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

Judicial Inquisition?: Senate Panel Turns To Extremists For More Court-Bashing

Just how extreme are social conservatives now residing -- and contemplating constitutional shenanigans -- in the U.S. Senate?

One day, we have Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) taking to the floor to rail wildly against federal judges, and on Wednesday we'll be treated to a Senate committee hearing on the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) that features a right-wing law professor who once wrote that, "The Myth of the Inquisition is just that: phony, made up, bogus."

Mis-Guided Tour: Senate Majority Leader Frist Promotes 'Christian Nation' Propagandist

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-Tenn.) promotion of a fringe Religious Right activist's "tour" of the U.S. Capitol has sparked controversy in Washington, D.C.

On March 31, Frist sent out letters inviting his colleagues to a "private tour of the U.S. Capitol building with WallBuilders President David Barton." Frist asked senators and their families to come enjoy a "Fresh Perspective on Our Nation's Religious Heritage with a Special Tour of the U.S. Capitol." Barton was described as "a historian noted for his detailed research into the religious heritage of our nation."

No Mixing Religion And Politics, Please, We're British

In a discussion over the role of religion in British politics, both religious and political leaders seem to agree: they don't want to be like America.

The dialogue in the United Kingdom was sparked by a Catholic prelate's comments. In the midst of a heated election season, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor praised the opposition Conservative Party's proposal to limit abortion to 20 weeks from the current 24, according to the BBC.

Extreme Response: DeLay And Dobson Go Off The Deep End

In response to the news of Mrs. Terri Schiavo's death, some religious and political leaders showed their true colors by issuing disturbing statements. For weeks, U.S. Rep. Tom Delay and Focus on the Family's James Dobson have trumpeted their opposition to removing Mrs. Shiavo's feeding tube. But the rhetoric they used in responding to the Florida woman's passing was over the top.

Sadly these quotations are not an April Fool's Day joke; they are all too real.

Jurors And Justice: Why The Bible Was Out Of Bounds

The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that a death sentence must be overturned because the jury unconstitutionally consulted a Bible while deciding the penalty. Jurors admitted reading a passage from Leviticus that demands an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

Bible citations and other outside material are explicitly prohibited from being used as a resource in American jury rooms. What is at issue here is not the crime that was committed but the obligation of the court to ensure that justice is doled out properly.

Bad Medicine: Prescription For Theocracy?

Who should decide what religious doctrines you obey? You or your pharmacist. In a move that troubles many civil liberties advocates, some pharmacists across the nation are refusing to fill certain prescriptions, claiming a First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

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