Back to the Culture Wars

The state is committed to the strictest neutrality as far as religious associations are concerned. This must not, however, be considered as a right of the churches as such. It is, rather, the fulfillment of the rights of the individuals composing the church. … In any other sense than this, it is absurd to talk about the rights of an association.

— Joseph L. Blau, Cornerstones of Religious Freedom in America (1949)

In this week’s sift:

  • What Abortion Means to Me. When you’re a married man, so-called “women’s issues” become your issues too.
  • Religious Corporate Personhood. The institutional-religious-liberty principle Catholic bishops are claiming is foreign to the American legal tradition, and would have appalled the authors of the First Amendment.
  • Prop 8 is Still Irrational. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest court to apply the rational-basis test to banning same-sex marriage. It failed again.
  • Book recommendation of the week: The Myth of Choice by Kent Greenfield. What if we’re neither fully autonomous individuals nor automata controlled by our environment?
  • Culture Wars Rise With the Economy and other short notes. If the economy is getting better, Republicans will have to run on social issues. Purple squirrels. Nancy Pelosi tries to “Stop Colbert”. A new push on global-warming denial. Obama and the marshmallow cannon. And the cutest thing I saw this week: video of a wolf pup and a bear cub.
  • Last week’s most popular post. Five Takeaways from the Komen Fiasco got 885 views, the most by any Sift article in several months.
  • This week’s challenge. Usually I focus this feature on the outside world, but this week I’d like you to help me popularize the Weekly Sift. The Sift doesn’t have an advertising budget (or a revenue stream), so its readership grows only if people like you spread the word. If you think this blog’s point-of-view deserves more attention, help it get some: Tell a friend, forward it, recommend it on Reddit or StumbleUpon, blog about it, share a post on Facebook, tweet a link.
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  • Carolyn  On February 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    I brought your corporate/church personhood to a rather extended fb conversation, where it’s drawn some favorable comment. My friends deserve to know where I get some of my best ideas (though that one had occurred to me right off.)

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