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'Real' Bigotry: Religious Right Appeals For 'Real Christian' Veep Nominee

Religion has played a large -- and largely unfortunate -- role in the presidential race so far. Reporters have grilled candidates on their sins, their prayers and their personal beliefs about God. The candidates, in turn, have wooed -- and then often spurned -- religious leaders who turn out to be too incendiary for the average American voter. It's been quite an unholy mess! Read more

Holy Hypocrisy!: Did Ex-Rep. Istook Leave Something Under His Christmas Tree For Lobbying Lout Abramoff?

Ten years ago tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment" sponsored by former Rep. Ernest "Jim" Istook of Oklahoma.

I remember the vote well. Americans United and its allies had mobilized a broad umbrella organization, the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, to oppose Istook's dangerous scheme. We worked on the issue for months. Read more

Craziness At The Crossroad: I'll See You At The Intersection Of Church And State

I've been working as a communications assistant at Americans United for Separation of Church and State for just about a week now, and already I have learned a lot. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, informed me (along with all the viewers of his "700 Club") that he is not a gynecologist, and Religious Right radio host Janet Folger likened my new boss, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, to a Nazi Brownshirt. Read more

Maharishi Mistake: Why TM Doesn't Belong In America's Public Schools

Should Transcendental Meditation (TM) be taught in America's public schools?

That's a question that Newsweek has dived into. The magazine reports that there is a "small but growing movement" to bring TM into U.S. classrooms.

For the uninitiated, Newsweek notes that TM is the trademarked name of a meditation technique created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1958. It is a practice inherited from India and made hip by high-profile devotees like the Beatles in the 1960s. Read more

South Carolina's Christian License Plate: 'I Believe' This Is A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen

I frequently see people driving around in cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. who want me to know about their strong Christian faith. Their bumper stickers proclaim it, as do their little Christian fish symbols. I even saw a guy this weekend who felt compelled to make a giant fish symbol out of reflective tape for his door.

It's fine with me. It's your car, so go ahead and use it to spread whatever message you like.

But understand that the government can't help you. Thus, putting a cross on a state license plate goes too far. Read more

Bogus On The Bayou: Louisiana Legislators Consider Dragging Science Education Back Into The Swamp

Is the Louisiana legislature about to make a tremendous mistake?

It sure looks like it. Despite frantic objections from public school teachers, the scientific community and advocates of church-state separation, the House education committee yesterday approved unanimously a Religious Right bill designed to undercut the teaching of evolution. Read more