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Berlin Diary: On Religion In Schools, Germans And Americans Don't See Eye To Eye

I just got back from Berlin, where I took part in a conference contrasting the American and German models for dealing with religion in public schools.

The event's organizers, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (affiliated with Johns Hopkins University), brought together scholars, activists and education officials for a day of discussion and give-and-take. It was very enlightening. Read more

Church, State And Marriage: California Debate On Proposition 8 Goes Constitutional

In all the emotional public debate over same-sex marriage, the overarching issue of church-state separation often gets lost. I'm glad to see that situation beginning to change.

Last week, Mike Swift of the San Jose Mercury News called to talk to about Proposition 8, the California constitutional amendment that takes away gay couples' right to get married in the Golden State. Read more

Partisan Propaganda: Christian Coalition Voter Guides Aim To Deceive

The Christian Coalition has unveiled its "nonpartisan" voter guide for distribution at churches and other locations before the November election. In a letter accompanying the document, Coalition President Roberta Combs calls the guide "one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections." Read more

Dear Religious Leader: AU's Letter On Church Politicking Hits Congregational Mail Boxes Around America

Over the past week, Americans United has mailed friendly letters to 100,000 clergy and lay leaders reminding them of the provisions of federal tax law and urging them not to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

We got word from a Baptist pastor in rural Georgia who received our missive, and apparently, wasn't too happy to hear from us. He called yesterday to complain. Read more

Holiday Humbug: Merry Christmas, Donald Wildmon – And Happy Halloween, Too!

My 10-year-old son and I spent last night at a Halloween pumpkin carving contest. We had about half an hour to come up with a design, and despite our less-than-stellar knife skills, managed to win a ribbon for "Most Unusual Nose." (Based on the number of ribbons I saw, I suspect this was one of those contests where everyone got a prize.) Read more

Unholy Inquisition: Justice Department Says 'Faith-Based' Grantees Can Ignore Anti-Bias Laws Approved By Congress

Say you're a social worker in the Washington, D.C., suburbs and you've just heard about a new U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) program intended to keep kids out of gangs. You hop down to the local agency running the project to put in an application.

While there, the agency staffer hands you a form to fill out.

It asks, "Do you believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God?"

It goes on, "Do you believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit?" Read more

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