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Teaching Religion In Public Schools: One Calif. City Does It Right

In Modesto, Calif., public school students are learning about religion in class – but it’s probably not what you think. The geography and world religion course, which is required for all high school students, is described as an objective overview of the world’s belief systems, and according to a recent article in the Modesto Bee, it succeeds in doing just that. Read more

Suspicious Statute: Pa. Teen Faces Confinement Under Law Banning ‘Desecration’

A story has been making the rounds on social media concerning a 14-year-old boy in Everett, Pa., who posted on Facebook a photo of himself simulating a sex act with a statue of Jesus.

The teen, whose name has not been publicly released, stands accused of “desecration of a venerated object.” He is facing criminal charges and the possibility of two years in a juvenile facility. Read more

Prayer Problems: Local Governments Struggle With Invocation Policies In Wake Of Greece Decision

A city councilman in Washington state has a stance on pre-meeting prayers that is too extreme for even some staunch Religious Right allies to accept.

John Trumbo of the Kennewick City Council recently suggested that council meetings ought to open with an invocation “directed in name and reference to the same God addressed in the Founding Fathers’ signatory documents that established this nation,” the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald reported. Read more

Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal

Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we’ll have less corruption. Biblical literalists must be more ethical, right? Read more

F For Effort: ‘School Choice’ Group Grades States Based On How Easy It Is To Get A Voucher

A “school choice” advocacy group recently put out a report card on voucher programs around the country, but the rankings aren’t based on things like test scores, graduation rates or college prep. Instead, the Center For Education Reform (CER) rated state programs based on how easy it is for students to obtain a voucher.

CER looked at the 14 states plus Washington, D.C., with voucher schemes. It gave out three As, three Bs, seven Cs and two Ds. Read more

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