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

It's Alive!: Claims Of Religious Right's Demise Are Premature

It's almost Halloween, and I like nothing better than to curl up with a classic monster movie. Just when you think the angry villagers have finally killed Frankenstein's monster, shot the wolfman with silver bullets or staked Count Dracula, up they spring again for another sequel.

It's part of the fun. These monsters are so iconic they can never really die. (Plus, there's more money in sequels.) Read more

Akron Advance: City Officials Drop Lord's Prayer From Meeting Agenda

There are all kinds of places where Akron City Council members can pray before their public meetings. Houses of worship, for example, are plentiful. Or city lawmakers could pray in their homes or other venues before getting down to council business.

But unfortunately too many officeholders schedule invocations at governmental meetings, thus sending a message to the public of governmental endorsement of religion. Read more

Gotham Gambit: Right-Wing Legal Group Seeks Church-Run Charter Schools In New York

Should a church be allowed to operate a public charter school?

That's the question a small New York legal group asked a federal district court to consider earlier this week. The Gotham Legal Foundation filed suit on behalf of New Horizon Church Ministry and the Rev. Michael Faulkner, who wants to open a publicly funded charter school under the auspices of his Harlem-area congregation. Read more

Focus on the Flamboyance: Is Dr. Dobson Going Gay?

Focus on the Family Chairman James C. Dobson is renowned for his animosity toward gays. He relentlessly opposes gay marriage, civil unions, job bias protections, hate crimes legislation and so on. Dobson once accused SpongeBob SquarePants of being a dupe for gay rights. He believes the Girl Scouts are a godless lesbian front. When he was in school, Dobson even tried to beat up (unsuccessfully) a kid he thought was a "sissy"! Read more

Proclamation Consternation: Washington State Governor Gives Support To 'Christian Nation' Rhetoric

Government officials issue proclamations as the political winds demand. Although the proclamations carry no weight of law, they do bear the imprimatur of the government entity that issues them. Most are harmless gestures of goodwill that go largely unnoticed.

But then inevitably there are proclamations that catch the public's attention and spark a little media glare. Religious proclamations can often be those types.

For example, this week Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) declared Oct. 21-27 "Christian Heritage Week." Read more

Checking The Scorecard: IRS May Be Cracking Down On Biased Religious Right 'Voter Guides'

Yesterday my colleague Jeremy Leaming wrote about spending his birthday at the Religious Right's "Values Voter Summit" this past weekend. I was there too, and while it wasn't my birthday, Saturday was a spectacular fall day in Washington, D.C., and I'd much rather have been out bike riding with my son.

But it's necessary that someone keep tabs on the Religious Right, so there I was. (I'll make it up to my son next weekend.) I saw, felt and experienced a lot over those two days, and I will have a full report about the conference in November's Church & State. Read more

Extreme Event: 'Values Voters' Gather In Nation's Capital

Today and tomorrow, the top guns of the Religious Right are meeting in Washington, D.C., to screen the Republican presidential candidates.

The so-called "Values Voter Summit" is sponsored by Family Research Council Action, the action arm of the Family Research Council (FRC), along with Focus on the Family Action, the Alliance Defense Fund, American Family Association Action and Gary Bauer's American Values group. Read more

Faded Glory: IRS Is Investigating Oral Roberts University For Alleged Political Misconduct

Oral Roberts claims the university he founded in the 1960s because God ordered him to do so is still functioning "for the glory of God."

The colorful televangelist's defense of the Tulsa, Okla.-based Oral Roberts University (ORU) was prompted because of a slew of alleged wrong-doings leveled against his son, Richard, who is the university's president. In early October, three former ORU professors sued the school arguing they were wrongly dismissed after speaking out against the school's involvement in a political race. Read more

Irked In Akron: Some Ohioans Misunderstand AU Stance On Lord's Prayer At Council Meetings

The Americans United e-mail inbox is on fire! Critical correspondence is nothing new, but why all the hateful rhetoric today? I'm certain none of my colleagues were guests on the Fox News Network last night.

"You all must be some sort of terrorists," says one note, "to continually threaten people with this bull crap of separation....This country does not need stupid groups to fight for worthless causes." Read more