The dispute over requiring church-run hospitals and schools to cover birth control for female employees has stirred up longstanding confusion over what the First Amendment does and doesn’t do. Some on the Christian Right insist that it means religious doctrine can trump secular law, but Rev. Howard Bess says that’s a misunderstanding.
Exclusive: Republicans and the Right are on the offensive again, decrying an Obama administration ruling that some Catholic-run institutions must offer employees birth-control coverage in health care plans. Yet, this latest “war” rhetoric again misrepresents the countervailing principles, Robert Parry reports.
Exclusive: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich claims President Obama has declared “war on the Catholic Church” with a ruling that contraception must be included in health plans for employees of church-led institutions, but Catholic moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire says it is the U.S. bishops (and Gingrich) who are wrong.
Exclusive: The Tea Party’s revisionist history of the nation’s founding document may play well with the ill-informed, but the truth is the framers of the Constitution were fed up with state “sovereignty” and decided on a strong central government, a judgment that has served the United States well, writes Robert Parry.
Exclusive: Rep. Ron Paul and other right-wingers have lured many average Americans into their camp by creating a false narrative about America’s Founding, claiming that the drafters of the Constitution wanted a weak central government. But that’s not the real history, Robert Parry writes.
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Catholic bishops are pressuring the Obama administration to retreat on issues of women’s reproductive rights – and with the election year looming, they appear to be making progress, as NOW President Terry O’Neill described in an interview with Dennis Bernstein.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich epitomizes the licentious lifestyle and lucrative cronyism that American conservatives claim to hate, yet he is the latest Republican presidential hopeful to soar into frontrunner status, as Michael Winship notes.
In the Republican race, the hottest “religious issue” is the Mormonism of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, which many commentators have ruled out of bounds. But there are broader issues of religion and politics that should be part of the presidential debate, says Rev. Howard Bess.
Exclusive: The appointment of federal judges is a key power of the U.S. president. It can reward partisan allies for past services and ensure favorable rulings in the future. Both factors were in play for District Judge Richard Leon who just struck down new cigarette warnings, writes Robert Parry.