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

History Hysteria: Religious Right Attacks Holocaust Education In Kentucky

Teachers are always looking for ways to make history a more interesting and relevant subject. Young people tend to get turned off if history appears to be little more than memorizing a dry list of dates, names and battles.

Many schools want to find ways to make history come alive. In my daughter's high school, the class did special projects when they discussed the 1920s. (My daughter designed and sewed her own flapper dress.) When it was time to study the Great Depression, the class watched and then discussed the 1940 film adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath." Read more

Spiritual Warfare: Ex-Chaplain Prays For Death Of AU's Lynn

On Friday I wrote about Gordon James Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who has been trying to raise money and recruit supporters through a Religious Right Web site titled

Americans United and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) took issue with Klingenschmitt's site and his e-mail alerts that referred to him as "Chaplain Klingenschmitt" and showed him in a Navy uniform. We wrote to Navy officials, arguing that Klingenschmitt was attempting to mislead people, as he is a former chaplain. Read more

The Devil And Bishop Finn: Catholic Prelate Wages Spiritual War To Enforce God's Law

Are you an agent of Satan? Bishop Robert W. Finn thinks you might be.

In a recent address to the Catholic Church-sponsored "Gospel of Life Convention," Finn stated bluntly, "We are at war!"

Using highly intemperate language, the Kansas City, Mo., prelate said the "Church Militant" is "engaged in a constant warfare with Satan" and "human enemies," people who are "deceived by Satan's distortions and lies." Read more

A Ruse By Any Other Name: Texas Fundamentalists Want State To Honor Religion As Science

At least some people in Texas are standing up for sound science education. And hopefully, they won't back down, despite a new lawsuit challenging their decision.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has sued the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for failing to approve its master's degree in creationism-based science education. Read more

Pastors In Prison?: Religious Right Spreads Lies About Hate Crimes Bill

Legislation that would target hate crimes is expected to start moving in Congress soon. The Religious Right is going bananas.

The legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913), is intended to do a few key things: It would allow the U.S. Justice Department to offer assistance when a crime that results in death or serious injury is committed against any American because of the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Read more

The Republicans And Religion: Should The GOP Stop Being God's Own Party?

Steve Schmidt, Sen. John McCain's top adviser from the presidential campaign, has some advice for Republicans seeking office in the future. He said Friday that the GOP needs to reassess its relationship with religion.

Schmidt told   the Log Cabin Republicans, a grassroots group for gay and lesbian Republicans, that party positions on issues such as same-sex marriage cannot be based solely on religious belief. Read more

Unconstitutional Chorus: Federal Judge Says Fla. School Struck Sour Note With Promotion Of Right-Wing Religious Song

U.S. District Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger of northern Florida is one smart guy.

On Wednesday, he gave a Florida public school quite a scolding, followed by a very important constitutional law lesson.

Two teachers at the school included a song called "In God We Still Trust" by the country group Diamond Rio into the program of a third-grade class' end-of-the-year assembly. Read more

Misplaced Priorities: Justice Thomas Does The Dishes, But Forgets The Bill Of Rights

We don't hear much from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He hasn't asked a question during oral arguments at the high court in more than two years.

So when the George H.W. Bush appointee does agree to speak at a public event, we look forward to hearing his thoughts -- especially when he is asked to speak on the Bill of Rights. That's something we'd like to hope he knows quite a bit about as a Supreme Court justice.

But recently, when Thomas took the podium to address high school essay-contest winners, he seemed to forget he was there to talk about the Constitution. Read more

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