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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Backdoor Blasphemy: Pa. County Intends To Pursue Jesus Statue ‘Desecration’ Case

It seems a Pennsylvania county has its heart set on enforcing a backdoor blasphemy law thanks to a persistent and misguided district attorney.

Earlier this month, a story made the rounds on social media concerning a 14-year-old boy in Everett, Pa., who posted on Facebook a photo of himself simulating a sex act with a statue of Jesus. Read more

The Censorship Crusade: A Story For Banned Books Week

Yesterday marked the start of the American Library Association’s annual “Banned Books Week.” In light of that, it’s a good time to celebrate the fact that ultra-conservative religious groups no longer have the power to determine what we read. Read more

Crisis of Faith: Religious Facilities Rely On Misleading Tactics, Dupe Women

A new VICE documentary reveals that publicly funded, religiously motivated crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) represent a growing national problem. Hosted by Fazeelat Aslam, Misconception tackles the misleading advertising tactics used by many, if not most, CPCs to disguise their true intentions: To dissuade women from accessing legal abortion, and to proselytize anyone who comes through the door. Read more

In Bad Company: ‘Ark Park’ Mastermind To Headline Conference Organized By Group Tied To Neo-Confederates

Ken Ham, president of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis, has sold Kentucky lawmakers on the idea that a religious theme park featuring a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark deserves taxpayer dollars because it will create jobs. Read more

They Can’t Have It Back: Southern Baptist Leader Seeks To ‘Reclaim’ Church-State Separation

If there were a prize for unmitigated gall, it would be awarded today to Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Moore, speaking during a recent panel discussion at the Evangelical Leadership Summit, an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., told the crowd that they need to “reclaim” the phrase separation of church and state, a term he admitted that “we long ago tossed overboard.” Read more

Teaching Religion In Public Schools: One Calif. City Does It Right

In Modesto, Calif., public school students are learning about religion in class – but it’s probably not what you think. The geography and world religion course, which is required for all high school students, is described as an objective overview of the world’s belief systems, and according to a recent article in the Modesto Bee, it succeeds in doing just that. Read more

Suspicious Statute: Pa. Teen Faces Confinement Under Law Banning ‘Desecration’

A story has been making the rounds on social media concerning a 14-year-old boy in Everett, Pa., who posted on Facebook a photo of himself simulating a sex act with a statue of Jesus.

The teen, whose name has not been publicly released, stands accused of “desecration of a venerated object.” He is facing criminal charges and the possibility of two years in a juvenile facility. Read more

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