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Genesis Of Controversy: Report On Gideons' Bible Distribution Is A Revelation

When I was in college, we could always tell when the relentless western Pennsylvania winter was finally losing its grip by two key events: A roving evangelist would appear on campus and scream at women he thought were immodestly attired, and the Gideons would stand outside the cafeteria and pass out copies of the New Testament.

I didn't mind taking one. After all, I was an adult and it was my choice. But in looking it over, I noticed one thing: The first few pages emphasized the passage John 3:16. Many fundamentalists see this verse as the key to becoming "born again."

The High Court And The Church-State Wall: Betsy Ross, Meet Sandra Day O'Connor

Prayers and patriotic songs reverberated through the air as I made my way to the Supreme Court yesterday morning. I exchanged a reticent glance with the police officer stationed outside the Library of Congress (just a block away), and he chuckled, as if to read my mind.

"Things are getting crazy over there," he warned, as I dug my notepad from my bag.

"Big case," I responded.

A Cross – The Great Divide: Justices Seem Split On Calif. Religious Symbol Case

I spent the morning at the Supreme Court attending oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono – a case focusing on a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve in California.

I'm not going to pretend I understand all of the ins and outs of this complex case because I'm not a lawyer. I rely on AU's legal team to do that. But I did garner a few impressions from the argument.

Land O' Lies: SBC Lobbyist Compares Health-Care Reform Advocates To Nazis

I understand that people have different views on the issue of health-care reform.

My family and I rely on my health-care plan, and I want to make sure it's there for us. At the same time, I can't accept the fact that so many millions of my fellow citizens are without coverage. I don't see those two concerns as irreconcilable.

Critical Mass: Justices Gather In D.C. For Special Religious Service

The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session today, which means Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken her seat on the bench for the first time.

Yesterday morning was another first for the junior justice. She attended the Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle as a VIP guest.

Friday Follies: A Round-up Of Stories From Here, There And Everywhere

It's Friday, and here's a quick round-up of some stories with church-state overtones that you might have missed:

* Remember the proselytizing cheerleaders in north Georgia? A lot of people are getting worked up over that, and I feel certain that a "fair and balanced" Fox News report isn't far off.

Lodi Letdown: Calif. City Votes To Continue Official Prayers

I wrote earlier this week about the increasing religious diversity of America and the rise of "nones" – people who say they belong to no specific religious group.

As the face of American religion changes, it's bound to have implications for public policy. All units of government will need to find ways to include everyone, regardless of what they believe or don't believe about God.

Tears For Cheers: Georgians Lament School Limit On Cheerleader Preaching

Last night, cheerleaders at Lakeview-Fort Olgethorpe (LFO) High School were more popular than ever.

According the Chattanooga Times Free Press, more than 500 people showed up at a rally outside a Chik-fil-A Restaurant in Fort Olgethorpe, Ga., to support these young women who wanted to display signs with Bible verses at football games.

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