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A Christian Nation or a Nation of Christians?

A Christian Nation or a Nation of Christians?

Can America be called a “Christian nation”? The argument that our founding fathers were all Christian is questionable, to say the least. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, is thought by most modern day religious scholars and historians to have subscribed to the schools of Deism and Unitarianism as opposed to Christianity in particular. Benjamin Franklin described himself as a Deist and expressly rejected Christian dogma, although he did briefly belong to a Presbyterian church. In a letter written just one month before he died, Franklin expressed that although he respected the system of morals preached by Jesus, he had “some doubts as to his divinity.”

A Personal Reflection of Sweat Lodges, Spiritual Economies, and Cultural Ownership

A Personal Reflection of Sweat Lodges, Spiritual Economies, and Cultural Ownership

By James Dennis LoRusso
Since the fall of 2009, I have followed closely the aftermath of the deaths of three participants in a so-called sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona, AZ. On October 9, 2009, James Arthur Ray, self-described spiritual leader known for his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in the film about the new age book, The Secret, led a sizeable group through the traditional Native American ceremony as part of a broader “Spiritual Warrior” retreat, for which each patron paid close to $10,000. During the procedure, three members of the group met their untimely demise as a result of the physical stresses of the sweat lodge. Immediately, of course, numerous voices from a number of interests spoke out against the various elements that made such a tragedy possible. The town of Sedona formally distanced itself from Ray and sought to reassure the public that while such events cannot be allowed to occur, spiritual retreats would nonetheless remain a vital and thriving part of the local economy.

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Military Funeral Protesters

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Military Funeral Protesters

By Mark Sherman, AOL News…..
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the First Amendment protects fundamentalist church members who mount anti-gay protests outside military funerals, despite the pain they cause grieving families. The court voted 8-1 in favor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The decision upheld an appeals court ruling that threw out a $5 million judgment to the father of a dead Marine whosued church members after they picketed his son’s funeral.

Cantwell v. Connecticut – Jehovah’s Witnesses Challenge The State

Cantwell v. Connecticut – Jehovah’s Witnesses Challenge The State

One of the key practices of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is proselytizing, which at the time in question, included passing out literature or playing recordings. In the late 1930’s, the Cantwells were doing just that on Cassius Street, a street with a very high concentration of Catholic residents, located in New Haven, Connecticut. Each Cantwell was arrested that day under a statute that stated that no one may solicit money for any religious or charitable purpose without receiving approval from the Secretary of the Public Welfare Council.

Oklahoma’s Prohibition Against Sharia Law: Banning That Which Does Not Exist

Oklahoma’s Prohibition Against Sharia Law: Banning That Which Does Not Exist

By Scott R. Grubman….
But Obamacare was not the only thing that Oklahoma voters spoke up against in 2010. They also overwhelming approved a state constitutional amendment prohibiting state courts from considering Sharia law (or the sacred law of Islam)—as well as international law—when making rulings. The ballot measure passed by an overwhelming 70 percent. Apart from the legal objections to the amendment, which will be discussed more below, the amendment’s passing raises an obvious question—was it really necessary for voters to prohibit Oklahoma courts from considering Sharia law?

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Obama

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Obama

Freedom From Religion, a non-profit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin, whose mission is to “educate the public on matters relating to nontheism,” and “to promote the constitutional principle of separation of church and state,” brought suit against President Obama and his Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, claiming that the federal statute establishing the National Day of Prayer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Christian Legal Society V. Martinez

Christian Legal Society V. Martinez

Christian Leagal Society is arguing that in denying the exemption, Hastings is violating their right of expressive association and is discriminating based upon viewpoint. Free Speech, Free Exercise, and the Establishment Clause are all implicated in this case. The question before the Court, then, is whether Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion allow an organization to be exempted from non-discrimination policies.