RSSAll Entries Tagged With: "President Obama"

Cannabis: The American Sacrament

Cannabis: The American Sacrament

A number of new religious movements have come to see the ritual use of cannabis products as central the religious quest. The Church of the Universe, founded in Ontario, Canada in the late 1960’s, teaches that marijuana provides a vital “calming influence,” helps to focus and “direct [one’s] thoughts without interference from negative forces,” allows for an experience of communion with the natural world, and overall “makes life worth living.”

Not All Choice is Free: Why demand religious exemption for contraception, but not the death penalty, torture, or unjust war?

Not All Choice is Free: Why demand religious exemption for contraception, but not the death penalty, torture, or unjust war?

By Louis A. Ruprecht, Religion Dispatches….
On November 2, 1984, Velma Barfield became the first woman to be executed in the U.S. since 1962, and the first to be executed in the State of North Carolina after the nationwide moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in 1976. She was 52 years old. For those of us who had worked on her clemency petition, it was a devastating blow. Then-Governor Jim Hunt was running for a seat in the US Senate against arch-conservative Jesse Helms. Inexplicably, Barfield’s clemency hearing had been scheduled just six days prior to the election. Helms made it a campaign issue, of course, suggesting that, were the Governor to grant Barfield clemency, then his true liberal stripes would be clear to everyone.

Pondering The Face Of Ground Zero

Pondering The Face Of Ground Zero

Louis A Ruprecht, Jr., Georgia State University….
God knows it’s understandable, the tumultuous range of sentiments. I felt it too, uncertain how to feel exactly, and unsure what I’d come expecting to find. The havoc created here was beyond describing, and the grief of shattered human lives multiplied by the tens of thousands brings us very close to the sacred place where language fails to capture the essences. Tears have been more eloquent in the past, and now, perhaps, a raised fist or two. As I picked up to leave, one image on the screen suddenly caught the attention: It was the Statue of Liberty, but this goddess was not holding the flame of liberty aloft; she was holding Osama bin Laden’s severed head.

Obama scoffs at Jesus: Frankin Graham

Obama scoffs at Jesus: Frankin Graham

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today….
Clearly, “they” is aimed squarely at Obama and Carlos Gonzales (the physician who gave the Native American blessing) and others who gave their speeches a faith-based coloration that didn’t match Graham’s vision. This seems odd, given how many of the speeches were rooted to the Bible. The Los Angeles Times tracked the development of President Obama’s speech, written with deep consultation with pastors including Joshua Dubois on his staff and frequent adviser Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland, an Orlando, Florida, megachurch

A Conversation about Religious Literacy

A Conversation about Religious Literacy

Isaac: In response to the recent Pew survey, Stephen Prothero renewed his call for mandatory religious studies and Bible courses in U.S. public schools. What do we think of his proposal? What does he think it will accomplish? Vincent: It seems like, at least in the simplest form, there’s a sense that knowing lots of facts will make people rational… which it obviously won’t.

How real is America's faith?

How real is America’s faith?

By Stanley Hauerwas, The Guardian
The British, I have discovered, assume that Americans are more religious than they are. That presumption seems justified in the light of Ed Miliband’s declared atheism. As yet no one running for high political office in the US has been willing so to identify themselves. Indeed, it seems to be a requirement of political office in America that you believe in God. Americans seem to think those who rule us must believe in God because, if they do not, they cannot be “moral”– which means they will cheat on their spouses, thus destroying the family, which will bring civilisation to an end.

Factions And Their Fictions

Factions And Their Fictions

We cannot wait on a new Solon, or a different Cleisthenes, to do this work. It falls to an organized citizenry to press back against the factionalism of its professional classes (the Wall Streeters, the banks, the large corporations, the entrenched religious interests, and the lobbies they all fund), who clearly must be getting something out of the messes in which they invest, and the renewed factionalism and political rancor they have left in their wake.

Religion In The Supreme Court (Part I)

Religion In The Supreme Court (Part I)

Many have called on President Obama to replace Justice Stevens with a fellow Protestant, thereby creating a so-called “Protestant seat,” to go along with the “African American seat” and the “Jewish seat” already in existence. There is a significant chance that Justice Stevens will be replaced with a non-Protestant, thereby creating a “Protestant-less” Supreme Court for the first time in American history. This is particularly striking considering that, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in 2007,

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.