Democratic presidential candidates are beginning to speak more openly
about their religious faith on the campaign trail. A July 2003 poll shows that relatively few Americans
express concern about the use of religious rhetoric by political
After three years at the helm of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public
Life, Melissa Rogers has decided to step down from that position next
month. Rogers has accepted a position as Visiting Professor of Religion
and Public Policy at the Wake Forest University Divinity School.
Nearly two years after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, higher numbers of Americans believe that Islam
is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its
followers, a recent poll reveals.
A poll released today by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that there has been an important shift in public perceptions of Islam.
A March 5 event brought together advocates, opponents and researchers
of the initiative for a look at the policies, legalities, numbers and
As Congress debates authorization of military action against Iraq,
scholars of war ethics continue to discuss under what circumstances an
attack by the U.S. would constitute a "just war."
As some Americans prepare to observe the National Day of Prayer
tomorrow—its 51st observance since Congress under President Truman
established an annual, national day of prayer in 1952—a recent survey
shows that many in the U.S. believe religion is the basis for this
As the Senate prepares to debate legislation to ban human cloning and
President Bush addresses the issue at the White House this afternoon, a
new survey reveals that by more than four to one, the public rejects scientific experimentation on the cloning
of human beings.
A poll released today by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that 8-in-10 Americans believe that religion has a positive influence in the world today.
The President's Council on Bioethics should work to establish a
framework for public moral debate and should determine how to make
progress in a discussion that is essentially gridlocked over the issue
of the moral status of the human embryo, a panel of Christian and Jewish
theologians and bioethics experts said last week.
"There's a proverb that says one generation plants a tree and another
gets the shade," said Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of
Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, reflecting on the office's first
year at an event sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
A diverse group of panelists will address such issues as the office's
relationship to the Executive Office of the President and to the various
federal agencies, the mission of the office, its activities over the
past year, and its plans for the future.
"You want to have a fair death penalty?" U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia asked an audience of nearly 500 academics and others at a
January 25 conference on religion and the death penalty. "You kill; you
die. That's fair."
In the past year, debate over the use of the death penalty in the U.S.
has become louder and more focused as the first federal executions since
1963 took place. While public support for the death penalty remains
high, it has fallen from a high of 77% five years ago to 63% in 2001.
The report released today by the White House Office of Faith-Based and
Community Initiatives analyzes current government policy toward
faith-based and other community social service providers—a topic of
great public interest and debate.
The scheduled executions of U.S. federal prisoners for the first time in
nearly four decades, as well as the recent Supreme Court decision
overturning the death sentence of a mentally retarded prisoner, have
once again brought debate over capital punishment into the American
In response to the recent introduction of legislation in Congress to
prohibit human cloning, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life hosted
a "rapid response" discussion of religious perspectives on the issue.
A new survey shows
that while religion plays a more prominent role in American public life,
sharp divisions of opinion exist around issues such as the separation
of church and state.
Events of the past year, including the presidential campaign's focus on
religion and politics, attention given to Attorney General Ashcroft's
religious convictions, and President Bush's establishment of the White
House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, illustrate that
the role of religion in public life is no longer an underlying
"The challenge ahead of us now, if we hope to respond to the public's
yearning for a better balance between faith and freedom, is as much
political as it is legal.
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