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Back From The Grave: Reports Of The Religious Right's Death Are Premature (Again)

Have you heard the news? The "culture wars" are over! Well, not really. They were over for about five minutes. Now they're back on again.

Here's what happened: Word started getting around that James Dobson of Focus on the Family had given a farewell speech to his staff during which he conceded that the Religious Right had failed to achieve many of its policy goals. Some in the media interpreted this as an admission of defeat and a sign that the Religious Right is giving up. Read more

Religious Right Censors' Worst Nightmare: Why We'll Miss Judith Krug

It's pretty easy these days to walk into mostly any public library in the country and check out J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye or John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. You can do that in a large part thanks to a woman named Judith Krug.

Judith, who ran the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom since 1967, was a life-long censorship foe who conceived the now internationally famous "Banned Books Week." She raised awareness of book censorship in America and devised strategies to combat it. Read more

Jefferson & Obama v. Hannity & Rove: You Know Who's Gonna Win This Bout

The partisan pugilists over at Fox News Channel have been howling about President Barack Obama's insistence that America is a pluralistic nation that respects all faiths.

Obama, you may recall, said during his recent visit to Turkey that the United States is "a secular country that is respectful of religious freedom, respectful of rule of law, respectful of freedom...." Read more

Friday Frolic: A Selection Of Church-State Nuggets From Around The Web

Every day, Americans United staff members read numerous secular and religious publications, check out TV and radio preachers and drop by various Religious Right Web sites and other sources. We monitor the theocrats, so you don't have to. (No, there's no need to thank us.)

Here's a roundup of some recent tidbits you might have missed: Read more

Unholy Alliance: Marriage Laws Should Separate Church And State

Spring seems to finally be making an appearance here in Washington, D.C.   Besides the flowers, warmer temperatures and upbeat moods, one other thing spring brings is the start of the wedding season.

I spent four days in Cleveland last week celebrating the wedding of a close friend. She had a Hindu ceremony with all the bells and whistles — from the groom arriving on a horse, to henna on her hands, to guests wearing colorful saris. Read more

Diplomatic Demands: Vatican Vetoes U.S. Ambassador Candidates Who Fail Religious Test

One of my heroes in the church-state world is a feisty Southern Baptist minister named James Dunn.

James ran the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty here in Washington for many years. He is firmly grounded in the historic Baptist view that separation of church and state is good for both institutions. Woe to anyone who suggested that James was operating out of hostility toward religion. A man of deep faith, James would quickly set you straight on that. Read more

Celebrating The Secular: Obama Says U.S. Is Not A Christian Nation

The United States was not founded as a Christian nation. Nothing in the Constitution grants Christianity favored status. In fact, Article VI bans religious tests for federal office, and the First Amendment bars laws "respecting an establishment of religion" while protecting "the free exercise thereof" – for all faiths.

It's good to hear political leaders remind us of this fact from time to time, as President Barack Obama did yesterday during a press conference in Turkey. Read more

Transcending The Constitution?: Why TM Doesn't Belong In Public Schools – Even If Ringo Wants It

Back when I was in college, a film titled "Eraserhead" was shown on campus one night. Having nothing better to do that weekend, I attended. The movie was about – well, even after 27 years I'm still not sure what it was about.

Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough by the movie that I kept up with the work of its director, David Lynch – "Blue Velvet," "Wild at Heart" and of course the ground-breaking television series "Twin Peaks." Read more