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

Tennessee Intolerance: Legislators Propose Jailing Followers Of Islamic Law

In November, voters in Oklahoma approved a misguided state constitutional amendment designed to ban Islamic law – known as Shariah – in the state,

The fact that there was no effort to impose Shariah law in Oklahoma and that even if there were the First Amendment would prevent it did not sway Sooner State voters; 70 percent of them were apparently concerned about a coming wave of mandatory burqa wearing and backed the measure at the polls.

Congressional Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on DC Vouchers Tomorrow

By Nate Hennagin

Tomorrow at 9:30 am, the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the District of Columbia in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs will hold a hearing titled, "The DC Opportunity Scholarship Program: Keeping the Door Open." This hearing, led by Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Ranking Member Danny Davis (D-IL), will likely focus on HR 471, the bill to reauthorize the DC voucher program in the House of Representatives.

Was America Founded To Be A Christian Nation?: AU’s Oklahoma Chapter Welcomes Debate

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Educate and inform the whole mass of the people...they are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

Americans United has taken these words to heart, as it has many other statements made by Jefferson. AU strongly believes that the best way to bring about positive change and preserve religious freedom is to educate Americans on the importance of church-state separation, particularly at the grassroots level.

Marriage In Maryland: Senators Resist Lobbying Campaign By Church Hierarchy

Last night, when the Maryland Senate passed a marriage equality bill by 25-21, a win was scored for equal protection -- and for church-state separation.

The measure, if approved by the House and signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley, will allow same-sex couples to marry in the state.  It’s legislation that isn’t sitting well with the Catholic hierarchy, especially considering the large number of Catholics who hold public office in the state.

Constitutional Commandment: Virginia School Board Obeys First Amendment – At Least For Now

Good news from Giles County, Va.! It looks as though local school board members may have decided not to waste precious financial resources on a church-state lawsuit they were almost certain to lose.

On Tuesday, Ten Commandments posters in all local schools came down.

That may mean the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the Virginia ACLU will not be taking this constitutional violation into court.

Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced

Oklahoma is one of the most religiously conservative states in the country. Fundamentalists have a strong political presence there, and “culture war” battles are common. This is the state, you’ll recall, that recently tried to ban Sharia law – even though no Muslims are attempting to impose it there.

It’s always a pleasant surprise, then, when Oklahoma legislators resist Religious Right pressure and do the right thing. And yesterday they did.

Bad Conscience: Obama Administration Rejects Oppressive Bush Medical Regulations

Last week, the Obama administration did something that didn’t capture much media attention but should have: It officially overturned a bad policy from the Bush years and issued a series of final regulations dealing with health care and the right of “conscience.”

Commandments Clash: Va. County Has One Last Chance To Avoid A Lawsuit – And Should Take It

Public education officials in Giles County, Va., can’t say they weren’t warned.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to school officials recently telling them to remove Ten Commandments displays from the schools. The officials were also advised by their own attorney to take down the religious posters.

At first, they did. But when members of the community complained, the school board voted to put the Ten Commandments back into the schools.

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