I hadn't planned to attend the Inauguration of Barack Obama on the National Mall, since I'm not a huge fan of big crowds and cold weather. But yesterday morning at 9 I found myself on the Mall, surrounded by 1.5 million others, staring at a jumbo screen. Read more
It's Inauguration Day, and much of Washington, D.C., official and non-official, is closed. That includes Americans United.
Many Americans are celebrating today. Even those who did not vote for Barack Obama can take a minute to reflect upon another transition of power in the world's most vibrant democracy. We are all fortunate to be a part of that. Read more
Note: Today is the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. This blog post is a re-publication on an item that originally appeared on Jan. 13, 2006.
Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.
As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues. Read more
It's always good to hear about government officials agreeing to follow the law before a court orders them to.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger reported today that officials in Newton, N.J., agreed to stop reciting the Lord's Prayer before its city council meetings, following a complaint made by resident Doug Radigan. Read more
Education officials in Louisiana yesterday had the opportunity to slam the door firmly on the teaching of creationism and "intelligent design" (ID) in public schools. Unfortunately, they did not take it.
The state's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 10-0 to adopt new science guidelines that critics fear will muddy the waters and open the door to sectarian concepts in science class. Read more
I love how Religious Right activists consider any historical reference to religion as evidence of our country's "Christian heritage" – even when those references point in the exact opposite direction.
Consider Sheriff Tim Gobble of Bradley County, Tenn. For some reason, Sheriff Gobble has decided to branch out from his job of arresting lawbreakers and dabble as an amateur historian. Unfortunately, he doesn't know what he's talking about. Read more
Will Louisiana public schools soon be teaching religious concepts in science class?
That's the question coming before the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education this week.
January 16th is "Religious Freedom Day," an annual event that commemorates one of the greatest documents promoting religious liberty ever written – Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Many scholars believe the Virginia Statute was an inspiration for the First Amendment. In eloquent language, the measure ended Virginia's state church and guaranteed religious liberty for all. If you haven't read it, you should. Read more
I just got back from an exciting field trip: I walked a few blocks from Americans United's office to check out the Capitol Visitors Center, a new state-of-art facility that opened last month for people visiting the U.S. Capitol Building.
No, I wasn't goofing off; the visit was worked related. I am writing a story about Religious Right attacks on the Center for Church & State and figured I should take a look at it for myself. Read more