Subscribe to Americans United: Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from all of AU's blogs. All in one place.

Chaplain Controversy: Virginia Legislators Endorse Christian Police Prayer

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation yesterday that would allow state police chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus Christ at public events, despite federal appeals court decisions that have banned such prayers.

The legislation stems from some delegates' outrage over what they saw as "forced" resignations by six police chaplains in September. The chaplains stepped down after Virginia State Police Col. Steven Flaherty issued a directive requiring police chaplains to avoid denominational prayers at public events, such as trooper graduations. Read more

Real Justice: Change Comes To Nation's Top Law-Enforcement Agency

Change is in the air at the U.S. Department of Justice – and it looks like it'll be for the good.

The Senate has confirmed Eric Holder at the nation's new attorney general. Holder has vowed to reverse course from many Bush administration policies. Most of the attention has focused on issues such as closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay and torture, but it looks as though the legal landscape for church-state separation is also due for an overhaul. Read more

Charter For Controversy: Religion, State And The Constitution At School

In the final days of his administration, former President George W. Bush issued a report on why our country needs more charter schools. The document even suggested ways that schools might circumvent the constitutional ban of school-sponsored religion.

That's a recipe for controversy, of course. And Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a charter school in Minnesota, is the latest example of how such a dispute can erupt. Read more

Scandal In School: Virginia Library Staffer Challenges Religious Harassment

Today, Scripps Howard columnist Bonnie Erbe reminded us again of why church-state separation must be respected in our public schools.

Usually, when we think of religion in public schools, we think of the students and how they should be free from indoctrination. But Erbe's column shows us that it is not just the students. Teachers, administers and other school staff are also protected by the Constitution. Read more

Carping Crusaders: Religious Right Whines About Obama Shout Out To Non-Believers

Last week I wrote about the experiences my daughter and I had while attending the inauguration of President Barack Obama on the National Mall. I noted that during his inaugural address, Obama pointed out that America's diversity is a strength.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers," Obama said. "We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth...." Read more

Mormon Might: LDS Church Leaders Have Inappropriate Government Role In Utah

Is the state of Utah a theocracy?

You certainly might think so after reading an article in today's Salt Lake Tribune.

More than 80 percent of legislators are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), and for the past 15 years, legislative leaders have met annually with Mormon church officials to discuss the coming year's agenda. Read more

Invocation Imbroglio: Kansas Priest's Prayer Ignites Legislative Controversy

Prayer at governmental meetings is a never-ending source of controversy. Latest case in point: an ire-inducing invocation at the Kansas House of Representatives last week.

Guest Chaplain Brian Schieber, pastor of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church, took advantage of his place at the speaker's podium to launch a vitriolic attack on reproductive freedom. Read more

Passing The Science Test: Texas School Board Derails Most Of Creationist Plot

Today seems to be a pretty good end to a very historical week -- at least on the church-state separation front.

This morning, the Texas State Board of Education voted 8-7 to approve science standards that leave out well-known creationist code language that could weaken science education.

A final vote is scheduled for March, but according to a report from the Dallas News, the board will likely ratify today's vote. Read more

Pages