It seems Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has a poor understanding of both American history and the First Amendment. So let’s take a few moments to educate him.
In a recent viewpoint piece published by the San Antonio Express-News, Patrick attempted to argue that religious freedom is under attack in the United States, which is contradictory to America’s “Christian nation” roots.
As 2015 winds down, you’ll encounter a lot of lists – best movies of the year, what’s hot and what’s not and so on. Well, here’s our version of that: a list of what we at “The Wall of Separation” consider to be the Top Ten church-state stories of 2015:
As far as the sheriff of a Georgia county is concerned, anyone who doesn’t agree with him on religion should find another place to live or visit.
Stickers with biblical verses will no longer be attached to police cars in an Alabama county, thanks to Americans United.
The Houston County Sheriff’s Department put stickers on its vehicles that read “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” a Bible verse from Matthew 5:9. That message encircled the official badge of the department. After Americans United got word of this clear instance of government endorsing religion, it sent a complaint letter to the sheriff’s department in early August. (The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation later sent a letter as well.)
In recent months, stickers bearing the words “In God We Trust” have appeared on police cars in several states, including Illinois, Kentucky and North Carolina, leaving critics to wonder about the cause of this troubling church-state trend.
Editor’s Note: Steven K. Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. Green, who served as legal director of Americans United from 1992—2001, is the author of several books on church-state relations, most recently Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding (Oxford University Press). Green discussed his new book with Church & State Editor Rob Boston recently.
Some very powerful people in the United States see absolutely nothing wrong with generalized government endorsement of religious belief.
Eleven legislative rooms in the Kentucky Statehouse will display signs reading “In God We Trust” thanks to a private donor.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the signs are a temporary measure, and they will eventually be replaced by permanent displays that will show an updated version of the state seal in addition to the national motto. The Kentucky legislature passed a measure calling for the signs in 2006.
Kentucky Senate President, Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) gave an explicitly sectarian rationale for the measure.