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Friday Frolic: A Selection Of Church-State Nuggets From Around The Web

Every day, Americans United staff members read numerous secular and religious publications, check out TV and radio preachers and drop by various Religious Right Web sites and other sources. We monitor the theocrats, so you don't have to. (No, there's no need to thank us.)

Here's a roundup of some recent tidbits you might have missed: Read more

Unholy Alliance: Marriage Laws Should Separate Church And State

Spring seems to finally be making an appearance here in Washington, D.C.   Besides the flowers, warmer temperatures and upbeat moods, one other thing spring brings is the start of the wedding season.

I spent four days in Cleveland last week celebrating the wedding of a close friend. She had a Hindu ceremony with all the bells and whistles — from the groom arriving on a horse, to henna on her hands, to guests wearing colorful saris. Read more

Diplomatic Demands: Vatican Vetoes U.S. Ambassador Candidates Who Fail Religious Test

One of my heroes in the church-state world is a feisty Southern Baptist minister named James Dunn.

James ran the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty here in Washington for many years. He is firmly grounded in the historic Baptist view that separation of church and state is good for both institutions. Woe to anyone who suggested that James was operating out of hostility toward religion. A man of deep faith, James would quickly set you straight on that. Read more

Celebrating The Secular: Obama Says U.S. Is Not A Christian Nation

The United States was not founded as a Christian nation. Nothing in the Constitution grants Christianity favored status. In fact, Article VI bans religious tests for federal office, and the First Amendment bars laws "respecting an establishment of religion" while protecting "the free exercise thereof" – for all faiths.

It's good to hear political leaders remind us of this fact from time to time, as President Barack Obama did yesterday during a press conference in Turkey. Read more

Transcending The Constitution?: Why TM Doesn't Belong In Public Schools – Even If Ringo Wants It

Back when I was in college, a film titled "Eraserhead" was shown on campus one night. Having nothing better to do that weekend, I attended. The movie was about – well, even after 27 years I'm still not sure what it was about.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough by the movie that I kept up with the work of its director, David Lynch – "Blue Velvet," "Wild at Heart" and of course the ground-breaking television series "Twin Peaks." Read more

Lone Star Disgrace: Texas Science Educator Loses Lawsuit Over Ouster

The Texas State Board of Education has been wrangling over evolution for months now. Recently, board members spent two full days squabbling over new science standards and   fighting over concepts such as common descent and natural selection.

The results were decidedly mixed. Some of the most obnoxious proposals failed to pass, but critics fear there is some overly vague language in the new standards that could open the door to creationist concepts in public schools. Read more

Job Bias Blasted: The Washington Post Urges President To Fix 'Faith-Based' Initiative

Should taxpayers be forced to subsidize social service programs that discriminate in hiring on religious grounds?

Most Americans would quickly and emphatically say, "No!" If taxpayers of all faiths (and none) are paying for a program, taxpayers of all faiths (and none) should be eligible to work there. Applicants should be judged on their qualifications, not their theological opinions.

Yet former President George W. Bush allowed exactly that kind of job bias in publicly funded programs run by faith-based agencies. Read more