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National School Choice Week: It’s Really About Vouchers

Yesterday marked the start of “National School Choice Week.” Although some of the groups and individuals behind this annual event are interested in things like charter schools and public school choice, it’s mainly a vehicle for promoting private school voucher plans.

Vouchers, of course, aren’t really about choice. Oh, there’s choice, all right – for the schools. They get to decide which students they will admit. They get to decide what to teach them. They get to decide who will teach there. They get to decide if they want to impose theology onto students.   Read more

Onward, Christian Solider: Utah Attorney Cites Theology As Motivation To Battle Marriage Equality In Court

As the state of Utah prepares to defend its beleaguered same-sex marriage ban, the recent appointment of its new lead outside attorney has shed some revealing light on its real motivations for the fight. Read more

‘Help’ Not Wanted: Most Of Ohio’s School Vouchers Go Unused

Are Ohio residents too dumb to fully take advantage of the state’s voucher program? Some “school-choice” advocates seem to imply as much.

The Mansfield News Journal reported that the vast majority of Ohio’s EdChoice “scholarships” – they’re really vouchers – which are available to students in so-called “failing” schools, were not claimed for the current school year. Read more

States Of Prayer: Legislators In Three States Push Bills To Promote Religion In Public Schools

The Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that our public schools aren’t meant to be places for spreading religion. But for legislators in three states, court rulings are no deterrent to their dogmatic agendas.

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.
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Charter For Creationism?: Activist Finds Questionable Science In Tax-Funded School Chain

A company called Responsive Education Solutions runs charter schools in several states, most of them in Texas. These schools receive millions in taxpayer support every year. Read more

Religious Freedom For All: Another Dream Of Dr. Martin Luther King

Note: Today is the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. This blog post is a re-publication on an item that originally appeared on Jan. 13, 2006.

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.

Huddling With Jesus?: UConn Football Coach Says Players Must Accept Christ To Succeed

A position coach for the University of Connecticut’s football team said he intends to add a new “superstar” recruit to the Huskies’ squad: Jesus Christ.  

UConn, which is a public institution, recently hired Ernest T. Jones to serve as the team’s running backs coach and also as its director of “player engagement.” Since nobody would know what “player engagement” means without an explanation, Jones was kind enough to clarify. Read more

Religious Freedom Day 2014: Resolve To Defend The Church-State Wall

I still use a large desk calendar, one made out of paper. (Yep, I admit I’m a dinosaur.)

This calendar thoughtfully fills me in on holidays major and minor. On March 17, I can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday. I wouldn’t want to miss Administrative Professionals Day on April 23, and Victoria Day (May 19) is a big deal in Canada. For you internationalists, Oct. 24 is United Nations Day.

But one holiday that does not appear is Religious Freedom Day, which is today, Jan. 16. Read more

Courthouse Controversy: New York City Judge Censured For Workplace Evangelism

A New York City judge has been censured for coercing her employees to participate in religious activities. Judge Mary Brigantti-Hughes had received permission to host a voluntary Bible study and prayer group during lunch hour, but an official investigation revealed that her activities didn’t end with lunch. 
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Parade Of Religious Right Extremists: Va. Town’s Religious Freedom Celebration Dishonors Vision Of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson wanted only three of his many accomplishments noted on his grave’s headstone, and one of them was his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Read more

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