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Pandora’s Prayer?: North Carolina School Board Mulls New Invocation Policy

Even though a North Carolina school board recently did the right thing when it voted to open its meetings with a moment of silence, some residents are demanding that the board put “God back in our school.”

The Cleveland County Schools Board of Education voted 8-2 not long ago to maintain its current practice of beginning meetings with a moment of silence rather than adopting a new prayer policy. This is a perfectly reasonable thing to do since silence harms no one. If someone wants to pray at that time, they may. Read more

Basic Life Failures: Fundamentalist Ministry Faces Sex-Abuse Lawsuit

A Christian ministry with significant ties to the Religious Right is now subject to a lawsuit over an alleged sex scandal. The suit, filed by attorney David Gibbs III on behalf of five women, says the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP) covered up sexual harassment and assault committed by its founder, Bill Gothard. The suit names each member of IBLP’s board as a defendant.
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Bad News For The Badger State: Voucher Program Could Lead To Higher Property Taxes

Recent changes to Wisconsin’s private school voucher program are resulting in less money for public schools, an outcome that’s no surprise because some “school choice” advocates have long sought to drain government-run schools of their resources. But in a turn of events that voucher supporters may come to regret, the Badger State’s scheme could eventually lead to higher property taxes. Read more

North Woods Trouble: Maine Governor Names Self-Avowed Creationist Education Commissioner

Maine’s controversial Gov. Paul LePage (R) may have appointed a creationist to serve as the state’s acting education commissioner. Dr. William Beardsley is the former president of Bangor-based Husson University and is considered a close associate of LePage. The governor’s administration announced the appointment yesterday.

Beardsley’s academic credentials aren’t in doubt. His understanding of basic science is less certain: He expressed unequivocal support for teaching creationism during his unsuccessful 2010 bid to become the Republican nominee for governor. Read more

Taking Care Of Business: Religious Right Group Plans ‘Religious Liberty’ Ratings For Companies

My inbox this morning contained a press release from the American Family Association (AFA). The Tupelo, Miss.-based Religious Right group has exciting news: It has decided to launch a new tool to rate companies based on how they deal with “religious liberty.” Read more