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

Faith-Based Flop: Okla. Religious Program For Ex-Prisoners Fails To Deliver

The "faith-based" initiative is a constitutional nightmare because it uses tax funds to support social programs loaded with sectarian dogma. But an interesting side question has always lurked on the fringes of the debate: Does the approach even work?

From the beginning, proponents of the faith-based approach have repeated over and over again that religious groups provide social services more effectively and cheaper than their secular or government counterparts. It's like a mantra, but is it actually true? Read more

Poll Of Separation: Conn. Voters Oppose Mixing Religion And Politics

"Connecticut voters want God off the campaign trail, out of the voting booth and away from the halls of government," concludes a recent poll sponsored by the Hartford Courant.

The poll, which surveyed 488 adults earlier this month, revealed some fascinating statistics about voters in the Nutmeg State. Read more

Southern Baptist Ambition: Making The Will Of Christ Supreme In Public Affairs?

Are Southern Baptist leaders ratcheting up their political operation?

It sure looks like it. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is the nation's largest Protestant denomination, and its fundamentalist leadership is struggling to gain greater political clout.

According to a feature story in The Christian Index, Georgia's state Baptist newspaper, the SBC mans a lobbying outpost in Washington, D.C., just four blocks from the Capitol. Read more

Hoosier Loser: Indiana Social Services Agency Drops State-Paid Chaplaincy – For Now

The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy reports that Indiana has nixed a "novel chaplaincy program" that supplied religious leaders to counsel employees of the state's Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA).

FSSA spokesman Marcus Barlow said the state agency discontinued the pilot program, which cost taxpayers $100,000, because it failed to install chaplains in each of the state's 92 counties. Read more

Pathetic Push Poll: Utah Voucher Backers Resort To Dirty Tricks In Upcoming Vote

Utah residents will vote this November on whether to keep a private-school voucher law passed by the legislature earlier this year.

How are voucher advocates reacting? They're out there making reasoned arguments and trying to win people over with persuasion, right? Nope. They have commissioned a telephone "push poll" designed to link opposition to vouchers with advocacy of same-sex marriage. Read more

'God's Warriors': CNN Examines Worldwide Role Of Religion In Politics

Tonight CNN starts delving into the volatile mix of religion and politics.

At 9 p.m. EDT, "Larry King Live" will preview a three-part series called "God's Warriors," which is scheduled to start tomorrow evening on CNN. The series' chief reporter, Christiane Amanpour, and a panel of guests, including Americans United's Barry W. Lynn, will join Larry to discuss the impact religious fundamentalists are having on politics worldwide. Read more