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

Waiting For God’s Endorsement?: The ADF’s Endgame Is Church-Based Political Power

Samuel Beckett, one of my favorite writers, had a lot to say about human nature and the inevitable repetition of inane life experiences. In Waiting for Godot, Krapp’s Last Tape and Endgame, the protagonists in Beckett’s most famous pieces are static creatures of habit; each repeats the same stale cycle of events, expecting a variation in circumstance. But invariably, each play ends almost exactly where it begins.

Dutch Treat: AU Helps Netherlands Newspaper Kick CAN Over Anti-Gay Extremism

Yesterday I received an interesting call from a reporter in the Netherlands. He was seeking information on an American Religious Right outfit called the Christian Action Network (CAN).

CAN is not a major player in the world of the Religious Right, but I am familiar with the Forest, Va.-based group. It’s pretty low-rent, a point I made clear in my 2000 book Close Encounters with the Religious Right.

Bah, Humbug: Florida City’s Holiday Policy Raises Church-State Concerns

From now on, only “legal” religions will be officially recognized in North Miami Beach – at least, that will be the case if the city council’s multicultural committee has its way.

According to the Miami Herald, the committee recommended that the council recognize one main holiday for every religion in the form of an official proclamation. It’s part of the city’s effort to be “fair” and “inclusive.”

Ave Church-State Separation!: Supreme Court Rejects High School Religious Music Case

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning declined to hear a case from Washington state concerning a young woman who wanted to play religious music during a public school graduation ceremony.

Kathryn Nurre was a senior at Mill Creek’s Henry M. Jackson High School in 2006 when she and other members of a school wind ensemble sought permission to play “Ave Maria” during graduation.

Florida Flim-Flam: ‘Inspirational Message’ Bill Is Attack On Church-State Separation

Ten years ago, the Santa Fe (Texas) Independent School District was just another American town that loved its high school football team. On Friday evenings, students congregated in metal bleachers to cheer for their friends, parents attended with camcorders and warm coffee in gloved hands, and full recaps of exciting games were printed in the local papers.

Happy Birthday, Pat!: Virginia Legislature Lauds Extremist TV Preacher Robertson

TV evangelist Pat Robertson’s 80th birthday is on Monday, and to mark that momentous occasion, the Virginia legislature decided to pass a resolution lauding him a great American, visionary leader and all-around swell fellow.

The resolution is full of the “whereases” and flowery language that are common in this type of thing. It lauds Robertson’s creation of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Regent University, the American Center for Law and Justice and the Christian Coalition.

Lost In Austin: Texas School Board Majority Takes Hard-Right Turn Down Wrong Road

What happens in Texas, unfortunately, may not stay in Texas.

That’s the concern for many religious leaders, historians and civil liberties activists who are appalled at the Texas State Board of Education’s actions last week. The board is currently revising the state’s social studies curriculum and has decided to base the new standards on their personal ideological beliefs instead of real history.

Low Post: Newspaper Shoots And Misses On School Vouchers – Again!

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I- Conn.) can definitely count on The Washington Post to lend a hand when it comes to his crusade for school vouchers in the District of Columbia.

Today, the Post added to the seemingly endless stream of editorials it has already published in support of the D.C. voucher program, which uses federal funds to pay for tuition at religious and other private schools.

Battling Bias: Interpreter Can’t Get Tax-Funded Job Because He’s The ‘Wrong’ Religion

For several years now, Americans United and other groups have spoken out against religious hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.

The issue to many people might seem like a legal abstraction. That’s why it’s helpful to occasionally have a human face put on the controversy.

Consider the case of Saad Mohammad Ali, a Washington state resident who volunteered for the evangelical Christian agency World Relief for six months.

‘Under God’ Upheld: Appeals Court Says Pledge Is Patriotic, Not Religious

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the separation of church and state.

The 2-1 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest decision in a long-running legal campaign by Michael Newdow, a California atheist activist, to have “under God” declared unconstitutional.

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