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Government Endorsed Religion in State Bills

Several bills moved in state legislatures last week that encourage government-sanctioned prayer under the guise of “protecting” religious freedoms. In reality, these bills merely make it easier to evangelize to captive audiences in a government setting.

Virginia Senate Bill 555 Read more

Rhee’s Misguided Mission: Former D.C. Public Schools Chief Jumps On Voucher Bandwagon

Like Anakin Skywalker turning into Darth Vader, former Washington, D.C., public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has transitioned from an optimistic public education reformer to a jaded voucher advocate.

You may not be familiar with Rhee, but you should be because she might be affecting public education in your state, despite her thin resume. Read more

False Arrest: Ohio Cops’ Play Acting At Church Garners Bad Reviews

And now a quick visit to the “what-could-they-possibly-have-been-thinking?” department.

Police officers in Summit County, Ohio, are in hot water after they agreed to participate in a publicity stunt designed to drum up interest in a play about how difficult it is for pastors to publicly defend the Christian faith. Read more

Fall From Grace: Fundamentalist Preacher Gothard Resigns Following Abuse Allegations

Persistent sexual harassment allegations have finally ended the career of fundamentalist figurehead Bill Gothard. Gothard, 79, resigned from his post as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) yesterday. Thirty-four women had accused the preacher of harassment; four had accused him of molestation. Gothard had been placed on leave pending an investigation into the allegations, which span the last three decades.
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Putrid Poll: Dubious Family Research Council Survey Finds Most Americans Want Politics In The Pulpit

Is asking pastors to follow the law regarding pulpit politicking akin to bullying clergy? The Religious Right seems to think so. Read more

Stick A Fork In It?: Polls Demonstrate Growing Support For Marriage Equality And Against Discrimination

Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular,  according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
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Taking Liberties: A New Book Explains Why The Religious Right’s View Of ‘Religious Freedom’ Is All Wrong

Pardon me for engaging in some blatant self-promotion, but I wanted to let members and friends of Americans United know that my new book, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do, is being released today.

Two issues inspired me to write this book: the controversy over the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act and the spread of legal same-sex marriage in the states.  Read more

Equal Access For All: Atheist Student Clubs Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Heckler’s Veto

If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.

My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)

There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.

How can this be? It’s a public school. Read more

‘Ark Park’ Back Afloat?: Creationist Groups Says Ground Will Be Broken On Biblical Theme Park In May

It seems reports of the demise of Kentucky’s infamous “Ark Park” have been greatly exaggerated – or at least that’s what the project’s head would like us to believe. Read more

‘What’s In It For Me?’: Public Schools, Public Taxes And The Public Good

A story from the Wilmington, Del., News Journal caught my eye this morning: Some private school parents in the state are angry because legislators are considering axing a small subsidy they get to offset the cost of transporting their children to private schools.

The sums involved are not large, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld this type of private school bus aid way back in 1947. It’s not so much a constitutional issue these days. Read more

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