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

Rare Reversal: City Officials See Mistake, Scuttle Plan For Creationism Display At Zoo

After some unwanted media attention and lots of angry missives from constituents, Tulsa, Okla. city officials dumped a plan to erect a creationism exhibit at the city zoo.

In early June at the behest of a loud Christian Right activist, the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board voted to allow an exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo depicting the biblical account of God's creation of the world, as described in the Book of Genesis.

Dan Hicks, the Religious Right crank, was not happy with other exhibits at the zoo, which he claimed represented non-Christian religions.

Faith And Church-State Separation: Poll Says They Fit Together

America has long been thought to be more religiously devout than other economically developed countries. Pundits often assume that this means that Americans are soft on church-state separation issues.

To the contrary, a new AP-Ipsos poll reveals deep-seated wariness among Americans of religious influence on American politics. A solid 61 percent said that they do not think religious leaders should influence government decisions.

Rosa Repents: Air Force Academy Official Admits Bias Problems

Last month, Americans United expressed concern about religious bias and a heavy evangelical Christian atmosphere at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

At the time, officials at Focus on the Family and other conservative organizations and publications dismissed AU's concerns and even accused the organization of launching a witch hunt against conservative Christians. But now vindication has come from a source who ought to know: the Academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, has admitted the problem is real.

AU's Rob Boston On 'This American Life'

Listen this weekend for Rob Boston's insightful discussion with "This American Life" host Ira Glass. The one-hour PRI program, titled "Godless America" will explore the parameters of church-state relations at a time when House Majority Leader Tom Delay says he governs with a "Biblical worldview."

Amazing Outcome: Smithsonian Support Of 'Intelligent Design' Disappears

The Smithsonian Institution has dropped its plan to cosponsor the showing of a film promoting "intelligent design."

In a statement issued yesterday, Smithsonian officials dropped plans to cosponsor the "The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe," which is based on a book promoting intelligent design by Iowa State University astronomy professor Guillermo Gonzalez.

Sentenced To Church?: Kentucky Judge Pressures Drug Offenders To Repent

A Kentucky judge is boosting local church attendance by offering drug offenders a sentence of worship services instead of confinement or rehab.

The Associated Press has reported that Laurel County District Judge Michael Caperton has provided, on about 50 different occasions, to drug and alcohol offenders the option of going to church instead of spending time behind bars or in a rehab center.

Bad Design: Anti-Evolution Shenanigans At The Smithsonian Spark Alarm

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has long been acknowledged as a defender of good science education in America.

The Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, a popular tourist attraction, presents the story of life on earth in a compelling yet accessible fashion.

Thus it was a shock to read that Smithsonian officials have joined forces with a neo-creationist group, the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, to sponsor the airing of a film critical of Darwinian evolution.

Course Correction: Air Force Orders Officers To Respect Religious Diversity

Americans United's report on religious bias and promotion of fundamentalist Christianity at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs continues to reverberate through the military.

In the most recent developments, Air Force officials have issued a statement reminding officers that they must respect the religious beliefs of others and cautioning against using official channels for the advancement of religion.