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Growth Industry: New Study Illustrates How Creationist Tactics Keep Evolving

A new study says that a single county policy spawned at least 65 bills to promote creationism in American public schools. Nicholas J. Matzke, a phylogeneticist based at the Australian National University, traced the bills back to a 2006 Ouachita Parish, La., curriculum policy that encouraged teachers “to help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” Read more

Courtroom Drama: N.Y. Judge Swears Oath On Quran, Sparks Immediate Backlash

New York City’s newest judge has caused a bit of a stir, and it’s not for her approach to jurisprudence. Carolyn Walker-Diallo, who is Muslim, swore on a copy of the Quran to take a seat on Brooklyn’s 7th Municipal District Court. The New York Daily News reports that the backlash is so fierce that Diallo’s supporters now fear for her safety. Read more

‘War’ Correspondence: Almost Half Of Americans Say They Prefer Secular Greetings Rather Than ‘Merry Christmas’

A new poll reveals that the Religious Right was correct all along about the “war on Christmas.”

Just kidding.

The far right invented the “war” years ago out of fears that the holiday was supposedly too secular or commercialized. And while larger numbers of Americans are celebrating Christmas without overt religious components, the vast majority still partake in some sort of sectarian activity as part of the holiday. Read more

A Plethora Of Pulpit Politicking Problems?: Far-Right Pastors Prepare For Electoral Bids

The state of Tennessee used to have a law that banned members of the clergy from running for public office. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1978 rightfully declared this provision unconstitutional.

In the United States, pretty much all adults, with very few exceptions, have the right to run for public office. I wouldn’t have it any other way. If democracy means anything, it means the right to choose our own leaders. Disqualifying people from the ballot because of their race, gender or religious beliefs is un-American. Read more

Denominational Drama: N.D. Couple Sues Church For Viewpoint Discrimination

A Kindred, N.D., couple claims their former church discriminated against them for their conservative views on gay rights. Ray and Joan Grabanski have sued Norman Evangelical Lutheran Church, its pastor and several congregants and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) over the alleged discrimination.                                      Read more

Christmas Truce: Nativity Scene No Longer Gracing Fla. Capitol Rotunda

It seems Satan and a self-proclaimed “Catholic warrior” have driven a nativity scene from the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee – at least for this year.

In response to controversy caused by seasonal displays in the capitol rotunda last year, including a display by the Satanic Temple that was vandalized, a group that had previously sponsored a crèche decided to discontinue its practice. Read more

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