With thousands of other people commenting on yesterday's Supreme Court decision allowing school vouchers and Wednesday's 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision banning the Pledge of Allegiance, you don't need any more commentary from Weblog (Actually, just finding all these stories took so long this morning that there's no time left to write.) Those aren't the only big stories going on, either—keep scrolling down for more.

Voucher decision news and reaction:

Voucher decision analysis:

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Voucher opinion:

  • Vouchers pass court test, face real-world challenge | Whether this constitutional green light will spur educational reform is far from certain—particularly if states seize on the ruling to build voucher programs that aren't focused on those who need them most: poor students in failing schools (Editorial, USA Today)

  • Vouchers have overcome | Free at last, private school choice is free at last (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)

  • The supremes pledge allegiance to God | Praise the Lord and pass the vouchers to the churches! (Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com)

  • The wrong ruling on vouchers | The Supreme Court's decision on school vouchers was a bad decision on constitutional grounds, and a bad one for American education (The New York Times)

  • The refining of religious neutrality | Yesterday the Supreme Court played a calming role in the culture wars by declaring that the era of strict separation between church and state is over (Jeffrey Rosen, The New York Times)

  • Letting parents decide | Vouchers may offer answers for some children. In fact, our quarrel with the Cleveland program would be that the vouchers are too small (Editorial, The Washington Post)

  • A win for America's children | It is difficult to overstate the importance of the Supreme Court's decision yesterday in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (Rod Paige, The Washington Post)

  • Implacable enemies of choice | The opposition to school choice for the poor is the starkest immorality in contemporary politics (George F. Will, The Washington Post)

  • The price of vouchers | The court needed to do an advanced yoga twist to find that a state program dedicating 96 percent of its funds to religious schools does not advance religion (Editorial, The Boston Globe)

  • Kausfiles' (tentative) simple unified court theory | Tying the "pledge" and voucher cases together (Mickey Kaus)

  • Voucher ruling helps clarify church-state role | The Supreme Court Thursday rightly extended a trend it began in the middle 1980s to give religion the same standing that secular institutions have in the public square (Editorial, The Dallas Morning News)

  • Up from mediocrity | Vouchers in Milwaukee: The Polly Williams story (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 1990)

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  • Opening the schoolhouse door | The politicians can't stop school choice now (John Fund, The Wall Street Journal)

  • School vouchers win backing of high court | The 5-4 ruling allows use of taxpayer money to send students to parochial campuses. It's a major victory for 'choice' movement (Los Angeles Times)

  • Good news for education | The Supreme Court says that when the government gives people a voucher to spend on education and they choose to spend it at a religious school, this no more constitutes government endorsement of religion than spending G.I. Bill money at Pepperdine (Samuel Walker, National Review Online)

  • Choice win | The Court made it clear that while the Establishment Clause forbids, well, "establishments" of religion, it does not require reformers to discriminate against religious schools and the families who choose them (Richard W. Garnett, National Review Online)

  • On to the state legislatures | The outcome of the case is not terribly surprising, given that the Court has ruled numerous times in recent years in favor of neutral aid to religious institutions. What is surprising, however, is how solid the decision is (Robert Alt, National Review Online)

  • What's next for school choice? | Lots of possibilities, but also plenty of problems (John J. Miller, National Review Online)

  • The stuff of kids' dreams | While we chalk one up for freedom, we should not forget how hard the struggle has been and how many people have helped bring about this victory (Clint Bolick, National Review Online)

Pledge of Allegiance news:

Pledge of Allegiance reaction:

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Pledge opinion:

  • Court pledge ruling: One nation, divisible | A roundup of newspaper editorials (USA Today)

  • When God goes public | By acknowledging God while ordering firm protection for religious minorities, the Founders had it right—both ways (Editorial, USA Today)

  • One nation, under Zeus | God —or the Supreme Court —should save the honorable Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from itself (Editorial, The Wall Street Journal)

  • Judging God | Just what we need, the Pledge is now unconstitutional (Daniel Henninger, The Wall Street Journal)

  • Jerry Falwell and Barry Lynn debate pledge ruling (CNN)

  • Atheists and pantheists may take a moment to bask in victory | Even those of us who are made uncomfortable by the phrase "under God" have long since treated it as part of the national boilerplate, no more controversial than that weird eye on the top of the pyramid on the back of the $1 bill (Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle)

  • Words don't make us godlike | It's not the sudden ejection of God from our Pledge of Allegiance that is the real problem this morning. It is the slow, steady, been-going-on-quietly-for-years ejection of God from our lives (Beverly Beckham, Boston Herald)

  • Taking the pledge | Overwrought argument intoxicates a federal court (Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

  • Do kids understand the Pledge of Allegiance? | Only the God part (Timothy Noah, Slate.com)

  • America's pledge | The entire moral inheritance of our Founding Fathers is predicated on the repeated idea that something beyond the power and wisdom of mere mortals is necessary for the survival of the United States (Victor Davis Hanson, New York Post)

  • A new slugfest, under God | The culture wars, after a brief time-out for such mundane matters as fighting terrorism, are back (Howard Kurtz, The Washington Post)

  • Pledging allegiance: Wrong for the right reasons | Before the 9th Circuit panel's ruling, we combined sharp limitations on religion's role in government institutions with at least some permission for its expression. Politicians are angry with the two judges not because they are "nuts," but because their unfortunate yet principled decision has forced us to decide explicitly if this is what we really want (E. J. Dionne Jr, The Washington Post)

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  • Rise! Shine! Give 'under God' your glory! | In the Senate Chamber, it's suddenly pledge week (David Montgomery, The Washington Post)

  • 'One nation, under God' | There is quite a difference between a general reference to God and an official state-supported religion (Editorial, The Washington Times)

  • One nation, under clods | Ever since prayer was taken out of schools, and ever since the Pledge of Allegiance was stricken from the daily goings-on in our public schoolhouses, the public education system in this country has gone downhill — leaving our children lost (Deborah Simmons, The Washington Times)

  • Rushing to the defense of God | I more or less completely agree with the Religious Right in their denunciations of this batty decision. I just found it hysterical to see how quickly the political class responded to the court's ruling (Jonah Goldberg)

  • Much ado about propagandist pledge | The decision is entirely correct in constitutional terms, although, as an atheist and a civil libertarian, I wish that a more substantive issue than the Pledge were responsible for reigniting the passions of the religiously correct (Susan Jacoby, Newsday)

Pledge history:

Other church-state issues:

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Life ethics:

Billy Graham in Cincinnati:

  • Graham regrets anti-Jewish quip | Many Cincinnati-area Jews may have forgiven the Rev. Billy Graham, but will not soon forget his words (The Cincinnati Post)

  • Also: Billy Graham apologizes for anti-Jewish comments | The Rev. Billy Graham met with Jewish leaders this week and apologized for comments he made 30 years ago that a Jewish "stranglehold" of the media was ruining the country (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland)

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Sexuality and gender:

Church controversies:

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  • Holy smoke! Vatican bans puffing on the job | A law approved by Pope John Paul and made public on Thursday will ban smoking in nearly all closed spaces inside the 108-acre city-state as of July 1 (Reuters)

  • Women plan Catholic ordination | Leaders threaten excommunication (The Daily Telegraph, Surry Hills, NSW, Australia)

  • Clerics' sex reporting bill proves unexpectedly complicated | What seemed last week to be nothing more than a seed of doubt over a bill that would require priests to report suspected sexual abuse has grown into a thorny legal question about how to avoid discouraging sexually active teenagers from seeking health care or counseling (The New York Times)

Other articles of interest:

  • Bitter test of a flock's faith | Congregation struggles to endure damage to church (Newsday)

  • Group turns prayers into houses in Habitat for Humanity project | Muslims, Jews, and Catholics who gathered after 9/11 will join with Protestants in suburban Seattle to build houses (The Seattle Times)

  • Proving ground | A seminary campus appears tranquil, but it's a rough-and-tumble time for students forced to confront the hard issues of faith (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

  • Religion News in Brief | Rowan Williams, Southern Baptist abuse, Salvation Army dispute, Henry Lyons returns, and other stories (Associated Press)

  • Jerry Falwell's kingdom | If he gets his way in federal court this summer, the conservative pastor will leave his most visible legacy—a master-planned Christian community where members of his flock can live from "birth to antiquity." (Associated Press)

  • Spotlight dims on local man | But nearly three months after making the astonishing claim that his father was the true assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Ronald Denton Wilson of Keystone Heights remains a commodity for the media, if not the FBI (The Gainesville [Fla.] Sun)

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