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Amplified rights

Freedom of speech. OK. Religion in the public square. Check. Upholding the values of the First Amendment. On board. But what about when the sermonizing is amplified?

The mask

All of us have crises of faith, go through days and years wondering why we're still doing what we're doing, live in terror of  the rest of the world catching on that we're faking it. But the agonizing doubt and spiritual pain endured by Mother Teresa are unimaginable:

Permission to come back, sir!

This may be the most intricate intertwining of government and religion you'll ever see:

In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

The Bible belt

Since Jesus turned the water into wine, doesn't that at least suggest it is permissible for Chritians to drink? I mean, he didn't turn it into Gatorade. Perhaps I'm being simplistic, and a theologian will straighten me out.

Posted in: Religion

It's the brain, stupid

No Republican presidential candidate can be much short of "life begins at conception" and hope to get through the primaries without a lot of finessing. Rudy Giuliani has to say the judges he would appoint would be the sort to have pro-life sensibilities and that we should all be federalists. Mitt Romney has to say he was against abortion after he was for it and hope he is believed:

Two walls

We have to chase religion right out of the public square, especially schools. If a student decides to say a prayer at the commencement exercise or a teacher leaves a Bible on her desk, this is supposed to be some big breach of the separation of church and state that will doom the republic. Then, there are the Muslims:

Be still, my Earth

A Georgia legislator has discovered that evolution is another conspiracy we can blame on the Jews:

Posted in: Religion

God's helpers

Dispatches From The Culture Wars has an interesting discussion on whether Indiana's In God We Trust license plates could be considered a violation of the establishment clause. Probably not, suggests one observer, saying it is "analogous to the same motto on the currency, which the courts have ruled is not a violation of the establishment clause." On the other hand, other specialty plates cost motorists extra, while the religious one costs only  what standard plates would cost.

Improbable but true

John Popp, in his guest column taking on the "evolution establishment," makes a common mistake in talking about probability:

Posted in: Religion

Come on in

Indiana Catholic bishops, writing about immigrants, says the faithful should "welcome others as Christ himself," declaring pretty much an open-borders position, providing strong evidence for the wisdom of the separation of church and state:

Posted in: Religion