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

Demonizing For Dollars: Religious Right Ready To Attack Supreme Court Nominee

Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter's decision to retire and return to his farm in New Hampshire has really got the Religious Right's knickers in knots – but also has given movement leaders an opportunity.

President Barack Obama is expected to name Souter's replacement soon, and chances are the Religious Right isn't going to like that person's record.

What to do?

Answer: Go negative.

Holy War In Iraq?: Rumsfeld Intelligence Briefings Quoted Scripture

The role of religion in the U.S. military has been an ongoing problem for Americans United.

Usually, our concern stems from complaints that soldiers are being coerced to attend religious services during training or that Bibles are being distributed to U.S. soldiers on military bases.

Justice In Chillicothe: School Officials Cancel Clergy Prayers At Graduation

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a graduating senior who asked his Ohio high school to change its policy of beginning and ending commencement with Christian prayers.

Thanks to Jacob Davis' courage in publicly opposing this policy, the Chillicothe school has finally agreed to abide by the Constitution -- for the most part.

Decalogue Decision: Baptists Urge Gov. Henry To Veto Commandments Bill

The Religious Right would have us think that only atheists support the separation of church and state. In fact, thoughtful believers and non-believers alike back this basic principle of American life.

Consider the battle over a proposed Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol in Oklahoma. The legislature there has approved a measure mandating the display of a Protestant version of the Decalogue.

Angels, Demons & Blowhards: It's Only A Movie, Bill, Only A Movie

On Friday morning, I trekked to the Fox News Channel studio in Washington to debate Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights about President Barack Obama's upcoming speaking engagement at Notre Dame.

I'd prefer to have a civil discussion over these matters, but Donohue has two settings: "Obnoxious" and "Even More Obnoxious," so things got heated right away.

Forever Catholic?: State Law Lets Monaghan Control Florida Town's Fate

Is there a theocracy flourishing in South Florida?

According to reports from The Naples News, there just may be. The newspaper is in the midst of a three-part series on the town of Ave Maria, which came to be after Tom Monaghan, an ultra-conservative Catholic from Michigan, bought 100,000 acres of land just west of Naples.

Many have flocked to Ave Maria, which is home to a Catholic university, a Catholic law school and a huge Catholic Church. But few probably knew quite what they were getting into.

Of Politics And Piety: How I Spent My National Day Of Prayer

Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer (NDP). He called on Americans to "to pray in thanksgiving for our freedoms and blessings and to ask for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection for this land that we love."

Obama saluted the men and women of the armed forces and added, "We recognize that it is because of them that we continue to live in a Nation where people of all faiths can worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience."

The Real World: Why Supreme Court Appointments Are So Important

It's possible "Tonight Show" Host Jay Leno already has conclusive results on this, but for today's purposes, I'm just going to make a wild assumption.

I'm going to assume that if I stopped the average American on the street and asked him or her to name all the U.S. Supreme Court justices, most would probably have no clue.

In fact, I doubt it would be much of a gamble to claim that many would not even know there are nine justices.

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