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Upcoming Chapter Events

ILLINOIS

If you live in the windy city be sure and check out the North Shore AU Chapter event: "Church-State Separation in the Classroom -- Teacher Rights & Responsibilities."  The event takes place October 22, at 7:00PM at Northbrook Library,

1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, IL60062
.  The guest speaker is Hemant Mehta, a math teacher at NeuquaValley, targeted by the Illinois Family Institute because he maintains a personal blog - The Friendly Atheist (www.friendlyatheist.com).  Mehta will talk about his close encounter with the religious right.

KANSAS

Hey, the Greater Kansas City Chapter meets the second Saturday of every month, 5:00PM at the Black Dog Coffee House at 12815 W. 87th St. Pkwy in Lenexa, KS 66215.  Be there or be square!

PENNSYLVANIA

Bucks County Chapter President Ed Joyce is speaking at Temple University's Friday afternoon teach-in to be held November 13 at 3:30 pm in Anderson Hall Room 821 on the Temple University Campus in Philadelphia.  These are well-attended events focusing on the historical background of contemporary issues.  The title of Ed's talk is "The Evolution of a Concept: A Brief History of Church/State Separation."
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Full Court Press: It's Time To Stop The Right Wing's Efforts To Block Judge Nominees

As president, one of Barack Obama's most important tasks is making appointments to the federal courts.

The Senate has a role to play too. They are to "advise and consent." If a judicial appointee is deemed unqualified, a majority of the Senate can vote him or her down.

Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Senate performed its role. Sotomayor, who had a long record of judicial service, now sits on the nation's top bench. Read more

Mimicking Moore?: Ohio Judge Picks Up Fight For Decalogue Display

Does Ohio Judge James DeWeese really want his future judicial career to be as bleak as former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore?

DeWeese was told by a federal judge last week that his self-designed Ten Commandments poster cannot be displayed in his courtroom. This is the second time a court has ordered the Richland County judge to remove a Decalogue display.

Hearing about DeWeese got us thinking here today about another non-compliant judge and Religious Right favorite, Roy Moore. Read more

Tuscaloosa AU Hosts Rev. Barry W. Lynn Tonight

The Tuscaloosa Chapter is hosting an event tonight featuring AU Executive Director Rev. Barry W. Lynn. The event begins at 7:00PM at the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham.  Lynn will speak on the topic, "A Day Without Separation of Church and State."  The event is free and open to the public and will include time for Q&A at the end.

Lynn will address various threats to church-state separation and explain why this concept benefits all Americans, religious and non-religious. “If the United States backs away from its historic commitment to real religious liberty, we'll see a lot more than a return of government-drafted prayers in public schools,” Lynn said. “If separation of church and state is lost, the civil rights and liberties of the majority of Americans will be in jeopardy.” 

Check out the Events Calendar on AU's web site for more details. You won't want to miss this!  Read more

Hallelujah, Holladay!: Utah Town Drops Sponsorship Of 'Messiah' Sing-a-long

Years back, I was one of those high school students who took chorus for the easy "A" -- despite my complete inability to carry a tune.

I'd sit on the back riser chatting with my friends as our choral director passed around the sheet music for classical arias, modern a cappella renditions of old Queen ballads, songs from Annie Get Your Gun and the "Hallelujah Chorus." Read more

Genesis Of Controversy: Report On Gideons' Bible Distribution Is A Revelation

When I was in college, we could always tell when the relentless western Pennsylvania winter was finally losing its grip by two key events: A roving evangelist would appear on campus and scream at women he thought were immodestly attired, and the Gideons would stand outside the cafeteria and pass out copies of the New Testament.

I didn't mind taking one. After all, I was an adult and it was my choice. But in looking it over, I noticed one thing: The first few pages emphasized the passage John 3:16. Many fundamentalists see this verse as the key to becoming "born again." Read more

The High Court And The Church-State Wall: Betsy Ross, Meet Sandra Day O'Connor

Prayers and patriotic songs reverberated through the air as I made my way to the Supreme Court yesterday morning. I exchanged a reticent glance with the police officer stationed outside the Library of Congress (just a block away), and he chuckled, as if to read my mind.

"Things are getting crazy over there," he warned, as I dug my notepad from my bag.

"Big case," I responded. Read more

A Cross – The Great Divide: Justices Seem Split On Calif. Religious Symbol Case

I spent the morning at the Supreme Court attending oral arguments in Salazar v. Buono – a case focusing on a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve in California.

I'm not going to pretend I understand all of the ins and outs of this complex case because I'm not a lawyer. I rely on AU's legal team to do that. But I did garner a few impressions from the argument. Read more

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