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Stark Statement: Congressman Says He Has No Belief In A Supreme Being

A milestone in American politics was reached this week when U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) stated that he has no belief in a supreme being.

Stark is the highest-ranking public official to come out of the closet as a non-believer. His emergence came about after the Secular Coalition for America, a Washington group that lobbies on behalf of non-religious Americans, sponsored a contest to find elected officials who openly hold no belief in God. Read more

Learning About The Bible: A Choice, Not A Command

Stephen Prothero, chair of the Religion Department at Boston University, thinks classes on the Bible should be mandatory in public high schools. In his new book, Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know – and Doesn't, Prothero outlines his argument. Read more

Utah Uprising: Public School Supporters Seek Ballot Vote On School Voucher Scheme

School voucher supporters are a pushy bunch.

Despite poll after poll showing little support for taxpayer funding of religious and other private schools and loss after loss at the voting booth, voucher advocates relentlessly continue their campaign.

One recent and egregious example of the pro-voucher crowd getting its way with lawmakers emanates from Utah. Read more

'Bring Me The Head Of Rich Cizik!': Religious Right Demands Ouster Of NAE Official

Some people have a lot of nerve.

Recently, a group of Religious Right leaders wrote to the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and demanded that a top Washington staff member be fired because they don't like his stand on global climate change.

The signers of the letter, including James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, insisted that the Rev. Rich Cizik be handed a pink slip. But here's the rub: None of their groups are members of the NAE. Read more

Double Cross: Embattled William & Mary Officials Return Christian Symbol To College Chapel

Officials at the College of William and Mary have reached a compromise to return a cross to the school's Wren Chapel. Display of the cross, and the role of religion at public institutions in general, became the center of a heated debate among students, faculty, staff and alumni when President Gene R. Nichol ordered the Christian symbol removed from the chapel last October. Read more

Standing Tall: Rutherford Founder Speaks Out For The Right To Sue

Last week, we here at "The Wall of Separation" noted that the Supreme Court had heard arguments in an important case dealing with the right of taxpayers to challenge White House expenditures promoting the "faith-based" initiative.

The media has a tendency to portray legal showdowns like this in simplistic terms. The advocates of church-state separation are in one camp, and the religious conservatives are in another. Read more

Way To Go, Idaho!: Science Teachers Say No To 'Intelligent Design'

Religion may have its place in the public school curriculum, but science courses are not the proper forum.

Recently the Idaho Science Teachers Association (ISTA) stood up for science education and church-state separation by declaring that "intelligent design," the latest variant of creationism, has no place in science class. Read more

Worshipping At The Wall?: AU And The 'Cult' Of Church-State Separation

Beware! If you are reading this, it might mean you're a member of a "cult" that seeks to tear down religion and destroy all that is good in America.

At least that's the view expressed in a recent letter to the editor in the conservative Washington Times newspaper. Letter writer David McGinley of McLean, Va., is entitled to his opinion, of course, but not his own set of facts. Unfortunately, his particulars go astray in more than a few places. Read more

Coming Soon To A Town Near You: Government-Funded Churches?

Yesterday's "Wall of Separation" noted that the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case dealing with the right of taxpayers to challenge the "faith-based" initiative in court.

The stories in today's newspapers reporting on the arguments are startling for one thing: They underscore how extreme the Bush administration's view on church-state relations is. Unfortunately, a high court majority may be poised to accept it. Read more