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

State Plate Grates: Kentucky Government Proposes ‘In God We Trust’ License Tags

There is trouble brewing in Kentucky once again. This time, the state government plans to offer new license plates for those who want to outwardly express their belief in God.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced plans to make available two standard-issue license plates next year – the traditional one that uses the state slogan “Unbridled Spirit,” and a new one that adds the words “In God We Trust.”

Good Medicine: Washington Pharmacy Board Makes The Right Call On Prescriptions And ‘Conscience’ Claims

The Washington Board of Pharmacy has made a wise (and unexpected) move.

Last night, the board voted 5-1 to keep in place a rule that protects patients’ rights. The regulation ensures that a pharmacy cannot refuse to fill prescriptions for “time-sensitive” medication, such as Plan B pills that can help prevent pregnancy after intercourse, just because it conflicts with the pharmacist’s “conscience” or religious beliefs.

Meeks Speaks: Chicago Mayoral Candidate Chafes At Limits On Church Politicking

Chicago mayoral candidate James T. Meeks doesn’t understand why his church can’t support his run for office.

As a pastor, he speaks from the pulpit every Sunday, mindful of the federal tax law that prevents him from seeking campaign support from his congregation.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Meeks says he follows the rules but he’s not happy about them.

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.

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