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

Sharia Charade: Oklahoma Ballot Measure Reflects Religious Intolerance

In just six days, Oklahoma voters will decide whether they want to write religious intolerance into their state’s constitution.

That’s what they will be doing if they vote “yes” for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit courts from considering “sharia” – Islamic law – when deciding cases. Since our Constitution already separates religion and government, this proposal has no legitimate purpose.

Supporters are simply fanning the flames of religious discrimination and intolerance. I hope Oklahomans see that.

I Sued The Sheriff: Unmasked Blogger Gets Some Justice In Florida

What would theocracy look like if it ever came to America?

Perhaps it would involve government agents working on behalf of a preferred religious group and ferreting out religious dissenters. It’s a scary thought, but what’s scarier is that this already has happened in Jacksonville, Fla., according to a report by the Associated Baptist Press.

Alarming Amendment: Fundamentalists Use ‘Personhood’ Proposal To Invade America’s Bedrooms

The theocrats who yearn to take away our freedoms and run our lives according to their strict fundamentalist dogma are nothing if not resourceful. They’re always thinking up new strategies.

Case in point is a group called Personhood USA, a new entry in the world of the Religious Right. The organization’s theory is that it can ban legal abortion by passing state constitutional amendments declaring that a fertilized egg is legally a person.

Sorry, Soddy-Daisy!: Public Schools Should Not Promote One Faith Over Others

A Tennessee public school has done the right thing and agreed to stop broadcasting Christian prayers over the loudspeaker at football games and graduation ceremonies.

After students complained to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the group sent a letter to school officials asking them to discontinue the unconstitutional practice.

Hamilton County Schools Superintendent issued an order to halt the prayers, and yesterday Soddy-Daisy High School Principal John Maynard promised that he would.

Christmas Cranks: AFA Begins Annual Whine-Fest Over Seasonal Greeting

It’s almost Halloween, so you know what that means: It’s time for the Religious Right to start carping about the “war on Christmas.”

Actually, Religious Right groups are getting a bit of a late start this year. In previous years, they’ve actually started their seasonal whine-fest as early as August.

But no fear – things are on track for another lucrative year for the Religious Right’s “Christmas police” who obsess over what we say and how we celebrate the December holiday.

When Silence Speaks Volumes: Illinois Law Promotes Prayer, And The Court Knows It

When the “moment of silence” bill first came up for vote in the Illinois legislature years ago, some House members sang a song on the floor to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.” It went:

Hello, school prayer, our old friend

It’s time to vote on you again

In our school house without warning

You seek a moment in the morning.

The words made very clear these legislators’ intent in proposing the measure: to bring government-sponsored prayer back into the public schools.

Don’t Mess (With God) In Texas: Lone Star State’s Pro-Deity Pledge Wins Court Approval

It must be hard to be a non-believer in Texas. Not only do you have to put up with the bizarre antics of the fundamentalist-dominated State Board of Education, but now you can’t even express your support for the state without also affirming the existence of God.

In 2007, Texas legislators modified the state’s pledge of allegiance to include the phrase “under God.” (Yep, it’s hard to believe, but until just three years ago, the entire state of Texas was officially heathen!)

Minnesota Miscreants: Pompous Preachers Say They Will Violate Federal Law Against Church Electioneering

The Religious Right’s relentless campaign to politicize America’s pulpits may take another step forward this weekend.

According to the Minnesota Independent, two of the state’s pastors say they will endorse political candidates from the pulpit this Sunday, directly defying the federal tax law that prohibits churches and other non-profits from becoming involved with elections.

State-Paid Preaching Prohibited: Court Says No To Counselor Who Was Addicted To Proselytizing

I take it as a given that people who want to preach should do it on their own time and their own dime. You have no right to use government resources to spread religious messages.

I was pleased to see this principle affirmed recently by a federal court in Louisiana.

A minister named Beulah Moore sued the Metropolitan Human Service District, asserting that the Louisiana government agency had violated her religious rights by ordering her to stop preaching to clients.

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