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Outrageous Oration: Values Voter Summit Ignores Reality

This past weekend, a collection of Religious Right groups, including the Family Research Council (FRC), American Family Association (AFA) and Liberty Counsel, held an event in Washington, D.C., called the Values Voter Summit (VVS). It’s an annual opportunity for the forces of the Religious Right to strategize on how they can “take America back.” Read more

Values Void: Religious Right Group Says Southern Poverty Law Center Is ‘Agent Of Hate’

A few days ago, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a press release urging members of Congress not to attend the Family Research Council’s annual “Values Voter Summit,” which kicks off today.

The SPLC noted that the FRC and the American Family Association (AFA), which co-sponsors the Summit, “have long records of vilifying the LGBT community and spreading other forms of bigotry.” Read more

Compassionate Christians: Despite What The Religious Right Says, Many People Of Faith Support LGBT Rights

Far too many people associate Christianity with homophobia thanks to Religious Right groups like the Family Research Council (FRC) and the American Family Association (AFA). A group of faithful moderates is out to change that perception. Read more

Divine Dormitories? ‘Faith-Based’ College Housing Raises Constitutional Alarm

Troy University’s new faith-based dorm might be a hit with religious students, but it’s proving less popular with church-state watchdogs.

The school, which belongs to Alabama’s system of public colleges and universities, recently opened a Catholic-run residence hall. The Newman Center features a chapel and ministry center run by the Archdiocese of Mobile – and the university itself controlled much of the project.
Read more

‘School Choice’ Charade: Evidence Against Vouchers Continues To Mount

It seems American’s taxpayers are on their way to spending $1 billion annually on vouchers and other so-called “school choice” programs. And just what, exactly, are those taxpayers getting for their money? Certainly not a better education for their children.

Americans United recently compiled an extensive report on all the problems with vouchers and offered a mountain of evidence to show that they just don’t work (you can read that report here). Read more

Critical Mass: D.C. Archdiocese Sponsors Special Religious Service For Judges And Government Officials

Yesterday was the Red Mass, an annual event for members of the legal profession sponsored by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and the John Carroll Society. The archdiocese and the Society always hold the event on the Sunday before the first Monday in October, which is when the Supreme Court goes back in session. Read more

Liberal-ly Confused: Kansas School Board Votes For School Prayer Despite Supreme Court Rulings

Members of the school board in Liberal, Kan., missed official prayer at high school football games, so they recently voted unanimously to allow student-led prayers using the school’s loudspeakers.

But there’s a slight hitch in the school board’s plan: The Supreme Court actually banned the practice in 2000.
Read more

Course Conniption: Ala. Residents Throw Fit Over Arabic Language Classes In Local High School

One Alabama high school decided this year to offer an Arabic language class in place of a French course, and that has a number of local residents crying: “Sacre bleu!”

Is Alabama home to a large Francophile community? Not likely. Here’s what happened: Read more

Cops For Christ?: New Ala. Program Seeks To Fight Crime With Police-Backed Evangelical Proselytism

A new police program in Montgomery, Ala., is raising serious constitutional concerns.

The Atlantic reports that city police, who are facing what has been described as the worst crime wave in decades, have devised a novel solution to the problem: “Operation Good Shepherd.” It ran all summer and involved training local Christian ministers, preparing them to visit crime scenes right alongside working police officers.
Read more

Lobbyists For A Day: Dawkins And Pinker Stand Up For Science, Secular Government And Separation In Washington, D.C.

Yesterday before the government shut down, famous scientists Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins made a foray to Capitol Hill and spoke to House and Senate staff.

The events, sponsored by the Secular Coalition for America, covered a range of topics. Not all of them were relevant to Americans United’s work, but some, such as the teaching of evolution in public schools and the threat to science posed by the Religious Right, were dead on. Read more

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