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Ben Carson stirred up the latest Republican primary tempest last weekend when he volunteered the opinion that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” What should we make of this statement? First, it speaks to a pervasive religious ignorance in our political culture, of which Carson is hardly […] Read More

One Sunday after worship, I greeted a young man who was visiting with us for the first and – as it would turn out – the last time. Before I had the opportunity to introduce myself and welcome him, and without so much as a “hello, howdy,” he pointed to a name printed in our […] Read More

While Article VI of our Constitution provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States,” and the First Amendment provides clear protection against the establishment of religion by law and a guarantee of religious liberty, interest always seems to arise concerning candidates’ […] Read More

A lot of people are arguing about the meaning and the use of the Constitution of the United States. When the new Congress began, a group of Republicans decided to read an edited version (one that didn’t include the part about slaves being three-fifths of a person). There are those we might call “strict constructionists” […] Read More

The opening act of the 112th Congress’ political theater was a selective reading of the United States Constitution, a dramatic demonstration of allegiance to the nation’s foundational document. Responses varied from affirmations of the exercise to suspicions it was an empty gesture. It’s hard to find anyone who denies the value of the Constitution as […] Read More

For the first time in U.S. history, the nation’s House of Representatives will begin its new session with a complete oral reading of our country’s Constitution. Great idea! I don’t have a clue why this hasn’t happened before, not just in the House but in the Senate as well since proceeding with the business of […] Read More

As the midterm election draws near, the rise of “strict constitutionalists” threatens centuries of democratic advancements. A romanticized interpretation of the Constitution works against the very interests of many middle-class Tea Partiers, whose rhetoric angrily demands a greater say in the life of the republic. A simplistic, idealized understanding of the motives of the framers […] Read More

I would not hazard a guess as to how many preachers in these United States will make some reference this Sunday morning to our nation’s Founding Fathers, and their reliance on the Ten Commandments in forging the laws for our new nation. My suspicion is that such references will be numerous if unfounded. That is […] Read More

There once was a village called Alabama. There were many wonderful people who lived there. They were hard working, honest and full of faith. They lived in nice homes, tried to raise nice children and generally tried to be nice to each other. The village of Alabama elected a representative from among them to take […] Read More

For the past several years various leaders have introduced bills that would allow Alabamians to decide for ourselves whether to rewrite our outdated and cumbersome state constitution. The same is true this year. Senate Bill 177, Senate Joint Resolution 42 and House Joint Resolution 54 have been introduced and are in committee pending a vote. […] Read More