June 26, 1986
I am continually appalled and dismayed at President Reagan's persistent use of his office as a means to change the very character of the United States and what it should and does represent to all who are citizens. The recent message he sent to the Southern Baptist Convention asking delegates to use their religious influence to bring back prayer in the public school and abolish abortion is just one more example of his effort to Christianize this country and make it intolerant of those who do not agree with his religious beliefs.
March 29, 2005
I don't often agree with Michael Smerconish. I agree with him that the intervention of politicians to enforce their religious beliefs in the Schiavo case is inappropriate and religiously bigoted. I am proud our court system has refused to intervene, and only wish that Smerconish had acknowledged that courts occasionally make decent decisions. I also wish he connected the dots between the conservative foundations, the Republican inquisition against those with religious differences, and the zealots who shoot doctors, and intimidate clinic patients.
March 7, 2005
WHY IS IT that people don't eat meat during Lent? Is this such a sacrifice? Jesus gave up his life and died on a cross, yet people who follow a religious tradition feel they are being challenged by not eating roast beef? But they can eat fish, which I consider a treat! What makes not eating red meat but eating a lobster a sacrifice? A real sacrifice would be to show some true faith by dedicating your religious beliefs not only on the holidays, but throughout the entire year.
March 22, 2007
RE BRYAN M. Kilpatrick's response to Michael Ginsberg's March 12 letter on the Bible and homosexuality: It's my take that Ginsberg's use of the Old Testament examples were to refute another earlier letter-writer's comments. Therefore, Mr. Kilpatrick needs to take the earlier writers comments into account before criticizing Ginsberg's. As for the comment about people using the Bible to fit their own agenda: I agree. But it goes both ways. So-called devout Christians use the Bible's words to judge and persecute others.
February 25, 1986
The effort of James J. Kilpatrick to equate secular humanism (Op-ed Page, Feb. 16) with religion must be resisted. Secular humanism and religion represent totally different ways of thinking. They are not simply competing religious beliefs to be discussed on an equal footing. Religions contain several elements of thought absent from secular humanism: the belief that truth is obtained through faith, the use of ritual to channel experience and belief and, most important, a belief in supernatural entities: gods, devils, heavens, hells, life after death and resurrection.
August 30, 1991 |
There is something the militant anti-abortion activists don't seem to understand. What they are now doing to women seeking abortions - blocking entry to clinics and generally making themselves obnoxious - is a two-way street. If they succeed in infringing the rights of fellow Americans, they too have rights that can, and almost certainly will, be attacked in response. Freedom of religion depends entirely on maintaining a strict separation between abstract religious beliefs, which are a matter of faith, and the social and human needs of a pluralistic society.
May 18, 1989 |
A federal judge yesterday enjoined the School District of Philadelphia from enforcing an 1895 state law that prohibits teachers from wearing "any dress, mark, emblem or insignia" indicating that they are a member or adherent of a religious sect or denomination. U.S. District Judge James McGirr Kelly in effect overturned Section 11-1112 of the Pennsylvania school code, which the judge ruled "is contrary to and in conflict with" Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act permits a "reasonable accommodation" to a person's religious beliefs.
April 3, 2015 |
When Gov. Mike Pence refused seven times to say whether a new Indiana law allows discrimination against gay people, the logical assumption was that he didn't want to admit that it does. Since that Sunday interview on ABC's This Week, however, it has become clear that the law was not written to allow discrimination, which means Pence's dance around the truth was likely calculated to score political points with opponents of gay marriage. Pence changed his tune after the public reaction to the new law threatened events such as the coming NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis.
December 4, 1997
It is too easy to flail away at City Council President John Street for his intransigence in bottling up three pieces of legislation that would equalize benefits for city employees who are in same-sex couples. Especially because the bills are supported by a majority of Council members, the same men and women who elected him president. No flailing here and no demonizing of Mr. Street, which others have seen fit to do. Rather, it should be understood that the moral dilemma facing the Council head is real, a matter of strongly held religious beliefs that need to be respected.
April 1, 2015 |
SPURRED BY a local push from parents and educators, the Philadelphia School District is giving parents new information about their right to excuse their children from standardized testing. The district earlier this month sent home information regarding the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, which students in third to eighth grade will take next month. The packet includes frequently asked questions, which districts are required to provide under state law, along with a letter signed by the school principal telling families where to find information on opting out. According to the information from the state Department of Education, if after reviewing the test parents find it to be "in conflict with their religious belief and wish their student(s)