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

A Knight In Shining Armor: Evangelical Pastor Says Church-State Separation Benefits Religion

Is church-state separation a threat to Christianity? Religious Right forces want you to think so.

During the past few months, Religious Right leaders have railed against the alleged secularization of Christmas and agitated in favor of government recognition of the Christian aspects of the holiday. In a Tuesday column in The Christian Post, for example, Mark Earley groused that "city leaders are going all out to yank the Christ child out of any and all Christmas events." Read more

Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself? Read more

Holiday Humbugs: It's Time To End The Religious Right's War On Civility

Note: This opinion column by Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, ran in the Vacaville (Calif.) Reporter on Dec. 12, under the title "Let's End This War on Christmas."

Christmas is supposed to be a season of peace, love and goodwill. I have to wonder, then, why some conservative religious groups persist in using this time of year to divide Americans and stir up interfaith tensions. Read more

Invocation Irritation: Controversy Over Rick Warren Won't Go Away

The controversy over Barack Obama's decision to ask Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration refuses to die down. Discontent over the matter continues to simmer around the Web, and now the pundits are weighing in.

This morning, two Washington Post columnists commented – coming to radically different conclusions. Read more

Religion And Congress: Scholars Say Congress Is Becoming More Pluralistic

Andre Carson is a Muslim. Jared Polis is Jewish. Dina Titus is Greek Orthodox.

Does it matter? Maybe. Maybe not.

Carson, Polis and Titus are three members of the 111th Congress. On Jan. 6, they and their 532 colleagues will be sworn into office. They will hold hearings, draft legislation and enact laws that affect all of us. Their religious affiliations are important only to them, as long as they respect the constitutional separation of church and state. Read more

Medical Emergency: Bush Issues Health-Care Worker Regulations Sought By Religious Right

Most political analysts agree that the November election was a repudiation of President George W. Bush and his policies. To be sure, many voters were impressed by Barack Obama's vision and rhetorical skills, but they also saw the need for a sharp break with the failed policies of the Bush regime.

Bush either does not understand this or simply chooses not to acknowledge it. He continues to push through 11th-hour regulatory changes that might please his Religious Right base but are likely to annoy just about everyone else. Read more

Inaugural Mistake: Rick Warren Is The Wrong Man For Obama's Swearing-In

So Pastor Rick Warren has been invited to deliver the invocation during Barack Obama's inauguration?

What disappointing news! Warren, an increasingly prominent evangelical who penned the successful book The Purpose-Driven Life, likes to portray himself as above the partisan fray. But he's not. Warren is a kinder, gentler Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt and blue jeans with better P.R. – and he's slick enough to know how to play both sides of the political aisle. Read more

The 'Con-Con' Con: We Don't Need To Rewrite The Bill Of Rights

You might not have noticed it, but yesterday was Bill of Rights Day. It's an easy event to overlook because it's not as though throngs of people took to the streets to celebrate. My desk calendar doesn't even mention the day, although every Oct. 16 I am reminded that it's National Boss Day.

It would be odd to celebrate the Bill of Rights by trashing it. Yet that could happen if Congress is forced to convene a Constitutional Convention. Known informally as a "con-con," such an event would essentially throw the Constitution up for a rewrite. This is a bad idea. Read more

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