The Orange County (CA) Chapter of Americans United invites you to a lively discussion titled "Separation of Church and State: A Mormon Perspective" on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 2pm. The event will be held at the Irvine Ranch Water District, 15600 Sand Canyon Ave., Irvine, CA.
Religiously tinged oaths are a pretty common feature of American life. Anyone who has watched a courtroom drama on television has probably seen witnesses being sworn in on a Bible, vowing to tell the truth "so help me, God."
The showdown in Texas over religion in the classroom continues this week.
The Texas State Board of Education is holding hearings on the social studies curriculum. And, as we have reported before, what should be a simple discussion based on recommendations from historians has turned into a debate fueled by the Religious Right to push "Christian nation" propaganda.
Leading the way are David Barton and the Rev. Peter Marshall, two well-known Religious Right activists who were selected by the board to sit on the six-member social studies curriculum review panel.
Some people in Alabama seem to have their priorities mixed up.
There's a Republican gubernatorial primary currently underway in the state, and you would think that citizens would be focused on the candidates' positions on issues such as education, health care and the economy. What has some people reeling, though, is a candidate's views on the Bible!
Back in November, the Mobile Press-Register quoted candidate Bradley Byrne as saying, "I believe there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be literally true and parts that are not."
Told ya so!
Back in April, when Religious Right bigwig James Dobson announced his "retirement" from Focus on the Family, Americans United was skeptical. We pointed out that while Dobson was giving up some managerial duties, he still planned to broadcast over the radio, issue monthly letters to supporters and hand out political endorsements. It didn't look like much was changing.
As the new year turns, most Americans make pretty conventional resolutions: I will lose enough weight to fit back into my skinny jeans, I'm going to finally assemble the IKEA bookshelf that's been collecting dust in my basement, this season I'm going to play kickball — and I'm going to be good.
Our resolutions are frequently mundane and rarely more than fleeting moments of inspiration, immediately forgotten and tucked safely away along with those old rock -washed jeans from high school.
Jan. 16 is Religious Freedom Day. As American holidays go, this one tends to be overlooked. It's not even listed on my desk calendar.
That's a shame, because Religious Freedom Day commemorates an important event: passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This landmark legislation, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and maneuvered through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, became law on Jan. 16, 1786. Scholars consider it a precursor to the First Amendment and a vital step along the way to securing the separation of church and state.
Happy New Year! After a break for the holidays, I'm back at work here at Americans United. And, as far as I know, it's back to school for kids across the country today, too.
In an effort to make everyone's lives easier in 2010 – including students, parents, teachers and school officials – we'd like to start things off by asking all public school staff to make this a constitutionally sound new year and resolve to uphold the wall of separation between church and state.
The "Wall Of Separation" is taking a break. We'll be back on Jan. 4, so come see us then.
Happy New Year!