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Prayer Day Politics: In Louisiana, Religion And Government Mix Like Oil And Water

I understand why people living along the Gulf Coast are frustrated. The BP oil spill is an unmitigated environmental disaster, with as much as 2.5 million gallons of oil pouring into the region every day.

What’s especially frustrating is that, despite all of our modern technology and know-how, we don’t seem to be able to plug the well. The oil just keeps gushing forth.

At The Movies: New Documentary Examines Mormon Church Influence On Prop. 8 Vote

An interesting documentary is opening in some major cities this weekend, and if you get the chance, I’d suggest that you check it out.

Titled “8: The Mormon Proposition,” the film examines the role the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) played in helping pass Proposition 8 in California, which repealed marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Tax Dollars, Sectarian Bias: Publicly Funded Evangelical Agency Fights For Religious Discrimination

If Sylvia Spencer took a job at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, no one would ask her what her religious beliefs are. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of Americans would be horrified to think that such a consideration could affect her employment prospects for a position providing publicly funded social services.

HHS officials should ascertain her qualifications for the task at hand, and that would be it.

Truce Or Consequences: Religious Right Shoots Down Talk Of Cease-Fire In The ‘Culture Wars’

Is it time for a truce in the “culture wars”?

Indiana’s Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, thought so – for about five minutes. Under outraged pressure from the Religious Right, he quickly reversed himself.

The drama began last week when Daniels told the right-wing Weekly Standard that it is time for the country to put social issues aside and deal with pressing economic concerns.

Saving Souls Though School Supplies?: Fla. Church-School ‘Partnership’ Becomes Opportunity For Evangelism

Public school principal Steve Comparato in Polk County, Fla., said his prayers were answered when a local church agreed to “adopt” his school and pay for $5,000 worth of supplies.

“If they want to come in and help, who am I to say no?” he told the Wall Street Journal, which today details a new trend in public schools that could become a serious church-state concern.

AU Chapters Active as Summer Heats Up!

As summer temperatures rise, Americans United chapters are keeping busy!  From New York to California AU chapter members are hosting events and staffing tables at community gatherings.

Here are just a few activities that have, or will, take place soon:

South Dakota Scofflaw: Rapid City Pastor Tries To Backpedal On Candidate Endorsement

Yesterday Americans United asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a South Dakota church whose pastor openly admitted that he endorsed a gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit.

The Rev. H. Wayne Williams of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City hasn’t been shy about what he did. In fact, state Sen. Gordon Howie, the candidate Williams endorsed during a May 16 church service, sent out a press release bragging about it.

Howie had challenged churches to endorse him and was ecstatic when one did.

Twitter Jitters: Ill. Congressman’s Bible Tweets Raise Church-State Worries

If I lived in southern Illinois and wanted a lesson in Christianity, like most people, I’d consult a Christian pastor, priest or theologian.

I definitely wouldn’t think to consult U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) or any other politician for that matter. Yet Shimkus seems to think he can be a one-stop shop – serving as not just a political representative but also a religious leader.

Why else would he bother to tweet  Bible verses daily on his official Twitter page and quote Scripture passages on his official Facebook account?