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All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Point Pleasant Unpleasantness: N.J. Town Council Should Give Up Sectarian Prayers

I was at a holiday dinner party in Philadelphia over the weekend, and the Austrian history professor sitting next to me asked what I did for a living. I explained my work with Americans United for Separation of Church and State and waited for his response.

He smiled wryly and said his fellow Europeans had solved the church-state problem long ago.

Ark Park Update: Ky. Gov. Says State Won’t Allow Job Bias – But That’s Not Enough

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at least has one thing right: taxpayers should never be required to fund discrimination.

Earlier this month, Beshear outraged scientists, civil liberties activists and, indeed, lots of people who care about reasonable and responsible government, with his plan to provide tax incentives for the developers of a creationism-themed park featuring a full-size rendering of Noah’s ark.

Victory In Louisiana!: State Ed. Board Approves Sound Biology Textbooks

It appears that the state of Louisiana has come finally come to its senses when it comes to science education.

The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) voted 8-2 yesterday to approve high school biology textbooks that teach sound science, despite complaints by creationists who felt the books gave too much credibility to the theory of evolution.

Shariah Silliness: States Ponder Bigotry-Based Bans On Islamic Law

Just in case anyone is wondering, allow me to state, for the record, that Americans United for Separation of Church and State does not support the imposition of Islamic law on anyone in this country.

Of course, it would be unlikely that this would ever happen. Estimates of the U.S. Muslim population vary, but the high end is about 6 million – in a nation of more than 300 million people.

Holiday Humbugs: Religious Right’s Phony ‘War On Christmas’ Getting Thinner By The Minute

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) is not happy this holiday season.

He feels his religious beliefs have been snubbed now that his hometown has taken the word “Christmas” out of its seasonal parade and exchanged it for the word “holiday.”

“I feel like if they take Christ out, then take me out, too," said Inhofe, despite the fact that the parade is still replete with Christmas symbols and decorations.

Congressional Subcommittee Holds Hearing on the Faith-Based Initiative

By Nate Hennagin

On November 18, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on the Faith-Based Initiative. As we reported, AU’s own Barry Lynn testified at the hearing along with Professor Douglas Laycock and Professor Melissa Rogers, who also served as chair of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

‘Faith-Based’ Furnace?: Houses Of Worship Reap Tax-Funded Windfall From Stimulus Package

Did you send a contribution to the Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis so it could buy a new heating and cooling system?

You may think you didn’t – but you did. More accurately, your leaders in Washington, D.C., did it for you.

Politico reports today that at least $140 million of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in 2009 ended up in the coffers of “faith-based” groups – and that this was the result of deliberate effort by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Ark Park Earmark: Kentucky Governor Floats Religion-Funding Scheme

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear thinks it’s a good idea for his state to be the home of Noah’s Ark – one that will include dinosaurs!

Beshear announced yesterday his plan to provide tax incentives to the developers of a creationism theme park that will feature a replica of the well-known biblical boat.

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