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Rocking The Boat: Fundamentalist Ministry Head Responds To AU’s ‘Ark Park’ Criticisms

For years, Americans United has been critical of attempts by local and state lawmakers in Kentucky to provide financial assistance to Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park that would feature a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. Now Ken Ham, head of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), which is spearheading the project, finally responded to AU’s criticisms. Read more

Bible-Based Laws?: Miss. Congressman Mails Calls For Policy Anchored In Scripture

A Mississippi congressman mailed a Bible to each of his fellow representatives last Friday. In a letter enclosed with the Bibles, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) wrote that the tomes are intended to provide guidance for public policy.

“Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics and recommendations that help us make informed decisions. However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word,” Palazzo wrote. “Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making.” Read more

Orange County (CA) AU to Host Rob Boston

The Orange County chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State August 9th event will present Rob Boston, AU Director of Communications.  Rob will be discussing his new book “Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.” Books will be available for purchase and Rob will be signing books after the event.
 
Rob is the Director of Communications at Americans United and is the editor of Church & State magazine. This is Rob’s fourth book.

Good Incentives Gone Awry: Kentucky Officials Are Adamant About Propping Up The ‘Ark Park’

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.

When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities. Read more

Conversion Controversy: N.J. Court Upholds Ban On Anti-Gay Therapy Aimed At Minors

A federal court in New Jersey upheld the state’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors yesterday. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected a claim by two New Jersey parents that the ban violated the Constitution by prohibiting them from choosing the therapy for their child, who, they said, suffers from “unwanted” same-sex attractions. Read more

Theocracy Waning?: Fundamentalist Church’s Grip May Be Loosening In Polygamist Towns

Some recent travel took me through Salt Lake City. While waiting to catch a flight, I spotted an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune: It appears that changes may finally be coming to two polygamous communities in southern Utah/northern Arizona. Read more

A Global Movement: State Department Report Reveals Religious Right On The Rise

The State Department yesterday released its annual report on the status of religious freedom around the world. And the results are not particularly encouraging: The report concludes that the right to practice religion (or the lack thereof) freely, and without reprisal, is under threat around the globe. Read more

The Other Marriage Debate: Who Gets To Perform The Ceremonies?

As the debate over same-sex marriage moves through the courts, a quieter legal challenge is also under way: Who should have the legal right to perform marriage ceremonies?

In some states, it can be difficult to legally get a wholly secular official to perform your marriage ceremony. Judges are often available, but they may be able to officiate at marriages only during limited hours. For people who want to celebrate with their family and friends on a weekend, a judge may not be an option. Read more

Texas Textbook Troubles: Lone Star State Grapples With Tome Review Process – Again

The news out of Texas is depressingly familiar.

The Lone Star State is in the process of reviewing public school social studies textbooks. Texas, as you might have noticed, is a large state. It has no shortage of first-class public and private universities. These institutions are full of scholars who have expertise in areas like history, civics, economics and so on. Read more

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