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Trading Faiths: Pew Survey Underscores The Power Of The Right To Choose Religion

I grew up in a large Irish Catholic family with eight brothers and sisters. Some of my siblings remain in the Catholic Church, but over the years, others have gone elsewhere. My oldest sister is a Mormon, and my youngest attends Unitarian services. One brother is a Lutheran; another has no affiliation at all.

I used to think my family was a little unusual – so much spiritual seeking and so much church hopping. Read more

Shutting InnerChange's Doors: Iowa Corrections Officials Cut Ties To Prison Ministry Program

There are constitutionally sound ways to ensure that prisoners have the ability to nurture their religious sides. But turning over an entire wing of a state correctional facility to a religious group bent on converting prisoners is never the way to go.

It took a lawsuit and years of costly litigation, but state officials in Iowa have finally severed close ties with the InnerChange program, an around-the-clock fundamentalist Christian ministry run by Prison Fellowship Ministries. Read more

Evolution Revolution: Florida Aces Its Science Test – Will The Rest Of Us Do So Next?

Evolution finally got the respect it deserves in Florida yesterday. The State Board of Education voted to approve new science standards that explicitly mention the word "evolution" (gasp!) and make clear that it is the "fundamental concept underlying all of biology" (gasp again!)

Revisions to the standards commenced after a 2005 report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute gave the 1999 standards a failing grade. Read more

The Diabolical Dr. Drake: SBC Official Had More Power Than SBC Flack Admits

For various reasons, I've been in and out of the AU office recently, so I've been enjoying the latest developments in the Wiley Drake saga from afar via my home computer.

I always seem to miss Drake's diabolical assaults on AU. I was on vacation when Drake issued his first fatwa back in August. While staff members were dealing with his "imprecatory prayers" for their deaths, my family and I were enjoying stunning views at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Read more

George Washington And The Religious Right: Theocratic Movement Seeks To Recruit Founding Fathers

In honor of Presidents' Day, let's talk presidents.
Religious Right activists devote large amounts of their time and resources to revising history. Certain facts about the nation's founding have been terribly inconvenient for that movement for decades.

These historical revisionists loathe the church-state separation principle. They've knocked it as un-American, linked it to communism and derided it as a modern-day tool used to prod Christianity from the public square. Read more

Of Death Prayers And Facts: A Response To The Southern Baptists' 'Request For Correction'

Is the Rev. Wiley S. Drake typical of the fundamentalist leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention? As one of the targets of Drake's Baptist fatwah, I have a pressing need to know.

Earlier this week, Americans United issued a press release announcing that Drake's First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park is being investigated by the IRS for illegal electioneering. Read more

Wishful Wallis: Death Of Religious Right Is Greatly Exaggerated

Here we go again.

"Moderate" evangelical leader Jim Wallis has yet again proclaimed the death of the Religious Right. Wallis has a new book out pushing this idea, and on Monday he joined a few others on a press call promoting a new poll that supposedly shows that evangelicals are fed up with the Religious Right. Wallis said they are leaving the movement in droves.

I sat in on the call. I read the poll. I'm not convinced. Read more