The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Another day, another phony outrage from the Religious Right. This time, the Family Research Council (FRC) and the American Family Association (AFA) are claiming that a U.S. Army chaplain was punished for simply sharing his faith at an official event. But as usual, these fundamentalists aren’t telling the whole story.
Last month, Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn, a captain and the official chaplain of the 5th Ranger Training Battalion, conducted a session on suicide prevention at Fort Benning in Georgia. Attendance at the event was mandatory, giving Lawhorn a large, captive audience. Read more
A new report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) identifies atheists, agnostics and other non-theists as a “target minority” for persecution. This global crackdown is occurring concurrently with a rise in the number of non-theists; according to the report, a full 13 percent of the world’s population now identifies as atheist, with another 23 percent identifying as non-religious. Read more
If a Mississippi pastor who recently “married” his horse is the best argument the Religious Right has left for halting the spread of same-sex marriage, it’s safe to say this battle is just about over.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves struck down Mississippi’s same-sex marriage ban. But that case remains under appeal, so gay marriages in the state are on hold pending the final outcome of the legal challenge. Read more
Ohio’s public schools are now eligible for a publicly funded mentorship program – but only if they partner with houses of worship and religious charities. Gov. John Kasich (R) recently announced the requirement as a surprise addition to HB 483, which allocated $10 million for the “Community Connectors” program and originally described faith-based partnerships as an option, rather than a mandate, for schools.
It’s almost Christmas, and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) isn’t going to let you forget it. In a special resolution introduced Wednesday, the congressman celebrated his idea of the reason for the season — and condemned church/state separation advocates in the process. (Lamborn introduces the resolution every year.)
“We give thanks for Jesus’ message of love and peace and remember the sacrifice He made for us all. It is a season of giving, of love, and of joy,” he said. Read more
Delaware’s Indian River School District (IRSD) is prepared to vote on new health textbooks this month. And if board member Shaun Fink gets his way, the books will exclude any mention of LGBT individuals. He’s also proposed excluding lessons on HIV/AIDS and contraception in favor of promoting an abstinence-only approach to sex education.
Governments – particularly those of the local variety – are supposed to be inclusive toward all citizens they serve. But some members of a Florida city council are clearly unaware of this responsibility, since they felt it was appropriate to walk out of a recent meeting right before an atheist was to deliver a message. Read more