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

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. "The Wall of Separation" will be on hiatus until Monday, Dec. 29. 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?

The Nutcracker’s Lament: Religious Right Columnist Bemoans Imaginary ‘War On Christmas’

It’s Christmas Eve, and I thought you might appreciate an update on the “war on Christmas.”

To be honest, things have been kind of quiet this year – too quiet. It seems to me that not a creature is stirring – not even a mouse!

Sure, we had that business in Florida with the Satanic Temple. As you might recall, the rotunda of the State Capitol played host to a privately sponsored nativity scene and other religious messages (including a depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), so Americans United helped the Satanic Temple win a spot for its display too. Read more

Faith Fibs: Religious Right Falsely Claims Army Chaplain Was Punished Simply For Sharing His Beliefs

Another day, another phony outrage from the Religious Right. This time, the Family Research Council (FRC) and the American Family Association (AFA) are claiming that a U.S. Army chaplain was punished for simply sharing his faith at an official event. But as usual, these fundamentalists aren’t telling the whole story.    

Last month, Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn, a captain and the official chaplain of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, conducted a session on suicide prevention at Fort Benning in Georgia. Attendance at the event was mandatory, giving Lawhorn a large, captive audience. Read more

Religious Freedom Report: Atheists Are On The Rise, But So Is Persecution

A new report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) identifies atheists, agnostics and other non-theists as a “target minority” for persecution. This global crackdown is occurring concurrently with a rise in the number of non-theists; according to the report, a full 13 percent of the world’s population now identifies as atheist, with another 23 percent identifying as non-religious. Read more

Horsing Around: Miss. Minister Enlists Equine Friend For Same-Sex Marriage Protest

If a Mississippi pastor who recently “married” his horse is the best argument the Religious Right has left for halting the spread of same-sex marriage, it’s safe to say this battle is just about over.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban. But that case remains under appeal, so gay marriages in the state are on hold pending the final outcome of the legal challenge. Read more

Problematic Partnerships: Ohio Initiative Compels Public Schools To Link Up With Churches

Ohio’s public schools are now eligible for a publicly funded mentorship program – but only if they partner with houses of worship and religious charities. Gov. John Kasich (R) recently announced the requirement as a surprise addition to HB 483, which allocated $10 million for the “Community Connectors” program and originally described faith-based partnerships as an option, rather than a mandate, for schools.
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