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Forgotten Founder?: Happy (Belated) Birthday, James Madison!

It has been surprisingly busy on the church-state front this week with a new flare-up in the South Carolina license plate case and the stories about President Barack Obama's religious advisors.

But I didn't want the week to go by without wishing James Madison a happy birthday – admittedly belated. Madison was born on March 16, 1751. Most Americans don't know that, which is a shame. Read more

The Passion Of The Plate: S.C. Officials Pontificate At 'I Believe' Tag Rally

The debate over the South Carolina "I Believe" license plate rages on.

At least for South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who continue to mislead South Carolinians on what Americans United's lawsuit challenging the production of these plates is really about. Read more

Troubling Textbooks: Why Vouchers Would Force You To Subsidize Hate

An Islamic school in Virginia has made some changes to its textbooks in an effort to tamp down criticism, the Associated Press has reported.

The Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria has been under fire for years because some of the books used at the private school promote extremely strict interpretations of Islam and are highly critical of other faiths. Read more

Rolling Back Religious Liberty: Virginia Group Attacks Church-State Separation

Does the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty need updating?

As many of you probably know, the Virginia Statute, approved by the state legislature in 1786, ended the Anglican Established Church and guaranteed broad freedom of religion in the commonwealth for the first time.

In ringing language written by Thomas Jefferson, the Statute proclaimed that "no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever." Read more

Defend The Wall!: Conn. Bishops Rally For Church-State Separation – Sort Of

Today, the Roman Catholic bishops sponsored a rally at the Connecticut Capitol building in support of church-state separation. They didn't exactly bill it that way, but that's what it was.

Considering this is the same church hierarchy that speaks so adamantly against same-sex marriage and reproductive rights -- and believes that our country's laws should reflect the church's doctrines on these issues -- a rally to support the church-state wall seems rather ironic. Read more

Dissing Dawkins: Okla. Lawmaker Attacks Evolution Advocate

I've been to Oklahoma to speak on several occasions and know that there are lots of strong advocates of church-state separation there. AU has chapters in Oklahoma City and Norman, and Bruce Prescott, a member of the Americans United Board of Trustees, runs Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists. Journalist Frosty Troy's Oklahoma Observer frequently slams the Religious Right. Read more

No Regrets: Dole Staffer Defends Ad Attacking 'Godless Americans'

Let's pretend it's the middle of October, and John Doe and Jane Smith are both seeking the same U.S. Senate seat. Doe, who is down a few points in the polls, hears a rumor that Smith attended a fund-raiser sponsored by a Jewish group at the home of a couple who happen to be Jewish.

Doe's campaign runs a television ad, replete with scary music, that says: "Jewish Americans and Jane Smith. She hid from cameras. Took 'Jewish' money. What did Jane Smith promise in return?" Read more