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Survey Says: Mainline Clergy Like Church-State Separation

An interesting survey was issued recently, indicating that many members of the clergy remain strong supporters of church-state separation.

The 2009 Clergy Voices Survey, issued May 20, sampled mainline clergy on their views regarding the separation of church and state.   The findings were really rather encouraging. Read more

Partisan Politicking Pugilists: Debate Brings Together Opponents And Proponents Of Church Electioneering

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="247" caption="The Rev. Barry W. Lynn"][/caption]

Sometimes, a good, old-fashioned debate is the best way to hash out a contentious public issue.

I attended an event like this yesterday at the National Press Club here in Washington, where Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn participated in spirited (but polite) verbal bout over pulpit politicking. Read more

Delaware Discord: Sussex Council's Recitation Of Lord's Prayer Sparks Conflict

Rehoboth Beach, Del., is sometimes called "the nation's summer capital." Folks from the Washington, D.C., area flock there when the August swelter descends upon us. The resort town is known for its great restaurants, interesting shops, a fun boardwalk and generally progressive viewpoint.

Surrounding Sussex County, however, has a different reputation. The largest county in little Delaware is known for its conservative approach to both religion and politics. Critics sometimes call it "Dela-bama" and that comparison to Alabama is not meant as a compliment. Read more

Demonizing For Dollars: Religious Right Ready To Attack Supreme Court Nominee

Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's decision to retire and return to his farm in New Hampshire has really got the Religious Right's knickers in knots – but also has given movement leaders an opportunity.

President Barack Obama is expected to name Souter's replacement soon, and chances are the Religious Right isn't going to like that person's record.

What to do?

Answer: Go negative. Read more

Holy War In Iraq?: Rumsfeld Intelligence Briefings Quoted Scripture

The role of religion in the U.S. military has been an ongoing problem for Americans United.

Usually, our concern stems from complaints that soldiers are being coerced to attend religious services during training or that Bibles are being distributed to U.S. soldiers on military bases. Read more

The Prophet And Profits: TV Preacher Pat Robertson Goes For The Greed

I have to hand it to Pat Robertson. After all these many years that I have watched his antics, he can still make me laugh.

This week the 79-year-old multi-millionaire TV preacher was in Allentown, Pa., giving a speech on behalf of a local charity. Read more

Justice In Chillicothe: School Officials Cancel Clergy Prayers At Graduation

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a graduating senior who asked his Ohio high school to change its policy of beginning and ending commencement with Christian prayers.

Thanks to Jacob Davis' courage in publicly opposing this policy, the Chillicothe school has finally agreed to abide by the Constitution -- for the most part. Read more

Decalogue Decision: Baptists Urge Gov. Henry To Veto Commandments Bill

The Religious Right would have us think that only atheists support the separation of church and state. In fact, thoughtful believers and non-believers alike back this basic principle of American life.

Consider the battle over a proposed Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol in Oklahoma. The legislature there has approved a measure mandating the display of a Protestant version of the Decalogue. Read more

Angels, Demons & Blowhards: It's Only A Movie, Bill, Only A Movie

On Friday morning, I trekked to the Fox News Channel studio in Washington to debate Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights about President Barack Obama's upcoming speaking engagement at Notre Dame.

I'd prefer to have a civil discussion over these matters, but Donohue has two settings: "Obnoxious" and "Even More Obnoxious," so things got heated right away. Read more

Forever Catholic?: State Law Lets Monaghan Control Florida Town's Fate

Is there a theocracy flourishing in South Florida?

According to reports from The Naples News, there just may be. The newspaper is in the midst of a three-part series on the town of Ave Maria, which came to be after Tom Monaghan, an ultra-conservative Catholic from Michigan, bought 100,000 acres of land just west of Naples.

Many have flocked to Ave Maria, which is home to a Catholic university, a Catholic law school and a huge Catholic Church. But few probably knew quite what they were getting into. Read more