church-state

Jewish groups (predictably) divided on Supreme Court religious school funding decision

The ADL is criticizing and the Orthodox Union is praising today's Supreme Court decision in a key church-state case, Arizona Christian Tuition Organization v. Winn. That decision, analysts say, could make it harder for taxpayers to oppose public funding for parochial schools on church-state grounds.

The case involved an Arizona law that allows taxpayers to take 100 percent tax credits for donations to “school tuition organizations” - groups that provide funding to religious and other private schools.

Don't stop the presses: DC school voucher bill passes House. Again.

This is one of those recurring stories that writes itself: the House of Representatives has revived the District of Columbia “Opportunity Scholarships Program” - read here “school vouchers” - and the Orthodox Union is happy, the Reform movement unhappy.

The program was mostly shut down in 2009, but getting it back on track was a priority for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

But getting it through the Democratic Senate won't be easy, and President Obama is opposed.

Alabama Governor Apologizes

01/20/2011

(JTA) -- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley apologized for saying in inaugural day comments that non-Christians were not his "brothers and sisters."

Bentley met Wednesday for an hour with representatives of Alabama's Jewish community, including leaders of Birmingham's Jewish federation, the Birmingham News reported.

Afterward he told reporters that he was sorry.

Brouhaha in Texas House a Jewish Test Case for Tea Party

12/21/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- In Texas, the Tea Party passed its first Jewish test even before its legislators had been sworn in.

Deeply conservative forces in the Lone Star State firmly repudiated the effort by evangelical Christians to unseat the powerful Jewish speaker of the Texas House of Representatives because he wasn’t a “true Christian conservative.”

OMG, Obama not invoking God enough

A pop quiz: before you read this, tell me what the national motto of the United States is.

The reason I ask is that this just came across my desk: the Congressional Prayer Caucus has a new complaint about President Barack Obama.

Boca Raton Under Fire for Menorah Display

12/08/2010

(JTA) -- A Catholic civil rights organization is accusing Boca Raton, Fla., of discrimination for buying and displaying menorahs in public buildings without including a nativity scene.

"The City of Boca Raton is effectively discriminating against Christians by allowing one religious symbol, namely the menorah, to be displayed in public buildings, while censoring nativity scenes," Catholic League President Bill Donahue said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Obama’s Faith Based Order Welcomed by Jewish Groups

11/19/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish groups generally welcomed President Obama's emendations to the White House faith-based initiative established by his predecessor.

Obama signed a new executive director Wednesday emending the order by President George W. Bush that set up the office.

Under the new order, faith-based groups receiving government funds to provide services such as relief or rehabilitation must make clear to beneficiaries that there are non-faith-based alternatives.

Polling Place at Messianic Building Changed After Complaints by Orthodox Jewish Voters

10/26/2010

(JTA) -- A polling place at a messianic Christian center in New York was changed after Orthodox Jewish voters protested.

Jewish voters complained to the Board of Elections after the Life in Messiah evangelical group's building was announced as a polling place for four election districts from Midwood in Brooklyn, according to the New York Daily News. The voters said their strict adherence to Jewish law would not allow them to enter the building.
The group requested after the outcry that its building not be used.

Westboro Church Case Poses Dilemma for Jewish Groups

10/06/2010
JTA

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Jewish defense organizations long -- and proudly -- have upheld a delicate principle in defending the First Amendment: Hate the speech, defend the speaker.

But a Supreme Court case whose arguments were scheduled for Wednesday have put that precept to the test: A Maryland family is suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funeral of its scion, Matthew Snyder, a soldier killed in a noncombat accident in Iraq.

Texas rewrites U.S. history, some Jewish groups not amused

 It wasn't surprising to see two Jewish groups among the signers of a letter supporting a House resolution criticizing the Texas State Board of Education for promoting a public school social studies curriculum that might be more appropriate for a Sunday school or church camp.

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