Archive: December 6, 2009 - December 12, 2009
Despite the fact that use of Christian symbols has been a consistent practice of every administration since the founding of the United States, it is never too late to worry about this problem.
By John Mark Reynolds | December 11, 2009; 3:03 PM ET | Comments (10)
Why Christian fundamentalists (like Sarah Palin) reject scientific evidence of global warming, and imperil us all.
By Paula Kirby | December 11, 2009; 11:59 AM ET | Comments (109)
If there is an emerging "Obama Doctrine" on war and peace, it is contained in a "new way" of thinking called "Just Peace," not in the older Just War theory alone.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | December 11, 2009; 9:15 AM ET | Comments (97)
Here's where I get confused about the place and role of God when it comes to making public policy. Understand, I am not talking about the role of religion in making policy. So far in my reading, I have not...
By Susan K. Smith | December 10, 2009; 3:28 PM ET | Comments (2)
The Talmud uses an expression to explain why women are legally obligated to light Hanukkah candles when they are often exempt in Jewish law from other time-bound commandments: "They [women] were also in the miracle."
By Erica Brown | December 10, 2009; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (2)
Don't we have enough public concerns to worry about without fretting over whether or not the Obamas want to display a crèche in the White House?
By Michael Otterson | December 8, 2009; 5:28 PM ET | Comments (8)
In the White House, there ought to be plenty there to remind the world that this is in fact a pluralistic society. "E pluribus unum" it says somewhere, stating in essence that our differences make us a strong "one," but I think the strength of that "one" comes only if we respect the differences which make us many.
By Susan K. Smith | December 8, 2009; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (3)
If Obama wants to display a creche as part of his personal and family religious practice, that should be OK, and it can be done in the private sections of the White House. But for the Presidency to display the creche and to have a Christmas Tree is a different matter, one that is not nearly so clear cut.
By Pamela K. Taylor | December 8, 2009; 10:43 AM ET | Comments (12)
Normally, under the First Amendment's ban on the establishment of religion, the government may not promote, sponsor or display thoroughly religious symbols such as a crèche. The White House is different. The crèche in the East Room is more like an individual displaying it in a private home or on one's lawn or a church doing so in the church yard.
By J. Brent Walker | December 8, 2009; 9:55 AM ET | Comments (1)
I am not a person who believes that my religious freedoms are endangered by the sight of a tree or a devotional tableau. This question is not about "what harm could it do" -- the answer is, "not much." Instead, the question has to do with what is consistent with the principles of the Constitution, and a creche in the East Room of the White House isn't.
By Jack Moline | December 8, 2009; 9:29 AM ET | Comments (2)
If we are going to have a crèche in the White House -- along with other faith symbols -- let's remember the moral claims that come from the man Jesus.
By Robert Parham | December 8, 2009; 8:58 AM ET | Comments (1)
There is no blueprint for how a whole nation moves through such broad cultural and political shift as the current one over the relationship of an increasing religious diversity to our public life. But this much is clear. Neglect the power of religious symbols at your peril.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | December 8, 2009; 8:22 AM ET | Comments (22)
The Swiss minaret ban presents three challenges: First, it will repress the religious freedom rights of Muslims living in Switzerland. Second, it provides further ammunition for nations who want to use international entities to enact repressive legal regimes in order to protect Muslims against western Islamophobia. Finally, it distracts the world's attention from far more egregious violations of religious freedom occurring against Muslims by governments in predominantly Muslim nations.
By James Standish | December 7, 2009; 11:34 PM ET | Comments (5)
The Obama White House, more than any Administration before, has given itself to celebrating faith with the subtle, yet manifest finesse reflecting the pluralistic perspective of this Christian First Family.
By Aseem Shukla | December 7, 2009; 11:08 PM ET | Comments (4)
To those that desire to convert America into a post religious, uber-secularist society, we say one thing; bah humbug!
By Samuel Rodriguez | December 7, 2009; 9:31 PM ET | Comments (13)
First, the White House is also a home. The expectation that the Obamas should bracket who they are in order to please other people is inappropriate and unfair. Second, such bracketing actually cuts against the freedom of faith which lays at the center of the entire debate about the propriety of such holiday symbols.
By Brad Hirschfield | December 7, 2009; 9:01 PM ET | Comments (1)
I'm disappointed that President Obama didn't end the tradition of an East Room crèche display, a change I could believe in. I hope he will at least give a shout-out to those of us with other traditions, including humanists and atheists.
By Herb Silverman | December 7, 2009; 5:00 PM ET | Comments (23)
With 40 million Americans having trouble putting food on the table and 10 percent out of work, there are more important things to worry about than whether the president, following the tradition of his predecessors, is disregarding the separation of church and state by displaying a creche in the White House.
By Susan Jacoby | December 7, 2009; 1:38 PM ET | Comments (546)
Can Tiger's game actually help him get out of this unplayable series of lies? Tiger is courageous on the golf course, however, and he needs to draw on that quality from his golf game to get him out of this series of unplayable lies. No more circumlocutions about "transgressions" through his website. That's being a chicken.
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite | December 6, 2009; 7:08 AM ET | Comments (2)