Left, right and a range of faiths join for statement clarifying where the law stands on religious expression.
Washington — The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Baptist Convention may butt heads over where the line ultimately should be drawn on the separation of church and state, but representatives of both organizations say they agree on where the law now stands — and with more than two dozen other experts they have come together to help explain it to the rest of the country.
After nearly four years of work, the organizational representatives have issued a 32-page document titled “Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law.”
Written in a question-and-answer format and including extensive endnotes, the document explains the state of the law on religious expression, answering queries such as “Are individuals and groups permitted to use government property for religious activities and events?” “May employees express and exercise their faith within secular nongovernmental workplaces?” and “Does the First Amendment place restrictions on the political activities of religious organizations?”
While Islamic anti-Judaism increases, a bit of positive interfaith news emerged this week from American Catholic leaders.
U.S. Catholic bishops declared Monday that campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity "are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church."
This conclusion is contained in a 12-page joint Catholic-Jewish statement called "Reflections on Covenant and Mission" issued with the National Council of Synagogues, representing the Conservative and Reform Jewish streams.
In an unprecedented public display of unity, the leaders of America's four major Jewish seminaries signed a letter of protest to the head of the Southern Baptist Convention decrying its new support of "deceptive" tactics to convert Jews.
Will Jews be condemned to hell under President George W. Bush?
The question of what the Texas governor and front-running Republican presidential candidate believes about where Jewish souls will wind up in the afterlife is a concern for political pundit Michael Kinsley, editor of Slate, the on-line magazine.
The other day, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant group in America, declared that wives should “submit themselves graciously to their husband’s leadership.”
Try selling that to Jewish women.
“My husband tells me that all the time — ‘can’t you be a little more submissive’ ” — chuckled political consultant Suri Kasirer when asked about the newest development in American gender politics.