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

A Bad Idea By Design: Pa. Lawmakers Revive Creationism Push

Creationism is stealing headlines again in Pennsylvania.

Eight years after Americans United successfully challenged the Dover School District’s attempt to push creationism in public schools, lawmakers are at it again. State Representative Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) is now seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would allow students to question evolutionary theory.
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Bad Brief: 23 State Attorneys General Tell Supreme Court That Tradition Justifies Coercive Government Prayer

The Religious Right and its allies continued to pound away at the church-state wall last week as a group of 23 state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of official prayers at government meetings. Read more

Prayer Panacea?: Ky. Group Says ‘Inspirational Messages’ In Public Schools Will Solve Several Ills

A Religious Right group in Kentucky is calling on parents to demand the right to deliver “inspirational messages” during public school assemblies, and they’re providing some interesting “facts” to make their case.

The Kentucky chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) just released a petition that declares, in no uncertain terms, that prayer in schools will take us back to Jesus and best of all, boost student test scores, lower the crime rate and even decrease the rate of HIV infection. Read more

Prayer And The Power Company: Alabama Official Stands By Controversial Invocation Before Regulatory Meeting

A controversy over prayer is brewing in Alabama, and for once some state residents believe a public official may have gone too far with a display of official piety.

Yesterday, Twinkle Cavanaugh, the elected president of the Alabama Public Service Commission, said she stands by a prayer that was delivered last month at a service commission meeting, despite a poll taken by the news site AL.com that found 79 percent of voters think it wasn’t appropriate in that context. Read more

Marriage Malarkey: R.I. Man Loses ‘Faith-Based’ Lawsuit Against Same-Sex Unions

Starting tomorrow, same-sex couples in Rhode Island will be able to legally marry – despite the best efforts of a local Religious Right activist to stop them.

The Rhode Island legislature approved marriage equality earlier this year, and Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the measure into law. At the time, Chafee invoked the spirit of the state’s founder, iconic religious liberty pioneer Roger Williams. Read more

Introductions Are In Order: Say Hello To AU’s New Communications Associate

Introductions are always awkward, so I’ll begin with the basics: My name is Sarah Jones, and I’m Americans United’s new communications associate.

I’ll blog here and contribute to Church & State, covering our ongoing work and church-state news.

My interest in this topic stems from my own history with the Religious Right. The issues AU confronts daily are issues that have profoundly shaped my perspectives.   Read more

Nessie Nixed: Fundamentalist Biology Textbook Publisher Drops Claim That Scottish Lake Monster Is Real

Pity the poor Loch Ness Monster! Not only has he (or she) been reportedly stuck in that gloomy, cold lake for decades, now the beastie has been unceremoniously tossed out of a leading creationist biology book – at least in the European edition. Read more

Safety Check: Woman Praying On N.H. School Steps Without Permission Could Have Put Students At Risk

Imagine if a stranger showed up at your son or daughter’s school every day and tried to address the students as they entered the door.

Would you be concerned? Most parents I know definitely would be. That’s why most schools simply don’t allow this sort of thing. If you don’t have legitimate business at the school, you have no right to be there. Read more

Whither The Religious Right?: New Report Examines Future Of Theocratic Movement

The Supreme Court’s June rulings on marriage equality were definitely a blow to the Religious Right. The reaction of these groups was nothing short of hysterical.

So what does the future hold for this movement? Some analysts are quick to point at cultural and demographic trends that they say spell doom for the Religious Right. I’m not so sure. Read more

Deja Vu All Over Again: After Over Three Decades, The Battle Against The Religious Right Goes On

When I recently received a fund-raising letter in the mail from Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition, I thought to myself: here we go again!

In his "confidential strategy memo," Reed, a long-time Religious Right operative, has vowed to raise $25 million to mobilize America’s “conservative Christians” on behalf of favored candidates in the 2014 elections. Read more

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