Saturday, December 29, 2007

Top Ten 2007 Developments In Church-State and Free Exercise of Religion

Here are my nominations for the 2007 Top Ten Developments in Church-State Separation/ Free-Exercise of Religion. A link to one of the postings on each development is also provided. I invite your comments, either concurring or dissenting, on my choices.

1. Religious views of candidates becomes major issue in race for Republican presidential nomination.
2. Supreme Court narrows standing in Establishment Clause cases: Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation.
3. Eighth Circuit strikes down state financing of faith-based prison rehabilitation program-- Americans United for Separation of Church and State v. Prison Fellowship Ministries.
4. Suits over property ownership of break-away churches mushroom, particularly as increasing number of Episcopal congregations opt for more conservative affiliations.
5. Christian beliefs on homosexuality lead to opposition to extension of federal Hate Crimes law.
6. Anti-funeral picketing laws directed at Westboro Baptist Church become subject of litigation in several states.
7. Sectarian prayer in Indiana legislature sparks litigation; 7th Circuit panel finds no taxpayer standing in case.
8. State pharmacy boards challenged over rules requiring dispensing of "morning after" pill.
9. Muslim foot basins in university and airport rest rooms provoke controversy.
10. Florida Hebrew language/Jewish culture publicly-financed charter school approved over protests.

For comparison, here are links to my top 10 picks for 2006 and 2005. You may also find it interesting to compare my choices with the 2007 top story picks by the Religion Newswriters as well as Time Magazine's picks for the Top 10 Religion Stories of 2007.