August 23, 2013
IN WHAT could be its most significant church-state case in decades, the Supreme Court will decide whether official prayers at government meetings that overwhelmingly favor one religion violate the First Amendment. Although the case involves a town in New York, not the federal government, the Obama administration has filed a "friend of the court" brief that is distinctly unfriendly to the separation of church and state. According to Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr., the town council of Greece, N.Y., did not engage in an unconstitutional establishment of religion "merely because most prayer-givers are Christian and many or most of their prayers contain sectarian references.
July 10, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband's stepmother and father send religious-themed gifts for every holiday. We have an abundance of unused books, DVDs, stickers, coloring books, dolls, bookmarks, etc., purchased from local Christian stores for a hefty price. We don't see them often during the year because we live in different states, but we would like our kids to have a good relationship with them. The kids don't seem to be fazed by it, but they also don't get excited about opening and using these gifts.
June 16, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas - Surrounded by sleigh-bell-ringing Santa Clauses, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges - but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion. It was a serious tone for an otherwise fun bill-signing and should bolster the governor's Christian conservative credentials before he travels to Washington for the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference with the likes of tea party darlings and Sens.
May 30, 2013 |
Adapted from a recent online discussion. Question: I have asked this question in a lot of different forums, and no advice columnist seems to want to touch it. My husband and I are non-Christians living in a small town in the Bible Belt. We have made some friends (it took a while) who are fun people and share most of our values, except religion. I don't have a problem being friends with people of different religions; I consider it none of my business what other people believe, and just wish they would extend me the same courtesy.
May 3, 2013 |
Some think I have a cushy job. After all, what could be easier than teaching the founding religion at a faith-based institution? Actually, it's more complicated than that. Because I am an academic, my task is more rigorous than merely reviewing the ideals of our religion, and because I embrace the Christian virtues of truth, accuracy, and fairness, I must engage my students with the complete story of our faith. This includes Christianity's glorious chapters when it has made positive contributions to humanity, but also the darker episodes when our religion is linked to some of history's most violent and barbaric events.
April 21, 2013 |
Again and again the grainy FBI videos flickered across TV screens Thursday, and the whole nation leaned in to study two nameless young men in backpacks. But their faces and clothing revealed nothing as they strolled toward the site of the Boston Marathon bombings. The alleged killers looked like two ordinary Americans in baseball caps. Then, overnight, came their names, news of a high-speed police chase, a fatal gun battle, and clues to their identities. They were immigrants.
April 18, 2013
I KNOW that people are always searching for truth and often try to find it in a trendy, cool, new religion. The central tenet of this hot new religion in Pennsylvania appears to be that the PSSA and other standardized tests are the Devil's work. Does this bold new claim come from Pope Francis, seeking a return to Catholic orthodoxy? Does it come from any of the Protestant sects that broke with the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation? Maybe Jews or Muslims have discovered this in a sacred text?
April 5, 2013 |
Sister Mary Florian Heck, 90, an educator and administrator at schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese and other locations, died Wednesday, March 27, at McAuley Convent in Merion Station. Sister Mary, the former Anna Sophia Heck, was born Oct. 24, 1922, in Philadelphia, one of three children of John and Eva Heck. She attended grade school and graduated from high school at the Academy of the Sisters of Mercy at Broad Street and Columbia Avenue in 1941. That year, she entered the Sisters of Mercy.
March 29, 2013 |
One day in 2003, Mike "Slo-Mo" Brenner walked into a music store in Cambridge, Mass., and happened upon a VHS tape offering to teach him "How to Play Hindustani Slide Guitar. " "It had a picture of an Indian gentleman playing this way-out-looking thing," says the Philadelphia guitarist and bandleader, who was then on tour with the roots-rock band Marah. "I asked the guys in the store, 'What is this?' They had no idea. " When he got home and popped it in his VCR, Brenner recalled over lunch at a University City Indian restaurant this week, he heard "the most amazing sound.
January 29, 2013
By Jason P. Gosselin More than 40 lawsuits have been filed throughout the country regarding the Affordable Care Act's "contraception mandate," which requires employers to provide health insurance covering all methods of contraception and sterilization approved by the Food and Drug Administration. One of those lawsuits is Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius . Finding that the mandate was a burden but not a substantial burden on the exercise of religion, a federal court in Philadelphia recently rejected the employer's claim.