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TM In The Public Schools?: Educators Should Be 'Mindful' Of The U.S. Constitution

Fervent believers in numerous religions have spent decades trying to figure out how to expand their numbers. The nation's public schools are an especially enticing target.

Indeed, top Religious Right guru James Dobson said many years ago, "Children are the prize to the winners in the second great civil war. Those who control what young people are taught and what they experience – what they see, hear, think, and believe – will determine the future course for the nation." Read more

Utah's Test: Voters Have Opportunity To Back Public Schools And Church-State Separation

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the ballot language for "Utah's Parent Choice in Education Act" has been finalized. Utah voters this November will determine the Act's future, which makes available vouchers of $500 - $3,000 for children in parochial and other private schools. All public school students, regardless of income, will be eligible. Read more

Perkins' Prevarications: FRC Head Spreads Wild Claims Of Criminalization Of Christianity

A Tony Perkins column in the July issue of the Family Research Council's "Washington Watch" newsletter is a textbook example of how the Religious Right distorts the facts to keep its supporters in a constant state of frenzy.

Perkins tells two stories in the essay. One deals with a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Tangipahoa Parish, La., against the school board's practice of openings its meetings with sectarian prayer. Read more

Of Presidents & Piety: Americans Oppose Bible-Based Governmental Policies

Americans oppose secular government and want to see more religion in politics and public life, right?

That's the line parroted by Religious Right activists for the past 25 years. To hear them tell it, the Supreme Court, working in cahoots with advocates of church-state separation, has imposed a relentless secularism on the country that the people do not support and do not want.

That's what the Religious Right claims. Here is the reality: Most Americans don't want to live in a country where political leaders rely on religious texts as the basis of public policy. Read more

Wary Of Harry: Dobson Denounces Potter Books For Promoting Witchcraft

Dr. James Dobson never lets me down. When controversy erupts, I always count on Focus on the Family's grand inquisitor to come down on the wrong side.

You can imagine my shock, then, when I read in Wednesday's Washington Post that Dr. D. had praised the Harry Potter books. I almost fell off my chair. Read more

The Naked Truth: Bible Literacy Project's Censorship Of Adam And Eve Unveils Fundamentalist Agenda

Medieval theologians reportedly spent a lot of time debating whether Adam had a navel. The question was never firmly settled, but one thing's for sure: The rest of him was probably intact.

You would never know that by consulting the latest edition of The Bible and Its Influence, a glossy tome produced by the Bible Literacy Project (BLP) for use in public school Bible classes. Read more

Tortured History: Author Mansfield Mangles America's Treasured Church-State Tradition

A recent op-ed in the USA Today distorts Thomas Jefferson's vision, and the Supreme Court's interpretation, of church-state separation. The piece is by Stephen Mansfield, author of Ten Tortured Words: How the Founding Fathers Tried to Protect Religion in America and What's Happened Since.

Mansfield's evidence that the Supreme Court has strayed from the Founders' vision of church-state separation is weak, if not flat-out false. Read more

Casper's Commandments Caper: 'Historic Plaza' Offers Thin Disguise To Decalogue Display

Sometimes it seems politicians strive for ways to waste time and public funds.

For example, city officials in Casper, Wyo., are dead set on frittering away taxpayer dollars on public promotion of religion.

Apparently facing no budget difficulties and itching to appease the city's religious majority, Casper Mayor Kate Sarosy and other city officials today will dedicate a so-called "historic plaza," containing a large granite Ten Commandments monument surrounded by other displays. Read more

Prayer War On The Hill: Hindu Invocation In Senate Reveals Religious Right Rancor

Our nation's Religious Right cabal carps constantly about a lack of religion in the public square and promotes the wildly misleading notion that the nation's Founding Fathers envisioned a government devoted to Christianity.

This morning an incident unfolded in the U.S. Senate that provided a glimpse of the nastiness that movement has wrought. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had invited a Hindu clergyperson to offer a prayer to open today's session, and it was disrupted by angry howls from a gaggle of Religious Right protestors. Read more