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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Pop Quiz: Americans Flunk Test On Religion In Public Schools

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life yesterday released the results of a quiz on religion it gave to about 3,400 Americans. The results are being much discussed on the Web, chiefly because Pew found that atheists and agnostics did better on the 32-question test than evangelicals, Catholics and mainline Protestants.

Melee In Modesto: California Community Debates Creationism In Science Class

It’s the debate that never ends – thanks to an aggressive minority that insists religious beliefs belong in the science classroom.

California public school teacher Mark Ferrante belongs in that group. According to the Modesto Bee, Ferrante recently announced that he planned to teach the latest variant of creationism, “intelligent design” (ID), alongside evolution at Modesto’s Roosevelt Junior High, sparking quite the community discussion.

Army Maneuvers: Military Officials Should Leave Proselytizing To Civilians

Last week, Americans United urged Army officials to cancel an evangelistic event at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, we found out about this rather late. The complaint came in on Thursday, and “Rock The Fort” was scheduled for Saturday. AU’s Legal Department swung into gear with a strong letter to military officials, but it was not enough; they refused to cancel the event.

Scofflaws In The Pulpit: Tenn. Clergy Plan To Violate Federal Law Barring Church Electioneering

This Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers is looking forward to breaking the law.

At least that’s what they told The Tennessean, which reported that seven pastors in the state will “bait” the IRS by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. A provision in the Internal Revenue Code bars all 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, which includes houses of worship, from intervening in elections.

Giving The Devil His Due: FRC Staffer Says Americans Who Fail To Toe The Religious Right Line Are Serving Satan

Are you an agent of Satan?

Kenyn Cureton is worried that you might be. Cureton is vice president for church ministries for the Family Research Council. During the FRC’s recent “Values Voter Summit,” he warned attendees at a breakout session on churches and politics to be ready for some intense action.

“The battle that we’re fighting,” he said, “is not just a political and cultural battle, it’s a spiritual battle.”

And when a battle is spiritual, you can be sure that some people are serving the wrong side.

Flag Furor: North Carolina Town Battles Over Christian Banner

Americans United has always strived to educate the public about what the Constitution says about religious freedom.

Some days, we feel we have done a good job and that most Americans really do understand that keeping the government separate from religion is the only way to secure religious liberty for all. Other days, however, we are reminded of how much more work we have ahead of us to make that message clear.

Today is one of those disappointing days.

Leland’s Lost Legacy: Southern Baptists Honor Foe Of Church-State Separation

Poor John Leland. He must be spinning like a top in his grave in Cheshire Cemetery in Cheshire, Mass.

You may not know Elder Leland, but you ought to. He was a Baptist preacher and great stalwart of civil and religious liberty in our nation’s founding period. An ardent ally and supporter of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, he railed against government meddling in matters of faith and demanded a complete separation of religion and government.

Lost Weekend: Scaling The ‘Values Voter Summit’ With The Rancorous Religious Right

This weekend promises to be interesting: Today and tomorrow, I’ll be surrounded by hundreds of far-right fundamentalists who hate the separation of church and state, despise the work of Americans United and believe people like me (and, most likely, you) are a threat to the nation.

Yep, it’s the annual “Values Voter Summit” sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC) and allied organizations – two big days of food, folks and fundamentalism!

More Trouble In Texas: State School Board (Sigh) Considers Ridiculous Resolution

I really never thought the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) could become any more of a laughing stock than it already is. But I guess I was wrong.

Next week, the SBOE will consider a resolution that criticizes publishers for supposedly promoting anti-Christian/pro-Islamic bias in world history textbooks.

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