The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Should taxpayers be forced to subsidize social service programs that discriminate in hiring on religious grounds?
Most Americans would quickly and emphatically say, "No!" If taxpayers of all faiths (and none) are paying for a program, taxpayers of all faiths (and none) should be eligible to work there. Applicants should be judged on their qualifications, not their theological opinions.
Yet former President George W. Bush allowed exactly that kind of job bias in publicly funded programs run by faith-based agencies. Read more
A 77-year-old retired public school teacher is fighting for the Bible to be taught in Idaho's schools, according to a report in the Idaho Press-Tribune.
Chuck Sheldon, founder and executive director of the group Our Godly American Heritage, claims he wants to see an academic course on the Bible to be taught as an elective. He believes the Idaho Constitution's provision stating that "no sectarian or religious tenets or doctrines shall ever be taught in the public schools" has been standing in his way. Read more
Back in 1995, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of some conservative Christian students at the University of Virginia who sought money from a student activity fund to publish a Christian magazine.
The decision in Rosenberger v. University of Virginia was a close 5-4, and the right-wing groups that backed the students were full of glee. They had finally succeeded in putting a few chinks in the wall of separation between church and state – at Thomas Jefferson's university, no less. Read more
Britney Spears' "Circus" tour is just getting under way. Brittany McComb's tour through the federal court system is about to come to an end.
In 2006, McComb made national headlines with her high school valedictorian speech.
As the Nevada senior began to tell her fellow graduates how God's "love is something that we all desire, it's unprejudiced, it's merciful, it's free, it's real, it's huge, it's everlasting.... God's love is so great that He gave up His only son," school officials pulled the plug on her microphone. Read more
Here's some news you might have missed: Newt Gingrich is trying to refashion himself yet again – this time as a moral leader who seeks to "renew" America.
No, no, I was not taken in by a story from The Onion. This is true. Yep, everyone's favorite serial adulterer, the mother of all toxic assets, Newt Gingrich wants to lecture you, me and everybody else on how to live a good, decent and Christian life. Read more
Just when you think Religious Right groups can't get any farther out on the edge of the flat Earth, they do.
Lock up the children! The Rev. Wiley Drake is on the loose again.
I'm sure you remember Drake, the controversial California pastor and media hound. Drake, a Southern Baptist, is perhaps best known for waging an "imprecatory prayer" campaign against Americans United and its staff (including me by name – thanks, Wiley!). Read more
It has been surprisingly busy on the church-state front this week with a new flare-up in the South Carolina license plate case and the stories about President Barack Obama's religious advisors.
But I didn't want the week to go by without wishing James Madison a happy birthday – admittedly belated. Madison was born on March 16, 1751. Most Americans don't know that, which is a shame. Read more
The debate over the South Carolina "I Believe" license plate rages on.
At least for South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster and Lt. Governor Andre Bauer, who continue to mislead South Carolinians on what Americans United's lawsuit challenging the production of these plates is really about. Read more