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Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

Harming Religious Freedom: For Some Oklahoma Senators, It’s As Easy As 1, 2, 3

Within 15 minutes it was done: The Oklahoma Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass three extreme bills yesterday – with no debate. The first bill would allow prayer in public schools (SB 450), the second would make the state’s law requiring parental consent for a minor to receive abortion care even more severe (SB 753) and the third would gut the state’s civil rights laws by allowing a range of individuals and businesses to discriminate as long as it’s based on a sincerely held religious belief (SB 197). It was as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Sorry, Religous Right, But You Can't Claim Martin Luther King

Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues.

On Election Eve, Where We Stand

Americans will go to the polls tomorrow and elect a new president. It’s an awesome responsibility, one of the defining characteristics of a free people.

Americans United is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Under federal law, we can’t endorse or oppose candidates (although we can take sides on ballot referenda). Unlike some Religious Right groups, we respect this law and follow it.

It’s not our job to tell you how to vote. It is our job to remind you why civic participation is important. And it’s our job to tell you – and all Americans – what we stand for.

For Halloween, Here Are Seven Things Much Scarier Than Creepy Clowns

It’s Halloween, and I’m looking forward to distributing treats to the neighborhood children who come to my house tonight. As long as those creepy clowns stay away, it’s sure to be a good time.

I enjoy a good horror movie every now and then, but to me, the real world provides a more disturbing array of actual chills. In fact, here are seven things way scarier than ghosts, werewolves, zombies – and even phantom clowns:

Prayer Prescription?: Ga. Group Claims Official School Prayer Will Cure Society’s Ills

A Georgia group apparently thinks forcing more prayer into public schools will cure all sorts of societal problems.

During a rally yesterday on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, a group called the Legislative Clergy Council gathered along with a handful of clergy and some students from Morehouse College in support of a student prayer bill.

Freedom Of Conscience: The Greatest Gift Of All

People sometimes ask me why I got so interested in defending separation of church and state. The answer is simple: As a kid, I was sent to a Catholic school for eight years.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of good teachers there and learned many things. But I found the school’s tendency to micro-manage prayer troubling. Three times a day, like clockwork, a nun, priest or lay teacher would order everyone to stand up and pray. In unison, we would chant one of two prayers – the “Our Father” or the “Hail Mary” – before sitting down for the lesson.

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