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Dear Religious Leader: AU's Letter On Church Politicking Hits Congregational Mail Boxes Around America

Over the past week, Americans United has mailed friendly letters to 100,000 clergy and lay leaders reminding them of the provisions of federal tax law and urging them not to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

We got word from a Baptist pastor in rural Georgia who received our missive, and apparently, wasn't too happy to hear from us. He called yesterday to complain. Read more

Holiday Humbug: Merry Christmas, Donald Wildmon – And Happy Halloween, Too!

My 10-year-old son and I spent last night at a Halloween pumpkin carving contest. We had about half an hour to come up with a design, and despite our less-than-stellar knife skills, managed to win a ribbon for "Most Unusual Nose." (Based on the number of ribbons I saw, I suspect this was one of those contests where everyone got a prize.) Read more

Unholy Inquisition: Justice Department Says 'Faith-Based' Grantees Can Ignore Anti-Bias Laws Approved By Congress

Say you're a social worker in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and you've just heard about a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program intended to keep kids out of gangs. You hop down to the local agency running the project to put in an application.

While there, the agency staffer hands you a form to fill out.

It asks, "Do you believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God?"

It goes on, "Do you believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit?" Read more

Jesus Who?: Okla. Official Says Publicly Funded Statue Isn't Necessarily Christ

To some, maybe it's just a sculpture of a middle-aged bearded man in shepherd's clothing holding a baby and playing with children.

To everyone else, including the sculptor, it's Jesus Christ.

Yet the Edmond Visual Arts Commission approved $3,900 in taxpayer funds to purchase this statue to display in front of a Catholic gift shop in Edmund, Okla. (See the statue here.) Read more

God In Lompoc: California Community Battles Over Symbolic Nod To God

Religious Right-driven skirmishes over the role of religion in public life continue to roil communities around California.

In the latest battle, the Lompoc City Council voted 4-1 this week to post "In God We Trust" at two spots in City Hall. According to the Santa Maria Times, the religious affirmation will be displayed on the speaker's podium and on a lobby wall outside Council chambers. Read more

Lone Star Assignment: Texas Scientists Do Their Homework To Get Sound Biology Education

Scientists in Texas are speaking up, hopefully in time to protect the state's science education from the Religious Right.

The Texas Board of Education is currently considering a new science curriculum. Heading up the board is Don McLeroy (R-Bryan), a creationist who opposes an academic working group's suggestion to remove the current requirement that "strengths and weakness" of all scientific theories be taught in biology classes. Read more

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