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The Columbia (Oregon and SW Washington) Americans United Chapter Tables the 18th Annual Alberta Street Fair

On Saturday, August 8th,  the Americans United for Separation of Church and State Columbia Chapter will have a booth at the 18th Annual Alberta Street Fair. The Alberta Street Fair offers an eclectic mix of activities and events that can only be found on Alberta Street. Showcasing the best of the local community, it draws more than 25,000 people annually, and features entertainment, music, and vendors for people of all ages. Read more

Confronting The Final Frontier: Is America Ready For An Atheist President?

Colonial-era Baptist minister John Leland was a devout Christian, but he was no bigot.

In an essay titled “The Virginia Chronicle” (1790), Leland attacked antiquated laws in the Old Dominion that limited public office to certain types of Christians.

“If a man merits the confidence of his neighbors in Virginia,” observed Leland, “let him worship one God, twenty Gods or no God. Be he Jew, Turk, Pagan, or Infidel, he is eligible to any office in the state.” Read more

Faith Of The Fathers: Missouri State Sen. Attempts To Block Birth Control Coverage For His Daughters

A Missouri state representative who wants to stop his daughters from accessing birth control recently won a victory in his ongoing suit against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments in his challenge to the regulations, thus reversing a lower court ruling that threw the case out on standing.
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Marginalizing Morality?: Fla. Pastor Claims Church-State Separation Prevents Children From Learning Not To Steal

A Florida pastor thinks he has the solution to reducing theft in the United States, and it has nothing to do with law enforcement.

As far as the Rev. Garry Wiggins of Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Jacksonville is concerned, school-age children are being prevented from learning basic morals – including that theft is wrong – because of the pesky constitutional principle of church-state separation. Read more

Dixie Discrimination: Ark. Law Attacking LGBT Protections Goes Into Effect

Three Arkansas counties have refused to drop ordinances that ban anti-gay discrimination, despite a new state law designed to block them from enforcing the laws. The Associated Press (AP) reports that Little Rock, Hot Springs and  Pulaski County are keeping the ordinances; a fourth municipality, Eureka Springs, has not yet reached a decision. Read more

Weak Defense: Miss. School District Punished For Coercive Prayer Violations Claims Its Officials Don’t Understand First Amendment

A Mississippi school district is in hot water after it invited a Christian pastor to deliver a prayer at a school function, in violation of a court order. But the best (worst) part of this story is the district’s excuse for the violation: its administrators are incapable of understanding the First Amendment. Read more

Win For Women: Court Says Little Sisters Of The Poor Don't Have A ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Opt Out Of Contraceptive Mandate

When it comes to religion-based refusals, much of the focus in recent months has been on issues that stem from the widespread legalization of marriage equality. But there are other significant battles pertaining to “religious freedom,” one of which is the ongoing war some nonprofits are waging against birth control. Read more

New Coach, New Problems: Iowa State Men’s Basketball Coach Says He’ll Pray With Players

Iowa State University has a new men’s basketball coach, and he’s interested in winning souls as well as winning games. Steve Prohm, who arrives at Iowa State after gigs at Southeastern Louisiana University, Tulane University and Murray State University, recently told the Des Moines Register that he intends to pray with his new team. Read more