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

Constitutional Bully?: La. School Board Member Must Learn Religious Freedom Is No License To Discriminate

It’s frustrating when a single misguided public official tries to hijack an otherwise reasonable governing body, and that’s almost what happened last week when a school board member in a Louisiana jurisdiction attempted to cut discrimination based on sexual orientation from an anti-bullying policy. Read more

The People Speak: Parents With Children In School Say No To Vouchers

For years, anti-public school interest groups that favor privatization schemes have smacked their lips and salivated as they’ve contemplated the demise of public education.

But a funny thing happened: The people who actually rely on public education – America’s parents – aren’t buying it. Read more

Muddled Message: Most Americans Support The First Amendment, But Many Remain Confused

I’ve got some good news and some bad news to deliver. Since it’s Friday, I’m going to give you the good news first.

A poll released this week by the First Amendment Center found that 64 percent of Americans believe the First Amendment does not go too far in protecting freedom. The survey consisted of 1,006 responses, and we’re glad to see almost two-thirds of those people support this critical aspect of our legal system. Read more

Monumental Mistake: Calif. City’s Memorial Doesn’t Honor All Veterans

The municipal leaders of Lake Elsinore, Calif., decided they wanted to honor local veterans with a special monument in front of a local baseball stadium.

No problem there. The southern California city of about 51,000 people has produced its share of veterans, and giving them special recognition is a nice idea.

Unfortunately, the way the city chose to go about it was not so good. The original design was for a black granite marker depicting a soldier kneeling in front of a cross. Read more

Hysteria Alert: Religious Right Claims Churches May Have To Allow Gay Weddings

Hysteria: (noun) – An uncontrollable outburst of emotion or fear, often characterized by irrationality, laughter, weeping, etc.

That’s how Dictionary.com defines the state in which Religious Right leaders try to keep fundamentalist Christians. Unless members of the flock are constantly told their freedoms are in danger, they might stop donating to the Religious Right’s coffers. Read more

School Voucher Nightmare: Louisiana ‘Choice’ Scheme Is Rife With Shoddy Bookkeeping

Readers of this blog know Americans United has long been opposed to school vouchers. If for some reason you’re still not convinced of the negatives that accompany so-called “educational choice” ventures, consider the myriad problems that have recently come to light within Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher scheme. Read more

Prayer Posturing: La. Officials Seek Taxpayer Support For Religious Program

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) says she’s concerned about Americans’ right to pray. In fact, she has just introduced legislation she says will protect this right. She calls it the “Freedom to Pray” bill.

Wait a minute. Don’t we already have the right to pray? It’s in the First Amendment, after all. Read more

Poor Partnership: Federal Court Derails Tenn. County’s Relationship With Christian Academy

It’s a sad fact of life that some youngsters get into trouble in school. They might cut class, get involved with alcohol or drugs, start fights and so on. Sometimes public school officials find students like this too disruptive to keep in the classroom.

What should be done with such kids? If your response is, “Send them to a Christian academy at taxpayer expense,” that’s the wrong answer. Read more

False Choice: Wisc. Private Schools Are Happy To Take Tax Money But Don’t Want Certain Students

Supporters of school voucher schemes love to throw around the world “choice.”

“You’ll get to send your child to the school of your choice!” they blare. To a lot of people, it sounds good. After all, everyone likes having choices, right?

Unfortunately, all of the rhetoric in the world doesn’t do you any good when it comes to vouchers because you don’t really have the choice. The private school does. Many of those schools will simply choose not to admit your child.

Some parents in Wisconsin are learning that the hard way. Read more

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