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The official Americans United blog covering local activism and events.

St. Louis AU Instrumental in Religious Liberty Win

The Board of Aldermen in Ballwin, Mo., recently voted 6-2 against posting an “In God We Trust” plaque in their meeting room. The Knights of Columbus had pledged to donate $750 to cover the expense.
Working with area secular groups, St. Louis AU and ADL provided a religious voice for why church-state separation is important to both people of faith and non-believers alike.
St. Louis AU Chapter President Cynthia Holmes delivered stirring testimony before the Board, as did secular activist Nikki Moungo.  AU chapter members, the St.

San Antonio AU Presents Prof. Gerald E. Poyo

San Antonio AU, in collaboration with Southwest Workers Union and Bihl Haus Arts, presents Prof. Gerald E. Poyo. Prof. Poyo is speaking on “Social Justice Catholics and the Cuban Revolution.”

Dr. Poyo is professor of history and department chair at St. Mary’s University.  He is the author of three books on the Cuban exile experience of the 19th and 20th centuries and the editor of four books on U.S. Latino Catholicism and Mexican American history and literature.

Oklahoma City and Greater Seattle Area AU Host Rob Boston

Rob Boston, communications director at Americans United, hits the road this week for events hosted by Oklahoma City AU and the Greater Seattle Area AU.

Rob is speaking about his new book, "Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do.”  The book covers issues like same-sex marriage, access to contraceptives, religion in public education and censorship. Taking Liberties is a much-needed broadside against the Religious Right's reckless attempt to meddle in our personal lives.

Barry Lynn in California This Week

On Wednesday evening (Sept. 17) the Atheist Community of San Jose is hosting Barry.  The event begins at 7 PM and takes place at Harry's Hofbrau, on Saratoga Ave., in San Jose.

If for some reason you can't make the San Jose gathering, there's a second chance to see Barry.  On Thursday the Humanist Connection in Mountain View is hosting an event.  Join them at 7:30 PM for dinner and conversation at Pacific Catch, on San Antonio Road.  

Orange County (CA) AU to Host Rob Boston

The Orange County chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State August 9th event will present Rob Boston, AU Director of Communications.  Rob will be discussing his new book “Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.” Books will be available for purchase and Rob will be signing books after the event.
Rob is the Director of Communications at Americans United and is the editor of Church & State magazine. This is Rob’s fourth book.

Orange County (CA) AU Event on The Importance of Church-State Separation to Religion

Too often, church-state separation is seen as an issue for the non-religious and its supporters are accused of being hostile to religion. Not only do many religious people support church-state separation, they often have specifically religious reasons for doing so. Government involvement in religion to them is not just unwelcome and inappropriate; it is an abuse of something they hold sacred. Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson will explore these issues and her own commitment to church-state separation.  

Columbia (OR) AU Discussion: "Religious Liberty or Religious Coercion?"

Columbia chapter vice president Don Leadroot will present a brief outline and then lead a discussion about the interplay between:

The First Amendment,
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act,
The Oregon Public Accommodation Law, and
Recent court cases including The Hobby Lobby and the “New Mexico Wedding Photographer” cases.

You are asked to Google these topics and bring your opinions.  Maybe we can come to some conclusions about religious liberty and the rights of all of us.