. Albert, recreational director of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, was arrested yesterday afternoon on complaint of the Binghamton Ministerial Association for staging a concert by John Philip Sousa's Band at which an admission was charged.


Sec. Clinton condemns "Religious Defamation" laws and addresses international issues in annual Religious Freedom Report

On October 25, 2009, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the annual International Religious Freedom Report, on behalf of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In the first IRFR from the Obama administration, Clinton stated her opposition to international laws that would propose to protect religious liberty by preventing negative speech about religious viewpoints. […]


OPINION: When Did "Conservative" Become Anarchist?

What planet am I living on? I have grown up with the idea that conservatives were those who value tradition and defendthe status quo ante; who support the institutions of our society. But now it seems that "conservatives" believe that it is wrong for the president of the United States to talk to the nation's school children despite the fact that Ronald Reagan did so; that it is OK to carry an automatic weapon to a public meeting with elected officials; that un-fact-checked statementscirculated by unknown bloggers and radio entertainers are to be believed over independent newspapers with long histories of factual reporting.


Texas execution looms after jury consult Bible (Amnesty International)

EXCERPT: A Texas man who faces execution after jurors at his trial consulted the Bible when deliberating his fate should have his death sentence commuted, Amnesty International said on Friday. Khristian Oliver, 32, is set to be killed on 5 November after jurors used Biblical passages supporting the death penalty to help them decide whether he should live or die. […]


What's Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?

What's Wrong with Conspiracy Theories?

The other day someone sent me a link to an "Antichrist Decoder" that has been posted online by an otherwise reputable Christian ministry. You can type in anybody's name and the program will calculate the value of the name in Roman numerals.

After checking my name to make sure that I was not the Antichrist I looked at the other names that people had plugged into the decoder and learned that Barack Obama is not the Antichrist, neither is Barack Hussein Obama. Ronald Wilson Reagan's name doesn't add up to 666 even if you type in two "v"s to make the W.

People were having fun with the decoder and for the uninitiated it would be at home in a carnival next to the "Love Meter" or "Magic 8 Ball." Perhaps an "antichrist decoder" made the rounds on the county fair circuit in years gone by, or a 666 Decoder Ring was the cheap plastic treat in the box of Cracker Jacks.


Northwest Religious Liberty Association Honors Oregon Speaker Dave Hunt

Representative Dave Hunt, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, was awarded by the Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA) at the Oregon Conference Campmeeting in Gladstone on July 17, 2009 for his legislative sponsorship of the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act, Senate Bill 786 (SB 786) which was signed into law by Governor Ted Kulongoski.  There were 2,056 people in attendance.