“‘They’ve done so much with outlawing and restricting access to abortion that they’ve set their sights on birth control because there’s nothing else really they can do to further restrict abortion here in Wisconsin. Which is counter-intuitive because if you’re against abortion in the least you’d think you would see the value in enhancing access to birth control, the very means women look to for preventing pregnancy and the need for abortion.'” The BBC’s Jill McGiveringreports on the increasingly common incidents of anti-abortion doctors and pharmacists refusing to fill contraception prescriptions, and the moves of 12 states to introduce so-called “conscience clauses,” which allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs, including the Pill, on moral grounds, without losing their jobs.

The Daily Kos speculates: If Bush ran against Jesus…

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), Sri Lanka’s parliamentary party of Buddhist monks, has called for a Constitutional amendment declaring Buddhism the country’s official State Religion. Until now, Buddhism has enjoyed a favored position as the country’s foremost protected religion, but debate over a proposed anti-conversion bill — meant to impede the efforts of Western missionaries who, the bill’s backers claim, use coercive means to spread Christianity — has helped exacerbate religious nationalism. A JHU spokesman told TamilNet that the present language favoring of Buddhism was “‘ambiguous and vague'” and without a clear definition of the “‘foremost place'” the religion occupied, the distinction was without value.

The requirement to state religion and grandfather’s name on entry forms to Israel is being reconsidered with an eye to its abolishment.

A new poll places Canada among the most secular countries in the world.

“‘Prior to 9/11, racial profiling was frequently referred to as “driving while black.” Now, the practice can be more accurately characterized as driving, flying, walking, worshipping, shopping or staying at home while Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, Muslim or of Middle Eastern appearance.'” An Amnesty International report finds that an estimated 32 million people, or one in nine U.S. residents, have been profiled by police on the grounds of race, religion or ethnicity.

Tomorrow, PBS will begin airing its two-part special on “The Question of God”: an imagined debate on the existence of God between the two heavyweights of atheism and Christianity, respectively, Sigmund Freud and C.S. Lewis. Paul O’Donnell interviews the imagined moderator, Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Armand M. Nicholi Jr., on whose book the show is based, for Beliefnet.