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

Values Vacuum: Religious Right Summit Hits Low Points On Rhetoric And Race

On Friday and Saturday, I endured my first "Values Voter Summit," an annual conference where right-wing fundamentalists get to be their poisonous, partisan and propaganda-propagating selves.

That's right, these "compassionate conservatives" or good "evangelical Christian" folk tried to fool themselves and the media into believing their policies are about more than just pure hate and an unconstitutional agenda. And they failed miserably. Read more

Of Pigs, Lipstick And Elections: Candidates Should Be Talking About Serious Constitutional Concerns

For the past few days, both presidential candidates have been up in arms about a "lipstick on the pig" comment made by Barack Obama.

People have been wondering: does Obama's comment mean he's sexist? Is he calling Palin a pig? Or is it just an expression that the McCain camp has blown out of proportion?

Here's my thought: No matter who the pig is and what color lipstick he or she may or may not be wearing, Americans have a big decision to make come November -- and wasting even one day worrying about pigs and lipstick isn't helping this country make that decision. Read more

Chips Off The Old Block?: The Falwell Family Is – Surprise! -- Promoting Partisan Politics

I'm shocked, shocked, to find that partisan political activity is going on in the Falwell religious empire.

Today's Lynchburg News & Advance reports that Joe McCain, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's brother, will be leading a public rally at Liberty University tomorrow. The candidate's sibling will also be speaking at the university's morning convocation, the newspaper said. Read more

Values Void: Speakers At Upcoming FRC Summit Have A Few Things To Learn About Ethics

I've been looking over the speakers' list for the Family Research Council's "Values Voter Summit" that takes place this weekend.

A lot the names are familiar. If I have to listen to Michael Medved, Star Parker or Laura Ingraham one more time I'm going to scream. Really, aren't there enough right-wing extremists in this country so we could have a little variety?

Here's what really gets me: They call this thing the "Values Voter Summit," so one would think it might have something to do with the promotion of values. Think again. Consider some of the speakers: Read more

Tax Fix: ADF 'Pulpit Initiative' Sparks Ethics And Tax Exemption Complaints

If I were a lawyer working for the Alliance Defense Fund, saying my week was off to a bad start would be the biggest understatement of my career.

The prominent Religious Right legal group seems to have landed itself in some deep trouble after spending the last few weeks encouraging churches across the country to violate federal tax law on Sept. 28 by endorsing candidates from the pulpit. Read more

Sermons For Separation: Ohio Pastor Counters Religious Right Church-Electioneering Scheme

A Columbus, Ohio, minister has come up with a great idea to counter Religious Right propaganda about churches and partisan politics.

On Sept. 21, the Rev. Eric Williams, senior pastor of North Congregational United Church of Christ, is calling on pastors throughout the country to preach sermons on the importance of church-state separation. The action comes exactly one week ahead of "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) scheme to draw churches into illegal electioneering. Read more

Are You 'Right With God'?: Alaska Official's Religious Rhetoric Leaves Me Cold

Yesterday I received a call from an Associated Press reporter in Anchorage who wanted to talk about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's use of religious rhetoric.

A video surfaced recently of Palin, now the Republican vice presidential nominee, giving a speech to a group of ministry students at her former church, the Wasilla Assembly of God. During the talk, Palin said the war in Iraq reflects God's will – but she didn't stop there. Apparently, God's will also includes the building of a natural gas pipeline in the state. Read more

Caught In The Web: Partisan Pulpit Politicking Surfaces Online For The World -- And The IRS -- To See

At the end of this week, the Republican National Convention will come to a close and move the 2008 election season into its final months.

With the new VP picks on the tickets and the buzz surrounding the conventions, it wouldn't be surprising if more religious leaders have the urge to spout off on their picks for the president (and vice president) from the pulpit. Read more

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