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Paying For The Pope?: Pa. Government Seeks Taxpayer Funds For Costs Associated With Papal Visit

Pope Francis will visit the United States in September, with scheduled stops in Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C. But as the date of his arrival draws nearer, it seems some localities are concerned about the costs associated with a papal visit – so they’re looking for a taxpayer bailout. Read more

No More ‘Jesus Pizza:’ Court Tells Colo. Cowboy Church To Hit The Trail

The Cowboy Church of the Crossroads may no longer meet in a public high school, according to the terms of a new settlement. ABC 7 reports that a federal court issued a consent decree that requires Florence, Co.,-based church to find a new home.

The settlement ends a legal battle between the Fremont RE-2 School District and a former teacher over Florence High School’s alleged promotion of the church. Read more

First Amendment Folly: Court Says Pa. Ten Commandments Monument May Remain At Public School Because It Isn’t Offensive Enough

A federal judge recently ruled that it’s perfectly fine for a Ten Commandments monument to remain on government property because the people who complained about the display couldn’t prove that they were sufficiently offended by it. Read more

Canned Clerk: Ind. County Employee Fired For Refusing To Process Same-Sex Couples’ Marriage Applications Files Lawsuit

An employee at a county clerk’s office in Indiana who was fired because she refused to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples claims her “religious freedom” rights have been violated. So now she’s suing.

Linda Summers, an employee in Harrison County, was fired last year for her refusal to fully perform her job requirements – specifically issuing marriage licenses for all qualified couples. Read more

The Columbia (Oregon and SW Washington) Americans United Chapter Tables the 18th Annual Alberta Street Fair

On Saturday, August 8th,  the Americans United for Separation of Church and State Columbia Chapter will have a booth at the 18th Annual Alberta Street Fair. The Alberta Street Fair offers an eclectic mix of activities and events that can only be found on Alberta Street. Showcasing the best of the local community, it draws more than 25,000 people annually, and features entertainment, music, and vendors for people of all ages. Read more

Confronting The Final Frontier: Is America Ready For An Atheist President?

Colonial-era Baptist minister John Leland was a devout Christian, but he was no bigot.

In an essay titled “The Virginia Chronicle” (1790), Leland attacked antiquated laws in the Old Dominion that limited public office to certain types of Christians.

“If a man merits the confidence of his neighbors in Virginia,” observed Leland, “let him worship one God, twenty Gods or no God. Be he Jew, Turk, Pagan, or Infidel, he is eligible to any office in the state.” Read more

Faith Of The Fathers: Missouri State Sen. Attempts To Block Birth Control Coverage For His Daughters

A Missouri state representative who wants to stop his daughters from accessing birth control recently won a victory in his ongoing suit against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments in his challenge to the regulations, thus reversing a lower court ruling that threw the case out on standing.
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