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Blame The Victim Much?: Ind. High School Student Who Complained About Coercive Prayer Told To Be More Cooperative

When the parents of an Indiana high school sophomore complained that their son was subjected to coercive prayers at multiple school events, officials were less than sympathetic to the family’s First Amendment concerns.

To say the family’s protest fell on deaf ears would be far too generous. In fact, one school administrator went so far as to blame the student for not accepting the sectarian messages in silence.   Read more

Pluck Of The Irish: Same-Sex Marriage Vote Shows Yearning For An End To Clerical Domination

A provocative headline from Reuters news service last week caught my eye. “Irish plunge stake through Catholic Church’s heart,” it read.

The headline is perhaps a bit hyperbolic. The column, by John Lloyd, co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, is a thoughtful analysis of how quickly the Catholic Church’s influence has fallen in Ireland – and why that has happened. Read more

Happy Birth (Control) Day!: A Golden Anniversary That Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

American women today enjoy a right that for thousands of years of human civilization was virtually unheard of: The power to decide if they will have children and if so, how many they will have.

For that, you can thank lots of people, chief among them the scientists and researchers who invented and later perfected safe and effective forms of contraception.

But you can also thank a woman many people have never heard of. Her name is Estelle Griswold. Read more

Bad Gamble: Nevada’s New ‘School Choice’ Bill May Violate State Constitution

Nevada has adopted a sweeping expansion of its school choice program, making individual savings accounts available to parents sending children to sectarian and even home schools. The Washington Post reports that parents will have $5,000 at their disposal to use on state-approved educational materials, including tuition, books and transportation. Gov. Read more

God’s Police?: Missouri Police Department Adds National Motto To Cars

Greene County, Mo., police cars now read “In God We Trust,” and some residents aren’t pleased by the change.

In a letter to the Springfield News-Leader’s “Answer Man,” Laura Entwisle wrote, “I recently saw a Greene County sheriff's deputy's car with letters on the bumper that say, ‘In God We Trust.’ I called the sheriff's office and was told that Sheriff Jim Arnott decided to do this.” Read more

The Swinney Switch: Clemson University Football Coach Declines To Attend Fundraiser For Anti-LGBT Group

South Carolina’s second-highest paid employee was in a bit of a predicament last week. He has been accused in the past of using taxpayer money to proselytize, and now he finds himself under fire thanks to an award from an organization with a history of attacking LGBT rights. Read more

Common Sense In Carolina: N.C. Governor Vetoes Anti-LGBT Legislation

The Tea Party and other far-right groups speak often of their love for the Constitution. But for all their talk about America’s foundational document, many of these zealots understand our laws about as well as an average kindergartner. That is why it’s always a pleasure when a political leader rejects these stilted views. Read more

Please Think Of The Children: Mont. Public School Had No Business Sending Kids To Creationist Attraction

You might have read yesterday about Americans United’s latest victory. It’s one I’m especially pleased to see: Officials at a public school in Glendive, Mont., were going to send third-graders on a field trip to a local spot run by creationists. AU’s attorneys put a stop to that. Read more

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