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

Once More, With Enthusiasm: Texas Attorney General Again Refuses To Recognize Marriage Equality

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seems to have his sights set on being the next Religious Right martyr.

In a move that is as petty as it is mean spirited, Paxton recently asked a court not to recognize the common-law marriage of two women, one of whom is now deceased. The issue arose when Sonemaly Phrasavath, surviving wife of Stella Powell, made a claim to the inheritance that Powell left her when she died in 2014. Read more

Coercion In Kansas?: State Worker Claims She Was Fired For Non-Attendance At Christian Service

Let’s say some people at a company want to get together during lunch hour and hold a Bible study. It’s totally voluntary, and they don’t pressure anyone else to attend. This is not likely to cause any problems.

But let’s say the boss organized the Bible study and attends it regularly. Now we might have a problem if subordinates are coerced to attend overtly or even subtly. (If, for example, those who attend get in good with the boss and are first in line for promotions, raises, etc.) Read more

Religion 101: Students Can Benefit From Religion Classes As Long As Public Schools Teach Rather Than Preach

One of the best ways to build religious tolerance in this country is by educating children about various perspectives on both belief and non-belief. But as an experienced educator reminds us, any public school that offers a course on religion must be mindful to stay focused on teaching, not preaching. Read more

Dry In The Sky?: Muslim Flight Attendant Files Lawsuit Over Airline’s Refusal To Exempt Her From Touching Alcohol

When it comes to people refusing to do their jobs on religious grounds, Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis is getting all the attention right now. But when her 15 minutes pass, we’ll be left with plenty of private-sector employees who think the First Amendment exempts them from performing any job functions they don’t like. Read more

Litany Of Lies: FRC’s Perkins Packs An Email With Copious Falsehoods

I realize that people may be tired of reading about the saga of Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk who is in jail because she ignored a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But on Friday I received a blast email from Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), that is so littered with lies that it demands a reply. Read more

Gulag Appalachia?: Ky. Clerk Claims Persecution, Refuses To Obey Supreme Court Verdict

Kim Davis is many things – an Apostolic Christian, the Rowan County, Ky., clerk and now, to some, a political prisoner.

Just not to U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning. “In this country, we live in a society of laws. Our system of justice requires citizens – and significantly, elected officials – to follow the rules of the courts,” he told the clerk on Thursday. He then ordered Davis to jail for her refusal to issue marriage licenses.
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Bizarre Brief: Pastors Tell Texas Court That Religious Schools Have ‘Religious Freedom’ Right To Public Support

Texas public schools are in trouble. In 2011, lawmakers decided to slash $5 billion from the state’s education system. That action lead to a lawsuit, and with the matter now before the Texas Supreme Court, it seems the Religious Right senses an opportunity to grab some taxpayer dollars for its system of private Christian academies. Read more