Open Forum: Why Pray Before Government Meetings?

The prayer case in Greece, NY and the one in Maryland I mentioned yesterday started me thinking about why such prayers are being offered and contested. I recognize the First Amendment implications of such cases and have interest in preserving religious liberty without establishment of Christianity as a preferred religion. However, I also thought of the matter as an evangelical and reflected on the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 6: 5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they … [Read more...]

Politifact Debunks Bryan Fischer’s Christianity Only View of the First Amendment

Just as I did in 2011, yesterday Politifact debunked Bryan Fischer's claim that the founders said religion but meant Christianity.On his 12/10/13 Focal Point broadcast, Fischer said: By the word religion in the First Amendment, the founders meant Christianity. Not so.Politifact's Punditfact writers consulted Baylor's Thomas Kidd, Rutger's Jan Ellen Lewis and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellow John Ragosta to provide the complete picture. Fischer believes Muslims should not … [Read more...]

Is a Ban on Reparative Therapy a Violation of the First Amendment, Part One

Does a ban on reparative therapy infringe on the First Amendment rights of reparative therapists?This question is at the heart of the debate (and a couple of lawsuits) regarding California's law banning reparative therapy for minors. The law was set to take effect tomorrow but has been postponed pending a full hearing.According to Eugene Volokh, the issue of professional-client speech has not been well-defined by the courts. In 2004, Volokh offered an excellent summary of issues relating … [Read more...]

The Cincinnati Bible Wars: When the Bible was removed from schools

The month of May marks the 400 anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. The most published book in history, the KJV was once widely read in public schools around the nation. However, in 1872 that trend was reversed by the Ohio Supreme Court in Minor v. Board of Education of Cincinnati which addressed what was called at the time, the “Cincinnati Bible Wars.” In 1869, the Cincinnati Board of Education voted to remove the KJV from the public schools, sparking angry prot … [Read more...]

Townhall posts my First Amendment article

The discussion is lively... … [Read more...]

Did the First Amendment make America a Christian nation?

Of course not.However, as I have been examining, Bryan Fischer seems to think so. Fischer says that the First Amendment only protects the religious expression of Christianity. According to Fischer non-Christian religions have no Constitutional protect but may be tolerated.Today, the Christian Post and Crosswalk published a more detailed treatment of the topic where I address the claims that the author of the First Amendment, James Madison, and the members of Congress only meant to p … [Read more...]

Bryan Fischer doubles down on Christianity as a state religion

Yesterday, Bryan Fischer doubled down on his view that the First Amendment does not recognize claims of non-Christian religions. He wrote:The leftwing political websites lit up over my column of last week in which I took the position that the First Amendment provides no guarantees to practitioners of the Islamic faith, for the simple reason it wasn't written to protect the free exercise of Islam. It was written to protect the free exercise of the Christian faith.First of all, it was not only … [Read more...]

Volokh Conspiracy on Bryan Fischer's views of the First Amendment

Last Friday, Eugene Volokh analyzed Bryan Fischer's claims about the First Amendment and found them wanting.  You'll remember Mr. Fischer, I'm sure; I have written about his views a few times. Last week, Fischer said:Islam has no fundamental First Amendment claims, for the simple reason that it was not written to protect the religion of Islam. Islam is entitled only to the religious liberty we extend to it out of courtesy. While there certainly ought to be a presumption of religious liberty f … [Read more...]


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