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Troubling Times: N.Y. Newspaper Promotes Creation Museum During Special Arts & Leisure Weekend

Is the Gray Lady about to convert to fundamentalism?

I don't think so, but I was disappointed to see Kentucky's notorious Creation Museum listed among the attractions in The New York Times' Arts & Leisure Weekend Promotion heralded in a special pullout section of my newspaper last Sunday

During the Jan. 8-11 event, The Times sponsors public debates and discussions of contemporary issues and touts two-for-one admission discounts at museums, movies and shows in New York and around the country. Read more

A New Year's Greeting For The Ages: Jefferson's Jan. 1 Letter To The Danbury Baptists Still Rings True

I love Thomas Jefferson's New Year's Day greeting to the Danbury Baptists in part because it drives the Religious Right into such paroxysms of paranoia, ignorance and intemperance.

As I'm sure most of you know, President Jefferson sent a friendly missive to his Baptist admirers in Connecticut on Jan. 1, 1802. He thanked them for their support of him and of religious liberty. He also celebrated the First Amendment's religious liberty provisions and expressed sympathy for the Baptists' plight in a state where religious minorities still faced government hostility. Read more

Sign Slip-Up: Ohio Town Was Right To Remove Christian Marquee Message

Christmas may be over, but before we head into a new year, I think it's important to point out one last tussle over the holiday that had a happy ending.

The mayor of Avon, Ohio, posted the message "Remember Christ is in Christmas" on a marquee outside city hall on Dec. 15.

To Mayor Karl Zuber, it seemed like a harmless sign, just a "good Christmas message."

Sure, for a sign outside a church. But for a sign outside city hall, there is need to be more considerate – not to mention a requirement to follow the Constitution. Read more

Military Mistake Mitigated: Recruit Processing Centers Told To Discontinue Gideon Evangelism

Before American service personnel head off for training, they must make a final stop a Military Entrance Processing Station to have a final physical exam, take the oath of office for joining the armed forces and  get their own copy of the Bible.

That's right. Some of these stations have allowed Gideons International, the group well-known for providing Bibles in hotel rooms around the world, special access to  our troops. Read more

A Knight In Shining Armor: Evangelical Pastor Says Church-State Separation Benefits Religion

Is church-state separation a threat to Christianity? Religious Right forces want you to think so.

During the past few months, Religious Right leaders have railed against the alleged secularization of Christmas and agitated in favor of government recognition of the Christian aspects of the holiday. In a Tuesday column in The Christian Post, for example, Mark Earley groused that "city leaders are going all out to yank the Christ child out of any and all Christmas events." Read more

Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself? Read more

Holiday Humbugs: It's Time To End The Religious Right's War On Civility

Note: This opinion column by Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, ran in the Vacaville (Calif.) Reporter on Dec. 12, under the title "Let's End This War on Christmas."

Christmas is supposed to be a season of peace, love and goodwill. I have to wonder, then, why some conservative religious groups persist in using this time of year to divide Americans and stir up interfaith tensions. Read more

Invocation Irritation: Controversy Over Rick Warren Won't Go Away

The controversy over Barack Obama's decision to ask Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration refuses to die down. Discontent over the matter continues to simmer around the Web, and now the pundits are weighing in.

This morning, two Washington Post columnists commented – coming to radically different conclusions. Read more