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Teacher Gets An 'F': Appeals Court Affirms Right Of Public School To Stop Classroom Proselytism

Public school faculty are expected to devote their energies to teaching whatever subject they have been assigned, not engaging in efforts to change the religious views of their students.

Most teachers follow this rule and are happy to do so. They recognize that parents have the right to control the religious upbringing of their children and have no desire to interfere in that process.

But occasionally a bad apple surfaces. When that happens, it's up to school officials to make sure the classroom remains a place for teaching, not preaching. Read more

Monkey Business: Are Conservative Positions On Origins Finally Evolving?

We entered the 21st Century a few years back, but sometimes it's easy to assume we're still stuck in the 19th.

One of those moments occurred last week during the first Republican presidential debate. Participants were asked if any of them do not believe in evolution, the scientific theory that is the cornerstone of biology. Three hands went up. Read more

Hateful Lies: Religious Right Hysteria Fails to Kill Hate Crimes Bill

The House of Representatives yesterday passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1592). The bill's 237-180 approval marked one of the Religious Right's most spectacular failings in recent memory.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the Religious Right's lobbying blitz to defeat H.R. 1592, a proposal movement leader Rev. Lou Sheldon dubbed the "Pro-Homosexual/Drag Queen 'Hate Crime' Bill." Read more

Valuable Vision: Verplanck's Smack-Down Of Government-Backed Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer (NDP). Elsewhere on Americans United's Web site, you can read a press release that gives our opinion of this day. (We don't think much of it. We have nothing against prayer but believe it's not the business of government to tell people when, how and where to do it.)

In previous years, we've used the NDP to remind Americans of how two stalwarts of religious liberty – Thomas Jefferson and James Madison – opposed official prayer proclamations. Rather than rehash that again, this year we'll offer something a little different. Read more

When 'Equal' Isn't: Bush Administration Seeks Special Rights For 'Faith-Based' Groups

President George W. Bush is imploring Congress to give religious groups special privileges under the Improving Head Start Act of 2007 (H.R. 1429). The president says religious groups need to be treated "equally," by being the only groups allowed to discriminate against Head Start teachers and volunteers.

The House is expected to vote on the bill today. It would reauthorize the popular preschool program for low-income children. Read more

Dead Center: Florida TV Preacher's Right-Wing Political Unit Folds

There was always a certain arrogance about TV preacher D. James Kennedy's right-wing lobbying group called the Center for Reclaiming America.

It's that term "reclaiming" that sticks in the craw. To hear Kennedy tell it, America was once the property of certain types of far-right Christians. The country was taken from them, and they have a duty to "reclaim" it. Read more

Weird Worldview: Religious Right Labors To Blame Virginia Tech Massacre On Muslims

There is nothing the fringe of the Religious Right loves more than a good conspiracy theory – the wilder and more unsubstantiated it is, the more they like it.

Recently, a letter purporting to implicate Muslims in the Virginia Tech massacre has been making the rounds on Religious Right Web sites, most notably on a "news service" promoted by Worldview Weekend. Read more

Return To Sender: Church-Run Post Office Can't Spread Religious Message, Court Rules

"Faith-based" public services began percolating throughout the government after President George Bush declared his support for that agenda in 2001. Since then, we've seen faith-based marriage counseling, faith-based inmate rehabilitation and faith-based sex education in the schools.

What's next, you may ask — faith-based postal services? No way. That's just too far-fetched. Read more

Moyers On God And Elections: Journalist Celebrates Treasure Of Secular Democracy

In a recent interview with The Christian Century, renowned journalist Bill Moyers took up the contentious question of religion and politics.

When asked what role religion should play in public life, Moyers responded with a question of his own. "Whose religion?" he asked. "And who is going to decide?" he pressed, after listing only a few of the many religions represented in the United States.

"The religion of one," Moyers responded, "seems madness to another." Read more