America’s Founding Fathers serve as patriarchs of the nation’s civil religion, but also as flashpoints in debates about faith in U.S. society. The President’s Day holiday spotlights this enduring focus on religion and the nation’s leaders – then and now – a theme running through recent books and movies, and in ongoing arguments about church and state.
Archive for 'Federal government'
For the first time in recent history, immigration reform is a priority for the White House and Congress, thanks to politics and demographics – the growing Latino vote fueled Democratic electoral successes in 2012. But faith groups say the issue is more than cold calculus, and they are adding their voices to the debate.
The 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion falls on Jan. 22, and the March for Life, the annual anti-abortion rally in Washington, is on Jan. 25. Debate over this issue is as intense as ever yet it’s unclear that either opponents or supporters of abortion rights are winning.
The shooting massacre at a Connecticut grade school has shocked the nation and prompted a flood of reflections on the role of faith in providing consolation and understanding. But there is also an intense debate over how, or whether, religious groups should weigh in on the public policy debate about gun violence.
Congress has begun debating a massive farm bill that affects struggling families as well as those who make their living from agriculture: Food stamps and other federal nutrition programs account for about 80 percent of the $100 billion in annual spending under the legislation. ReligionLink explores the role faith groups are playing in shaping the debate.
The legitimacy of the death penalty has emerged as a hot topic in the national conversation. Oregon’s governor declared a moratorium on executions, the execution of convicted murderer Troy Davis in September sparked controversy, and in October the Supreme Court heard a case whose outcome could affect the use of the death penalty.
Faith-based activists still hoping to see Congress pass immigration reform are launching the DREAM Sabbath campaign to raise awareness about the issue in houses of worship across the United States during September and October.
Plans to build or expand mosques have sparked controversy across the country in the past year, and news coverage has often focused on these disputes and cast them as symptomatic of a wider friction between Muslims and other Americans. But zoning issues are dogging efforts by all religious groups to build houses of worship.