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

Equal Access Except For Atheists?: Schools Must Not Discriminate Against Non-Religious Students

Back in 1984, Religious Right groups lobbied Congress in full force to pass a bill ensuring that Christian student clubs and organizations would be free to meet on public school campuses.

They succeeded in making the Equal Access Act the law of the land. The act states that under most circumstances, public schools must allow a wide range of student-run clubs to meet during “non-instructional” time. This opened the door for public schools to allow student religious clubs, including Bible study groups, to meet freely.

‘Science Guy’ Speaks Out: Bill Nye Says Nay To Anti-Evolution Crusade, As Bills Pop Up In The States

With Darwin Day (Feb. 12) just around the corner, scientists, educators and citizens across the world are gearing up to celebrate the birth of Charles Darwin and his contributions to science.

As Bill Nye “The Science Guy” recently put it, teachers’ reluctance to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution is “horrible.” Scientific advances that benefit everyone could be at risk if students don’t learn sound science.

Freedom Falsehood: Religious Liberty Isn’t Under Attack In America

Whenever I hear religious conservatives assert that religious freedom is under attack in the United States, I can only shake my head.

Do they know nothing about history or even the world today? Consider what happened in Soviet Russia under Josef Stalin, where houses of worship were bulldozed and clergy tossed into gulags. Think about China and North Korea, where freedom of worship still remains a dream. Consider even one of our allies – Saudi Arabia – where it’s illegal to build a Christian church.

Skipping Breakfast: Why Obama Should Insist On A Different Prayer Circle

President Barack Obama gave his personal testimony yesterday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Did you see it? What did you think?

I watched the address on a live stream from the White House website. It’s still there if you want to take it in for yourself.

Obama’s message was deeply personal and overtly Christian. I guess he’s been falsely accused of being a Muslim so much that he feels obligated to make that point pretty bluntly one more time.

A Commandment For An Ohio Judge: Thou Shalt Not Promote Religion In Court!

Yesterday a federal appeals court in Ohio ruled against a state judge in Richland County who had erected a religious display in his courtroom.

James DeWeese, a judge of the Court of Common Pleas, had put up a display entitled “Philosophies of Law in Conflict” that contrasted the “Moral Absolutes” of the Ten Commandments with the “Moral Relatives” of humanism.

Awful Amendments: Virginia House Undercuts Legacy Of Religious Liberty

If Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were around today, they would be extremely disappointed in their home state of Virginia.

The Virginia House of Delegates voted yesterday to approve two constitutional amendments that threaten church-state separation: one that promotes prayer in public places, including public schools, and another that permits taxpayer money to fund the religious training and theological education of certain students.

NJ Assembly Committee to Consider Voucher Bill on Thursday

By Nate Hennagin

On February 3, the New Jersey Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee will hold a hearing to consider A2810, a backdoor voucher program. In an 8-5 vote last week, the Senate version of this bill, S1872, passed the Budget and Appropriations Committee to go to the Senate floor.

A Political Pastor’s Penitence: Graham Wishes He Hadn’t Been So Close To Power After All

There is a myth about the famous evangelist Billy Graham that goes like this: Graham was apolitical, a pastor to all presidents, Republican and Democratic. His main goal was to provide comfort by sharing faith. He was above politics.

The only problem with this is that it’s not true. Sure, Graham did pray with presidents from both parties. But he had a bad habit of interjecting himself into right-wing politics. He often took ultra-conservative stands and during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon became a type of informal White House advisor.

Constitutional Converts?: ADF Lauds Separation Of Church And State In Church Tax Case

The Alliance Defense Fund has suddenly become an ardent supporter of church-state separation – now that the constitutional principle suits the Religious Right group’s needs.

The ADF has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Catholic and Baptist churches in Mission, Kansas, arguing that the city’s houses of worship should not have to pay a “transportation utility fee” tax to help rebuild the community’s crumbling roads. According to ADF’s lawyers, the tax is a violation of the separation of church and state.

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