Holidays, public schools and what it means to be “American”

Battles this month over holidays in public schools — from Halloween in Connecticut to Christmas in Indiana — are about far more than witches, ghosts, Santa Claus, or Jesus.
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In words and gestures, Pope Francis re-awakens the American ideal

Pope Francis

At a cultural moment when celebrity trumps character in America, it took a humble priest from Argentina to remind us of the better angels of our nature – and of the kind of nation we must aspire to build in the 21st century.
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In Kentucky, a win-win for the Constitution

In Kentucky, a win-win for the Constitution

What better way to commemorate Constitution Week than with a good old-fashioned American compromise?
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Clerks, conscience, and the case for common ground

On August 31, the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from Kim Davis, a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky who objects on religious grounds to issuing same-sex marriage licenses. Undeterred, Davis turned away a gay couple the very next day.
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Despite settled law, schools still struggle to get religion right

Although I can’t cite a scientific survey to prove it, I have detected a recent upswing in conflicts over religion in public schools. Just as I was beginning to believe that most schools were finally getting religion right, it appears that the trend is in the other direction.
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Olympic fiasco: Awarding Beijing rewards persecution

Last week, the International Olympic Committee awarded Beijing the 2022 Winter Games, demonstrating yet again that selection of a host city has everything to do with politics, money and power — and nothing whatsoever to do with human rights.
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When combatting extremism, schools are the long game

According to FBI reports, Abdulazeez was inspired to “martyrdom” through listening to the hate-filled sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda recruiter killed by an American drone strike in 2011.
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After gay marriage, can we move from battleground to common ground?

In recent years, religious freedom – or, more precisely, religious-freedom claims – have been front and center in the battle over same-sex marriage.
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After Gay Marriage, Can We Move from Battleground to Common Ground?

State of the First Amendment 2015

In recent years, religious freedom — or, more precisely, religious freedom claims — have been front and center in the battle over same-sex marriage.
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After Charleston

Inside the First Amendment

The brutal murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 was a chilling assault on fundamental freedoms guaranteed every American under the First Amendment.
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