religious freedom

Is the Jewish church-state focus fading?

In thinking about the top Jewish stories of 2010, it occurred to me there wasn't a single major church-state battle on the list. That's a big change from, say, a decade ago.

Almost two years into the administration of President Barack Obama the faith based initiatives created by his predecessor are mostly still in place, and groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State are howling mad.

Rabbi Sues Army Over Beard Ban

12/09/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A rabbi is suing the U.S. Army, saying it refused his services as a chaplain because he would not shave his beard.

Rabbi Menachem Stern filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Washington on Wednesday, his law firm, Lewin and Lewin, said in a news release.

Stern says the Army rejected his application to serve as a chaplain only because he would not shave his beard as a matter of conscience.

Jerrold Nadler on Steve Solarz: Son Of Brooklyn, Foreign Affairs Expert

Remembering Rep. Stephen J. Solarz.

11/30/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Former Rep. Stephen J. Solarz, who died Monday night  at the age of 70 after a long battle with esophogeal cancer, was an outstanding public servant. Steve served the people of Brooklyn in the House of Representatives from 1975 to 1992 with distinction, boundless energy, great intellect, and a true passion to pursue justice.

Stephen Solarz: “True passion to pursue justice.”

U.S. Report Highlights Israel’s Religious Freedoms Violations

11/17/2010

(JTA) -- Government allocations favoring the Orthodox, extra legal protection to Jewish holy sites and Orthodox hegemony over life-cycle events are among Israel's religious freedom violations highlighted in a U.S. State Department report.

Which religious groups are most opposed to the "Ground Zero" Islamic Center? Hint: Not the Jews

American Jews are the group most opposed to the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan, right?

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.

Brandeis Students, Alumni Demand Peretz Apology

09/13/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- More than 350 students and alumni at Brandeis University called on columnist Martin Peretz to apologize for saying Muslims do not value human life or deserve free speech.

ADL Defends Stance On Islamic Center

08/31/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

 There have been many mischaracterizations of the position of the Anti-Defamation League with regard to the proposed Islamic center/mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. In fact, we believe that our position is completely consistent with ADL’s historic posture on a number of themes.

Sharia paranoia and religious accommodations for Jews

Here's another thing I don't understand about Jews who oppose the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan: aren't they concerned about the impact of this debate, and a rising paranoia about efforts to impose Sharia law on a hapless America that has fed off the mosque controversy, on the religious accommodations that so many observant Jews feel are critical to their own lives in America? (For a good analysis of the Sharia issue, check out this

Obama administration: asleep on issue of religious coercion in the military?

One thing I don't get about the Obama administration: why isn't it using its authority to clean out the religious fanatics who have made big inroads in using the U.S. military as a coercive mission field for evangelical Christians?

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