Religion & State

Should religious organizations be taxed?

Last week, I discussed the value of the separation of church and state. In the LinkedIn discussion that prompted that post and this one, a writer commented, “I’m for [taxation of religious organizations] because I really feel like most religions and religious people are heavily on the right side of the political spectrum … if that’s going to be the case, I feel they...

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What does “separation of church and state” mean?

We are approaching Easter, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, and an observance that, like Christmas, culturally imposes itself on virtually all Americans, regardless of religious faith (or lack of it). At times like this, it is appropriate to give some thought to the question of the separation of church and state. What does it really mean? The First Amendment to the US Constitution said...

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The Pope’s exhortation and American politics

On Monday, I gave a review of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, which has excited considerable comment and some controversy here in the United States, from both conservative and progressive commentators. Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson richly praised the exhortation in his column Nov. 28. It is understandable that paragraph 54 in particular would appeal to Mr....

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The Pope and Society

Last week, Pope Francis published a vision of the Church concentrating its effort on preaching the Gospel and helping the poor. The work, known as Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of Evangelizing), is in the form of an “apostolic exhortation,” which in essence is a book-length sermon. As published by the Vatican, the English edition is 217 pages long, excluding a table of contents at the end of the...

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