Volume 50 Winter 2008 Number 1


  • EDITORIAL: Church, State, and the Presidential Campaign of 2008
    Wallace L. Daniel and Meredith Holladay 5
  • Equal Right and Equal Privilege: Separating Church and State in Vermont
    Shelby M. Balik 23
  • Exercising Political Influence, Religion, Democracy, and the Mexican 2006 Presidential Race
    Roderic Ai Camp 49
  • Roman Catholicism and U.S. Foreign Policy—1919-1935: A Clash of Policies
    Richard Gribble, CSC 73
  • Christianity and the Common Good: Generating Benevolence and Pursuing the Decent Equilibrium in International Fieldwork
    Brian Robert Calfano 101
  • A Tug-of-War over Islam: Religious Faith, Politics and the Moroccan Response to Islamist Violence
    Jack Vahram Kalpakian 118

  • Mead, Sidney E. The Nation with the Soul of a Church
    Edwin S. Gaustad 137

  • Meacham, Jon. American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
    Garrett Ward Sheldon 143
  • Meacham, Jon. American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation
    Paul Simmons 145
  • Akbarzadeh, Shahram. Islam and Political Violence: Muslin Diaspora and Radicalism in the West
    Howard M. Federpiel 147
  • Hanson, Eric O. Religion and Politics in the International System Today
    Jeanne L. Wilson 148
  • de Vries, Hent and Lawrence E. Sullivan, eds. Political Theologies: Public Religions in a Post-Secular World
    Ian Ward 150
  • Stone, Ronald H. Prophetic Realism: Beyond Militarism and Pacifism in an Age of Terror
    Jeffrey W. Robbins 152
  • Rieger, Joerg. Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times
    Brenda Llewellyn Ihssen 153
  • Harrison, Lawrence E. The Central Liberal Truth
    Harvey B. Feigenbaum 155
  • Ward, Keith. Is Religion Dangerous?
    John Kelsay 157
  • Lilla, Mark. The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West
    Micah Watson 158
  • Claar, Victor V. and Robin J. Klay. Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices
    Samuel Gregg 160
  • Witte, John, Jr. and Frank A. Alexander, eds. Introduction by Russell Hittinger. The Teachings of Modern Roman Catholicism on Law, Politics, & Human Nature
    Julia Fleming 161
  • Schall, James V. The Regensburg Lecture
    Clyde Ray 163
  • Scaperlanda, Michael A. and Teresa Stanton Collett, eds. Recovering Self-Evident Truths: Catholic Perspectives on American Law
    Francis J. Beckwith 164
  • Reynolds, Philip L. and John Witte, Jr., eds. To Have and To Hold: Marrying and its Documentation in Western Christendom, 400-1600
    Katherine Christensen 166
  • Stan, Lavinia and Lucian Turcescu. Religion and Politics in Post-Communist Romania
    Ines Angeli Murzaku 168
  • Jenkins, Gary W. John Jewel and the English National Church: The Dilemmas of an Erastian Reformer
    Bracy V. Hill II 169
  • Fessenden, Tracy. Culture and Redemption: Religion, the Secular, and American Literature
    Jeffrey D. Groves 171
  • Jayne, Allen. Lincoln and the American Manifesto
    Brian Dirck 172
  • Land, Richard. The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives are Missing in the God-and-Country Shouting Match
    James M. Dunn 174
  • Greenawalt, Kent. Does God Belong in the Public Schools?
    Walter Feinberg 175
  • Moore, R. Jonathan. Foreword by Martin E. Marty. Suing for America’s Soul: John Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute, and Conservative Christians in the Courts
    Heather Hadar Wright 177
  • Ferguson, Michaele L. and Lori Jo Marso, eds. W Stands for Women: How the George W. Bush Presidency Shaped a New Politics of Gender
    Laura K. Landolt 178

  • Notes on Church-State Affairs
    David W. Hendon and Charles McDaniel 183
  • Recent Doctoral Dissertations in Church and State 191
  • Calendar of Events in Church and State 193
  • Books Received 197
  • Notes on Church-State Affairs

    David W. Hendon and Charles McDaniel


    China’s leader Hu Jintao has been reaching out to religious leaders in his campaign to create “a harmonious socialist society.” In October, he told the Communist Party’s Seventeenth National Congress that they should not see religion as a threat to China’s social and economic goals, but instead religion should be a positive influence in achieving its goals. In December, Hu led a study session in the Politburo on the growing role of religion in China. According to an official report, he said, “We must strive to closely unite religious figures and believers among the masses around the party and government and struggle together with them to build an all-around moderately prosperous society while quickening the pace toward the modernization of socialism.”


    The German government undertook new steps that it hopes will eventually lead to the banning of the Church of Scientology. The Hamburg Ministry of the Interior took the lead in getting the interior ministers of the sixteen German Länder to call for investigations into the activities of the Scientologists. In 1997, the interior ministers developed a report stating that the group appeared to be a danger to “the free democratic order” but that more time was needed to evaluate the group conclusively. Prospects for doing something against the Scientologists improved when in 2004 a Cologne judge ruled against a Scientologist case brought to end surveillance. The Hamburg group is hoping that the new investigations will lead to a ban on the organization by 2008 or 2009. Scientologists see this as persecution, and some other Germans see the drive as unnecessary. Religion commentator Matthias Drobinski wrote that Scientology, in fact, is in decline in Germany. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in September that the Church is entitled to the rights and protections guaranteed under Article 9 of the European Human Rights Convention.


    Archbishop Christodoulos of the Greek Orthodox Church has died. Christodoulos did much to reinvigorate the church by creating Web sites and radio stations and making sure that priests behaved appropriately. He also dealt with Pope John Paul II to improve relations with Catholics. He demanded and got an apology from John Paul II for past offenses such as the desecration by crusaders in 1215 of Hagia Sophia, the great church in Constantinople.


    A report by the All India Christian Council supported by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and the Christian Legal Association said there were hundreds of anti-Christian actions in Orissa state around Christmas. It said that many homes and churches were damaged or destroyed and four people were killed. Authorities reportedly did nothing to stop the violence, which was carried out by members of the Hindu extremist group Vishwa Hinud Parishad.


    The Malaysian government said that a Catholic newspaper called Herald cannot use the word “Allah.” Abdullah Mohammed Zin, a minister, also said that non-Muslim publications could not use the words solat (prayer), kaabah (the shrine in Mecca), and baituallah (house of god). The newspaper did not obey the order because its publishing permit does not contain this requirement, and it is suing the government over the case. The Evangelical Church of Borneo in eastern Malaysia is also suing the government because it has long used an Indonesian translation of the Bible which uses the word “Allah.” According to the suit, the use of the word by Christians predates Islam.

    There were reports that officials of the Internal Security Ministry had confiscated some Christian books from bookstores either because of their use of the word Allah or because of their use of images of biblical prophets. Dr. Herman Shastri of the Council of Churches Malaysia said he did not see how these things could offend Muslims since the publications were not intended for them, but some Muslims claim that Christians engage in vigorous proselytizing. Security officials claim they do not target Christians but do regular checks for offensive publications.


    The government of the Netherlands has decided not to impose a general ban on the wearing of burqas for security reasons, but it may attempt a ban on them and full-face veils in government offices and schools.


    Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan warned that not giving Turkey full membership in the European Union (EU) could make it a “club of Christians.” Entry, on the other hand, would help bridge the gap between West and the Islamic world. France and Germany offered Turkey the status of a “privileged partnership” rather than membership, but President Tayyip Erdogan rejected the offer. Aside from religion there are other issues that divide the two sides. Turkey, for example, refused to the give trade privileges to Cyprus, which it does not recognize. Some Europeans also distrust the political power of the Turkish army. Babacan dismissed the idea of an undemocratic military as a nonissue.

    Despite demonstrations against it, the Turkish parliament passed a constitutional amendment ending the ban on women wearing the headscarf at universities. The measures easily secured the required two-thirds vote, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan signed the law. The amendment came into effect on 25 February but it was unclear exactly what kind of head covering was being allowed at the various universities. Some faculty were unhappy with the new policy.


    Ali Al Shihabi of Dubai created the first online financial Web site for Muslims, called iHilal.com. Thus far, the greatest number of users has been from the United States, but Muslims around the world are increasingly turning to it as Internet access increases. Muslim investing is difficult because Muslims are not supposed to invest in companies involved in alcohol or gambling or that make profits from interest payments.


    In a new book, a collection of essays, and an appearance on BBC, writer Martin Amis said that he is not a racist because of comments he made in 2006 about a terrorist plot. He said he respects Islam and the Prophet Mohammed but still is opposed to Islamism and Jihadism.

    Scientists at the Newcastle University have used embryos to develop a process they expect to help prevent women from passing hereditary diseases on to their children. The scientists created the embryos using DNA from a man and two women in a lab tests. The intent is to help women with diseases of the mitochondria. There are about fifty of these, including muscular dystrophy. Josephine Quintaville of the group Comment on Reproductive Ethics denounced the experiment, saying that the scientists were experimenting on human beings. She also that it was “risky, dangerous” and was heading in the direction of creating “designer babies.”


    Church, State, and the Courts: A member of the Las Vegas, Nevada Police Department has filed a religious discrimination suit against the LVPD for not allowing him to wear a beard and head covering as required by his faith tradition. Steven Riback, an Orthodox Jew, has been a policeman in Las Vegas for nine years. This issue surfaced recently because Riback formerly served as a member of the Vice Squad where he wore a beard and head covering (though non-traditional) as part of his disguise. After six weeks of serving in a new assignment, Riback was instructed to shave his beard. He responded by filing an appeal with the LVPD requesting “religious accommodation.” The LVPD already had a medical exemption in place for the saving requirement; however, it refused to grant Riback a religious exemption. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Rutherford Institute have agreed to serve as co-counsels for Riback in his suit against the LVPD.

    The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed an amicus brief representing more than 50 members of Congress and over 80,000 Americans requesting that a federal district court in New Hampshire not accept a lawsuit challenging the inclusion of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. The brief was written in response to a suit filed by the Freedom from Religion Foundation against the U.S. Congress stating that “one Nation, under God” violates the Constitution. The ACLJ’s brief observes prior Supreme Court “proclamations” on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance and states that “while the First Amendment affords atheists complete freedom to disbelieve, it does not compel the federal judiciary to redact religious references in every area of public life in order to suit atheistic sensibilities.”

    A Florida voucher initiative called the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), which provides students from failing public schools assistance so that they can attend religious or other private schools, has been resurrected after having been ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court. A state constitutional amendment has been proposed that would overturn the court decision that determined Governor Jeb Bush’s voucher program violated the state constitution. The proposed amendment has drawn considerable opposition from the Florida Education Association, a statewide teachers union. The Supreme Court’s original decision was based on its opinion that the OSP would result in a divided and inequitable public school system in Florida.

    A federal district court judge has temporarily blocked legislation in Oregon that would have provided for same-sex civil unions. Judge Michael Mosman issued the order on 28 December 2007, just three days before the legislation was to take effect. The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) initiated a lawsuit on 3 December that charged state officials with invalidating voter signatures that were intended to support a referendum that would overturn the civil union law. The ADF charged that as many as 254 signatures were “wrongfully invalidated” thus blocking the referendum. A February hearing has been scheduled in Judge Mosman’s court to hear the case concerning the referendum. The Oregon legislation aims to extend “benefits, protections, and responsibilities to committed same-sex partners and their children that are comparable to those provided to married individuals and their children by the laws of this state.” Legislators have pointed out, however, that the bill does not seek to fully legalize same-sex unions and bring them into equality with traditional marriage between a man and woman; rather, it seeks to eliminate most forms of discrimination against same-sex couples.

    Global Warming Controversy: Sen. James Inahofe (R-OK), a member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, sponsored a report that presents skeptical statements from some 400 scientists concerning climate change and global warming. The report further warns of what some are describing as a “religious-like belief” in global warming within the scientific community. Francis Massen, a scientist at the Physics Laboratory in Luxemburg contends that “there is an unrestrained contest among media, environmental groups, and politicians to paint as dire a picture as possible.” Others, including Dr. Kit Batten, managing director for energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress, claim that “religious rhetoric” is used in the Senate report in the attempt to debunk scientific claims of global warming. Perhaps Massen best summarizes the conflict in a report by the CNS News Service: “It seems that in the climatic area a new faith fight has broken out, which has all the characteristics of historical religion.”

    American Knowledge of the First Amendment: The Christian Science Monitor, citing a study by the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center, reported in January that only a narrow majority of Americans (56 percent) believe that all citizens, regardless of their faith tradition, should receive full freedom of worship. This survey result marks a significant decline in belief of the universality of religious freedom from a similar poll taken in 2000 in which 72 percent responded affirmative that all persons should be able to worship freely. Some have noted that this poll comes at a time when there is a perceived decline in the federal courts’ application of the religious liberty clauses of the First Amendment for the protection of religious minorities. At the same time, there appears to be a rising belief among Americans that Christianity as the largest of the nation’s religious traditions should received certain privileges and benefits that are not extended to other faiths. John Witte, Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, stated: “It’s a disquieting fact that the First Amendment clauses are now very weak provisions, not giving the robust protection . . . that historically and for much of the twentieth century they did provide.” One positive sign in the report is in the area of public education where there appears to be increased emphasis on the rights of students to religious expression in school settings.

    Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Based on 35,000 interviews, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has found that more than one-quarter of American adults (28 percent) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion—or no religion at all. America is also on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country, with only 51 percent of those surveyed claiming they are members of Protestant denominations. Today, fewer than one in four (24 precent) describe themselves as Catholic, a number that would have been much more pronounced if not for the immigrant population. Constant movement characterizes the religious landscape, with every major religious group gaining and losing adherents. Those who are joining the unaffiliated religious group outnumber those moving out of the unaffiliated group by more than a three-to-one margin. More than six in ten Americans age 70 and older (62 percent) are Protestant with the younger generation, ages 18-29, more likely than those age 70 and older to say that they are not affiliated with any particular religion (25 percent vs. 8 percent). And age is not the only indicator of change. Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Among people who are married, nearly four in ten (37 percent) are married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation. The survey explores a host of other shifts in the fluid and varied nature of contemporary American religious culture.

    Presidential Election: News reports revealed in January that Sen. Hillary Clinton was able to secure over $1 million in federal funds last year to aid a Harlem-based non-profit organization called the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC). She has now received the endorsement of Rev. Calvin O. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, one of the oldest black churches in the U.S. Butts also serves as chairman of the ADC, which focuses on providing low-income housing, economic and educational development, and provision of social services. In an unrelated story, the government watchdog organization Citizens Against Government Waste, reported that Sen. Clinton received the most earmarks of all the U.S. presidential candidates who have served in Congress.

    Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has consistently affirmed his statement that he believes the Christian Right has “hijacked” religion and teamed with politicians to portray those unsympathetic with their political and religious views as unpatriotic. The Senator stated that it would be helpful for those on the Right to “remember the critical role that the separation of church and state has played in preserving not only our democracy but also our religious practice.” Obama has been forced to deal with the lingering perception among many Americans that he is Muslim; the Senator is in fact a member of the United Church of Christ.

    The Baltimore Sun reported that Sen. John McCain, in a speech at Kalamazoo Christian High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan, stated that Americans should keep in mind that we are a “Judeo-Christian valued nation” in attempts to deal with the problem of illegal immigration. McCain said that his words were not an attempt to appeal to conservatives and that he has used the same description of American values in his campaign speeches throughout the country. In further comments on the immigration issue, McCain stated that if he is elected, illegal immigrants will not “be rewarded or have any advantage over anyone else because they broke our laws.”

    Death Penalty: The Rutherford Institute reported that it has joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an amicus filing asking that the U.S. Supreme Court rule the State of Kentucky’s lethal injection method is “cruel and unusual punishment” and violates the Eighth Amendment. The brief was filed in Baze v. Rees, and challenges the three-chemical sequence of lethal injection that is employed by every state that uses the lethal injection method. The brief contends that after lethal injection was initiated in Oklahoma, it was subsequently adopted by states without adequate testing and in a “shroud of secrecy” that has kept the procedure beyond public scrutiny. Attorneys for the Rutherford Institute contend that lethal injection procedures are “ill-considered, ill-balanced misgovernment completely at odds with civilized standards of decency and contemporary values.”


    Hannah Arendt Circle 28-30 March 2008 Atlanta, Georgia

    Devoted to the study of Hannah Arendt’s work, the Departments of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at Emory University will host the second independent conference for the Hannah Arendt Circle and welcomes interdisciplinary participation. For information, see the website: http;//www.arendtcircle.com. Contact person: Karin Fry.

    A Conference on Civil Society and Sphere Sovereignty 17-19 April 2008 Princeton Theological Seminary Princeton, New Jersey

    The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology will host “A Conference on ‘Civil Society and Sphere Sovereignty’,” in order to explore the resources and ideas that are characteristic of neo-Calvinist political thought with the aim of critically examining their relevance to contemporary debates about religion and politics in a secular society. For information, please call (609) 497-7940; fax (609) 497-1826.

    Baptists and First Amendment Issues 22-24 May 2008 Baptist History and Heritage Society Mercer University Atlanta, Georgia

    The 2008 meeting of the Baptist History and Heritage Society will be held 22-24 May, on the Atlanta campus of Mercer University. The topic will be “Baptists and First Amendment Issues,” and the meeting will be hosted by The Center for Baptist Studies of Mercer University and cosponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia. For information, contact: Dr. Pamela R. Durso, Baptist History and Heritage Society, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341. Telephone: (770) 457-5540.

    Media, Spiritualities and Social Change 4-7 June 2008 University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder, Colorado

    Organized by the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, this interdisciplinary conference explores the ways in which media culture, civic engagement and spiritualities intersect to form practices, discourses and the material expressions of social change. For information, see the website: http://mediareligion.org or call: (303) 492-1357.

    Catholic Social Work: Living the Mission 8-9 June 2008 Grand Rapids, Michigan

    The Catholic Social Workers National Association, in alliance with the Acton Institute, will have their inaugural conference. For information, email: cswna@catholic.org or call: Donald R. Gatewood at (317) 416-8285.

    The Impact of Worldviews—Secular and Religious—on the Sustainability of Democracies 4-8 August 2008 Highlands Institute for American Religious and Philosophical Thought Assisi, Italy

    Relevant topics include: Is the concept of worldviews defensible? Which worldviews support healthy democracies; what do they have in common? Are the outspoken advocacy of religious worldviews and the conflicts among them incompatible with democratic processes? How can democracies sustain themselves against threats from extremist worldviews? For information via email, contact: Dr. Robert Tapp tappx001@umn.edu; or Dr. Delwin Brown dbrown@psr.edu.