In late December, you start seeing “Top Ten” lists for the year that was. So without further ado, here are the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2016 (in my humble opinion, at least):
A Maine pagan has won the right to wear goat horns in a state-issued identification card. This is an example of the government treating all religions equally, and that’s a good thing.
Phelan Moonsong, 56, is a Pagan minister and a devotee of Pan. He has been wearing the goat horns since 2009, when he picked them up at a gathering of Pagan men.
To Moonsong, the horns are important religious attire.
Top U.S. Department of Justice and immigration officials should face legal scrutiny for the unconstitutional detention and torture of Muslims living peacefully in the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Americans United told the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.
A few days ago, a reporter asked President-elect Donald J. Trump about whether recent attacks in Berlin and Turkey had caused him to rethink or reevaluate his plans for a Muslim ban or Muslim registry. He responded, “You know my plans. All along, I’ve been proven to be right.”
It hasn’t been a secret what members of the Religious Right sought under their Christmas trees this year, and voters playing the role of Santa Claus delivered: Donald Trump for president.
We recently recapped how the “War on Christmas” is non-existent and is a ridiculous excuse for some Religious Right activists to throw a pity fest for themselves and pretend they’re oppressed while politicizing inclusive holiday greetings, decorations and religious symbols.
If U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confirmed as U.S. attorney general, his seat in the Senate will be open. The governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley (R), will have to a name a replacement to fill out the rest of Sessions’ term, which expires in 2020.
Bentley is getting a head start on things by interviewing potential replacements. One of the names on his short list may surprise you: It’s Roy Moore.
President-elect Donald Trump has picked Betsy DeVos to head the U.S. Education Department. DeVos is infamous for leading the crusade to create private school vouchers, but she’s also known for her Wild West approach to charter schools – and that should worry religious-liberty watchdogs.
Editor’s Note: Liz Hayes is Americans United’s new assistant director of communications. In this blog post, she explains what motivated her to want to work for Americans United.
I was born, raised and worked as a journalist for nearly 15 years in western Pennsylvania in the suburbs of Pittsburgh – the politically purple borderlands where liberalism drains into the conservative rural vastness that smears the center of the state red.
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Betsy DeVos as his nominee for Secretary of Education, despite the fact that she has no experience with public education. Instead, DeVos has led the crusade to create taxpayer-funded private school voucher programs, which undermine our public schools. What’s more, vouchers don’t improve educational outcomes, they lack accountability and oversight, they fund schools that discriminate and violate religious freedom.