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Reading, Writing And Respect: School Officials Should Resolve To Protect Students' Religious Freedom

Happy New Year! After a break for the holidays, I'm back at work here at Americans United. And, as far as I know, it's back to school for kids across the country today, too.

In an effort to make everyone's lives easier in 2010 – including students, parents, teachers and school officials – we'd like to start things off by asking all public school staff to make this a constitutionally sound new year and resolve to uphold the wall of separation between church and state.

Snow Job: Religious Right Pastor Has No Truck With D.C. Same-Sex Marriage Law

Over the weekend, Washington was slammed by a treacherous snowstorm that dumped two feet of snow in some areas.

Since I grew up in Ohio and went to college in Syracuse, N.Y., the snow didn't really bother me much. But for others here, the blizzard was a difficult experience.

What A Fruitcake!: Falwell Lawyer Serves Up Heaping Helping Of Holiday Humbug

The Christmas decorations went up at my house the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Let's see: wreath on the door, Christmas tree by the stairs, Nativity scene on the sideboard, hammer and sickle on the.... Wait a minute! Where is the darn hammer and sickle? That infamous symbol of the old Soviet Union must be here somewhere.

According to Religious Right pundit Matt Barber, staffers at Americans United and the ACLU are part of a secularist plot to carry on the communists' crusade against religion. The Soviets failed, so we supposedly have taken up the cause.

It's A Wonderful Lie: Religious Right Claims Of Public School Hostility To Christmas Don't Add Up

An unusual story began making the rounds on right-wing Web sites last week. It seems a second grader in a Taunton, Mass., public school had been suspended for drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross.

As the Taunton Daily Gazette reported, a class at Maxham Elementary School was supposedly given an assignment to make a Christmas-themed drawing. One 9-year-old boy drew a stick figure on a cross. He was suspended.

Military Advance: Religious Tolerance On The Upswing At The Air Force Academy

Four years ago, the situation regarding religious freedom at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs could only be described as grim.

An air of evangelical Christianity permeated the facility. Cadets were encouraged to see films like "The Passion of the Christ." During a training session for cadets, an Aca ­demy chaplain urged evangelicals to convert their classmates to their brand of Christianity. He told cadets that those not "born again will burn in the fires of hell." Non-Christian cadets complained of harassment and intolerance.

Persecution Planet: Ensuring Freedom Of Conscience Is A World-Sized Problem

A team of international surveyors grab their clipboards and decide to travel around the world to study the state of religious freedom.

They arrive in Saudi Arabia and are told that they must comply with the strictest interpretation of Islamic law, so they continue to Bangladesh where they are threatened with physical violence when some of them declare a personal belief in Jesus Christ. When they get to sub-Saharan Africa, they find it less religiously restrictive than Europe….

Faith-Based Victory: Florida Court Greenlights Case Challenging Religion Subsidies

A Florida appellate court ruled yesterday that public funding of a "faith-based" prison program may violate the state's constitution.

The decision, Council for Secular Humanism, Inc. v. McNeil, serves as an important win for taxpayers who don't want to be forced to support religion.

Jesus Meets Einstein In Little Rock: You Don't Have To Be A Genius To Understand The Bill Of Rights

Ah, Christmas! The time of year when our thoughts turn to decorated holiday trees, presents, eggnog and Albert Einstein.

Wait a minute – Albert Einstein?

Yep, the theoretical physicist and all-around super-genius has become an official part of the holiday season, at least in Arkansas. Einstein will appear in a Solstice display at the state capitol in Little Rock, thanks to a recent ruling by a federal court.

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