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Craziness At The Crossroad: I'll See You At The Intersection Of Church And State

I've been working as a communications assistant at Americans United for Separation of Church and State for just about a week now, and already I have learned a lot. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, informed me (along with all the viewers of his "700 Club") that he is not a gynecologist, and Religious Right radio host Janet Folger likened my new boss, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, to a Nazi Brownshirt. Read more

Maharishi Mistake: Why TM Doesn't Belong In America's Public Schools

Should Transcendental Meditation (TM) be taught in America's public schools?

That's a question that Newsweek has dived into. The magazine reports that there is a "small but growing movement" to bring TM into U.S. classrooms.

For the uninitiated, Newsweek notes that TM is the trademarked name of a meditation technique created by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1958. It is a practice inherited from India and made hip by high-profile devotees like the Beatles in the 1960s. Read more

South Carolina's Christian License Plate: 'I Believe' This Is A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen

I frequently see people driving around in cars, trucks, SUVs, etc. who want me to know about their strong Christian faith. Their bumper stickers proclaim it, as do their little Christian fish symbols. I even saw a guy this weekend who felt compelled to make a giant fish symbol out of reflective tape for his door.

It's fine with me. It's your car, so go ahead and use it to spread whatever message you like.

But understand that the government can't help you. Thus, putting a cross on a state license plate goes too far. Read more

Bogus On The Bayou: Louisiana Legislators Consider Dragging Science Education Back Into The Swamp

Is the Louisiana legislature about to make a tremendous mistake?

It sure looks like it. Despite frantic objections from public school teachers, the scientific community and advocates of church-state separation, the House education committee yesterday approved unanimously a Religious Right bill designed to undercut the teaching of evolution. Read more

Wily Wiley: California's Political Pastor Won't Face IRS Sanctions After All

The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it is closing its investigation of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, Calif., a congregation that Americans United believed stepped over the line into partisan politics.

Americans United in August asked the IRS to investigate the church after its pastor, the Rev. Wiley Drake issued an e-mail press release on church letterhead endorsing Mike Huckabee for president. Drake later repeated the endorsement on his internet radio show. Read more

Defend The Walls!: Arizona Decision Shows Why State Constitutions Must Be Preserved

The U.S. Supreme Court isn't as diligent as it used to be on protecting taxpayers from being compelled to support religious schools and other ministries. In 2002, the high court upheld Ohio's school voucher plan, even though most of the money goes to sectarian schools.

That's why state constitutions are so important. They have become the new front-line defense in the battle to prevent people from being forced to support sectarian education. Read more

Divisive Display: When 'Trust In God' Becomes A Political Wedge Issue

Is trust in God a religious concept? Most fair-minded Americans would say yes.

Yet the Lancaster, Calif., City Council doesn't seem to think so. Members of that governmental body recently approved unanimously a resolution ordering the display of "In God We Trust" on the back wall of the council chambers.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, council members denied that their action had anything to do with religion. Read more