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

‘Faith-Based’ Furnace?: Houses Of Worship Reap Tax-Funded Windfall From Stimulus Package

Did you send a contribution to the Castleton United Methodist Church in Indianapolis so it could buy a new heating and cooling system?

You may think you didn’t – but you did. More accurately, your leaders in Washington, D.C., did it for you.

Politico reports today that at least $140 million of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in 2009 ended up in the coffers of “faith-based” groups – and that this was the result of deliberate effort by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Ark Park Earmark: Kentucky Governor Floats Religion-Funding Scheme

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear thinks it’s a good idea for his state to be the home of Noah’s Ark – one that will include dinosaurs!

Beshear announced yesterday his plan to provide tax incentives to the developers of a creationism theme park that will feature a replica of the well-known biblical boat.

Holiday Hokum: Don’t Believe Right-Wing Lies About Christmas In Public Schools

It’s the first day of December, which means Christmas is coming up soon – and you know what that means: Yep, it’s time for the Religious Right and its allies to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace by lying about our public schools.

The tiresome pattern works like this: Someone tells a wild story about Christmas being banned in a public school. Religious Right legal groups get outraged. The Fox News Channel reports it without bothering to check if it’s true. Far-right bloggers have a field day.

A-OK!: Judge Puts Temporary Block On Anti-Shariah Amendment

We have some good news out of Oklahoma today.  A federal judge has put a temporary stop to the so-called “Save Our State Amendment” – Oklahoma’s anti-Shariah amendment.

The measure, which passed with 70 percent of the vote on Nov. 2, revises the state constitution so that “courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia Law.”

Crusade In The Classroom: Clashes Over Religion In Public Schools Plague Georgia And Texas

Disputes over religion in public schools are perennial. Some people, it seems, just won’t accept that fact that public schools are for teaching, not preaching.

Three recent developments bear watching.

First off, in Texas, the state legislature may be on the verge of another go-round in the ever-popular “let’s-display-the-Ten-Commandments-in-the-public-schools” crusade.

Bogus Bias Battle: Federal Court Rules Against Christian Legal Society – Again

On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in a case involving a student-run Christian group at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law.

The organization, a branch of the Christian Legal Society (CLS), wanted to receive financial support and official recognition from the university even though it excludes gays, atheists and others from membership. The university refused, citing its strict non-discrimination policy.

Backed by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), the CLS chapter sued.

Peculiar Poll: Survey Examines Americans’ Thoughts On Religion And Politics

Americans seem rather confused when it comes to the issue of religion and politics.

At least that appears to be the case from survey results on the role of religion in the 2010 election. The good news is, most Americans didn’t vote based on their religious views. The bad news is, many Americans are strangely preoccupied with President Barack Obama’s faith and that plays a role in whether they like him or not.

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