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Amen To Abington: High Court Decision Preserved Children's Religious Liberty

I grew up in Ohio in late '80s through the '90s. My parents, sisters and I were one of the few South Asian families in town, and I was one of only two Hindu students in my graduating class of nearly 350 students.

Fortunately for me, it mattered little that I was Hindu and most of my classmates were Christian. I can't really remember any time the school brought in religion -- a rarity I appreciated living so close to the Bible belt.

But had I been in sixth grade in 1962 rather than 1992, things might have been different. Read more

School Daze: Religious Right Still Can't Grasp Separation Of Church And School

Yesterday, I took the day off to attend a special end-of-the-year event at my son's school: He and other members of his fifth-grade class wrote and illustrated stories, which they bound in books and read aloud to visiting parents.

As I surveyed the classroom full of eager students and proud parents, I couldn't help but be struck by the diversity. All races were represented, and several kids mentioned being born in other countries. Read more

Minding The Mentors: Wash. State School Restricts Proselytizing By Volunteers

A public school in Washington state has decided to stop school volunteers from proselytizing while on campus.

It's an overdue policy -- and the subject of one of my blogs from months ago. We'd like to commend officials at the Marysville School District for responding to complaints from concerned parents and taking this step in the right direction. Read more

Errant Exercise: Louisiana Amendment Could Jeopardize Health Care, Civil Rights

Imagine this: You've been having a really rough day at work, finding it hard to focus on anything other than your impending doctor's appointment. When 5:00 rolls around, you take a deep breath, hop in your car and start towards his office while futzing with your iPod looking for your favorite Springsteen song. Sweaty palms, you can't stop thinking about how apprehensive you are -- you've never been one for needles.

Read more

Freshwater's Fetid Filing: Ohio Teacher Sues To Continue Classroom Religion

The job of a public school teacher is to instruct young people in certain subjects – perhaps math, science, history or English. The job of a religious leader is to offer information about theology and how to interact with God. There should be no overlap.

Yet, occasionally, a teacher will get it into his or head to start preaching in the classroom. Whenever this happens, controversy quickly follows. Read more

One Nation Under Gingrich? : A Petrifying Peak Into Brother Newt's Traveling Salvation Show

Let's play a game — it's called Preacher or Politician?

Here are the rules: Read the two paragraphs below and decide for yourself whether they are quotes from a preacher or quotes from a politician. Scroll slowly and don't cheat!

"Reignite in people an understanding that the heart of your life is subordination to God! The heart of your life is seeking God's will, and that all of us are weak and vulnerable, all of us make mistakes, but that all are welcomed by a loving God. Read more

Monumental Mistake: Officials In Okla. County Should Abide By Court Ruling

I'm always surprised when people in the heartland of America – conservative folks who claim to love their country and its institutions – display contempt for the rule of law.

Consider the case of Haskell County, Okla. A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that an eight-foot-high Ten Commandments monument erected in front of the courthouse in 2004 must come down. The monument, the court declared, violates the separation of church and state. Read more

Grim Reaper: Wiley Drake Expands Death Prayers To Include President

The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the warpath again -- and this time, he has really gone too far.

As you may recall, Drake is the pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif. He urged supporters to offer "imprecatory prayers" (curses) against Americans United and specific staff members in August 2007. Read more

Chucking Democracy?: Colson Headlines Paleo-Confederate's Conference In Atlanta

Has Chuck Colson finally gone off the deep end?

Colson, a prominent and revered Religious Right author and theoretician, seems to have been drifting toward the edge of the flat Earth for years.

Colson converted to evangelical Christianity while doing time in prison for his felonious role in the Nixon-era Watergate scandal. After getting out in 1975, he founded Prison Fellowship and focused on helping inmates find God. His emphasis on rehabilitation instead of draconian punishment made him friends among progressives and enemies among the hard right. Read more

Obama In Cairo: President Says Religious Liberty Is Necessary For World Peace

We're sure in the coming days we're going to hear a lot of grunting from Religious Right groups over President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo this morning.

After all, his address, intended to improve relations between Islam and the West, celebrated religious diversity, reached out to Muslims and discussed how important it is to tolerate the beliefs of others. Not exactly what the Religious Right would want to hear. Read more