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Memo To Lynchburg: Jerry Falwell Jr. Is Watching You (And Secretly Recording It All)

Better watch what you say if you’re in a meeting with Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.

According to a report in the Lynchburg (Va.) News & Advance this week, Falwell secretly videotaped a get-together between university representatives, the mayor and the city manager about the school’s zoning proposals.

The newspaper said Falwell signed off on the recording, which was made by concealing a camera behind some books.

Bigotry At World Relief: Publicly Funded Evangelical Charity Won’t Hire Non-Christians

“If you get a federal grant, you can’t use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can’t discriminate against them -- or against the people you hire -- on the basis of their religion,” explained then presidential-hopeful Barack Obama while discussing his proposed changes to the controversial “faith-based” initiative on the campaign trail in Ohio in 2008.

Sign Of The Times: ‘Hell Is Real’ Billboard May Cost Kentucky Its Federal Funds

Some Kentucky legislators seem to have a thing about church-state relations.

If the Bluegrass State’s lawmakers aren’t busy pushing for Ten Commandments displays on public land or advocating for the Bible to be taught in public schools, they’re looking for other ways to give religion a little governmental help.

The legislature’s latest debacle involves an aggressive effort to keep a “Hell is real” billboard standing beside a major interstate highway.

Stacked Deck: Truth Is Not In The Cards For Liberty Counsel’s ‘Adopt-a-Liberal’ Collection

My “Adopt-a-Liberal” cards have arrived!

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I spent some of my hard-earned cash on a set of 51 trading cards of famous liberals produced by Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal outfit associated with the the late Jerry Falwell’s empire. (The Counsel wants us to pick one or more of the subjects of these cards and pray for their conversion to religious and political rectitude – as the Falwellian Big Brothers define it.)

Heritage Of Shame: Right-Wing Foundation Exploits Poor D.C. Kids

Every morning, I pass through Union Station, a majestic restored train station, on my way to work at Americans United.

Union Station contains a stop for the Washington, D.C., subway, the Metro. Lately, I’ve noticed huge posters plastered all over the station walls. They depict pictures of smiling (mostly minority) children demanding to know why Congress won’t give them “scholarships” to attend private schools.

Waiting For God’s Endorsement?: The ADF’s Endgame Is Church-Based Political Power

Samuel Beckett, one of my favorite writers, had a lot to say about human nature and the inevitable repetition of inane life experiences. In Waiting for Godot, Krapp’s Last Tape and Endgame, the protagonists in Beckett’s most famous pieces are static creatures of habit; each repeats the same stale cycle of events, expecting a variation in circumstance. But invariably, each play ends almost exactly where it begins.

Dutch Treat: AU Helps Netherlands Newspaper Kick CAN Over Anti-Gay Extremism

Yesterday I received an interesting call from a reporter in the Netherlands. He was seeking information on an American Religious Right outfit called the Christian Action Network (CAN).

CAN is not a major player in the world of the Religious Right, but I am familiar with the Forest, Va.-based group. It’s pretty low-rent, a point I made clear in my 2000 book Close Encounters with the Religious Right.

Bah, Humbug: Florida City’s Holiday Policy Raises Church-State Concerns

From now on, only “legal” religions will be officially recognized in North Miami Beach – at least, that will be the case if the city council’s multicultural committee has its way.

According to the Miami Herald, the committee recommended that the council recognize one main holiday for every religion in the form of an official proclamation. It’s part of the city’s effort to be “fair” and “inclusive.”

Ave Church-State Separation!: Supreme Court Rejects High School Religious Music Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning declined to hear a case from Washington state concerning a young woman who wanted to play religious music during a public school graduation ceremony.

Kathryn Nurre was a senior at Mill Creek’s Henry M. Jackson High School in 2006 when she and other members of a school wind ensemble sought permission to play “Ave Maria” during graduation.

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