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Thanksgiving 2009: Let's Be Thankful For Religious Liberty!

Note: This post is a re-publication of one that originally appeared on Thanksgiving Day 2007. Enjoy the holiday!

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner today, do you plan to say grace?

If so, what religious tradition will the prayer come from? Will it be a blessing from the Jewish, Muslim or Hindu faiths? Will it be Catholic, Mormon or one of the infinite varieties of Protestant denominations?

Maybe you won't offer a prayer at all, instead simply thanking the cook for the bounteous meal set before you rather than a deity of any sort.

Capital Clerical Control Checkmated: D.C. Pastors Learn There Are Limits To Their Power

Some members of the clergy in Washington, D.C., are angry because the city council will no longer automatically do what they want.

As The Washington Post reports today, clergy in the nation's capital are used to having their calls returned promptly; they expect the council to be responsive to their demands.

'Palin-tology': Have Former Alaska Governor's Views On Creationism Evolved?

I regard Sarah Palin's new book like I do the movie "New Moon" – I'm not the intended audience and I don't really care about it.

But the media keeps sticking the thing in my face. In the case of Palin's book, it has become obvious that I'm going to be forced to look at the train wreck even though I'd rather not.

So let's just plunge right in, shall we?

It turns out there's actually a church-state angle because release of the book has reopened questions about what Palin does (or does not) believe about evolution.

Praying For Theocracy?: Across The Country, Groups Seek To Impose 'Religious Law'

The New York Times today reported on a sad and worrisome situation in Vallejo, Calif.

Though the community faces a financial crisis, much like the rest of the country, The Times asserts the town is also struggling because "its political system increasingly reflects the influence of evangelical churches."

Render Unto Caesar: District Tax Officials End Free Ride For Religious Right's 'C Street House'

Remember all the talk last summer about the mysterious "C Street house" in Washington, D.C.?

The structure, owned by a clandestine evangelical Christian organization known as "The Family," was in the news because some politicians tied to it got caught up in embarrassing sex scandals.

Fix The 'Faith-Based' Initiative: Americans Oppose Hiring Bias In Publicly Funded Programs

It's only a week away from Thanksgiving; the trees have all turned from green to vibrant shades of reds, yellows and browns and a crisp chill in the air puts me on pins and needles as I wait for the season's first snow. As we reach mid November, the end of the calendar year always sneaks up on me -- Christmas is right around the corner and that means it'll be New Year's Eve before we know it.

Prevaricating Pastors: Mendacious Ministers Prove It's Still Legal To Be Bigots

It's no secret that I'm not a fan of the Religious Right. Through my work at Americans United, I've opposed this movement for 22 years and have written three books challenging the Religious Right's perspective.

I don't believe that everyone who holds Religious Right views is a bad person. But I would be remiss in my duties if I failed to point out that, increasingly, many in the Religious Right are telling big, fat, honking lies. This is a shame, because it makes it impossible to have a civil exchange of views in the public arena.

Bogus Bill In Boston: Religious Right Targets Mass. Public Schools

It's not often that Massachusetts falls under Americans United's microscope. But this week, the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) has brought the New England state to our attention.

The group, a state affiliate of James Dobson's Focus on the Family, has succeeded in finding bipartisan   sponsors for legislation that will "ensure the existing free speech rights of religious students" while they are in school.

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