Winter 1999

Winter 1999

Education, Religion, and Prayer

Reverend Eugene Rivers and writer Wendy Kaminer cross swords over the separation of church and state, the plight of public schools, and the power of prayer

There are many quiet, noncontroversial, apolitical members of the clergy in Massachusetts–but the Rev. Eugene Rivers is not one of them. As one of the founders of Boston’s Ten Point Coalition, Rivers has been on the forefront of the battle to stop gang violence and delinquency in the city, a cause that has won him(...)

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The Chaplain is in the House

It’s one of those little-discussed State House mysteries: Why does the House of Representatives have a chaplain who starts each day’s session with a prayer, while the Senate has no regular cleric and rarely prays together? Are representatives more spiritual than their senatorial counterparts? Or does the House simply require more divine inspiration–or intervention–than the(...)

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The AntiAid Amendment

Every time the debate over public financing of private and religious schools heats up in Massachusetts, we hear the same legal arguments from each side of the debate: Funding advocates claim the state’s ban on government aid to private and parochial schools was motivated by 19th-century anti-Catholic bigotry and has no place in contemporary law.(...)

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School Vouchers

School voucher programs, which give government checks to parents to send their children to private or religious schools, are currently operating in just two communities nationwide–Milwaukee and Cleveland. While the Milwaukee program has survived challenges all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Cleveland effort is still under review by the Ohio Supreme(...)

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Democrats and Republicansthe Long View

When he took office in January, Gov. Paul Cellucci promised to make up for what some consider the single biggest failing of the Weld-Cellucci administration. He vowed to rebuild the Massachusetts Republican Party, which has languished under years of executive neglect. A look back at the last half-century of voter registration records shows just how(...)

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Catholics in the Legislature

Protestants may have ruled in colonial Massachusetts, but there’s little doubt who’s in charge on Beacon Hill today: Catholics. Massachusetts is one of the most Catholic states in the country, with about half the population considered adherents. (By contrast, only about one-fourth of the U.S. population is Catholic.) By some measures, Massachusetts has the second(...)

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Scenes from an Ed School

It’s 10:30 a.m. and time for social studies. “Good morning, class!” Angela Deuso, 22, beams from the front of the room. “Good morrrn-ing!” her pupils sing out together. The students are surrounded by science projects, maps, and globes, but this is no elementary school. It’s a teacher-education course at Framingham State College. Deuso and a(...)

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Cellucci at The Helm

True story: Just after winning the 1990 gubernatorial election, William F. Weld and several aides were bustling through the Lexington, Kentucky airport on their way to a crash course in running a government. And no wonder. Back home, the Massachusetts budget had been wrecked by a brutal combination of overzealous public spending and an underperforming(...)

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Cardinal Law’s Challenge

Has the Cardinal Lost Clout?

It’s not yet 7:30 on a chilly morning in November, and men and women in crisp business attire are filtering into a ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Boston. Cardinal Bernard F. Law has called a “Challenge to Leadership” meeting, an occasion that regularly has power brokers and problem solvers concentrating on the larger(...)

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Faith in Politics

There has been scant commentary in recent months about the bright side, the upside, of the impeachment saga that absorbed Washington and the national media for well more than a year. In the spirit of correcting that, here’s a small silver lining: We have been reminded of who Andrew Johnson was. More to the point,(...)

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