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Equal Access For All: Atheist Student Clubs Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Heckler’s Veto

If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.

My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)

There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.

How can this be? It’s a public school. Read more

Change Of Heart?: Ky. Taxpayer-Funded, Religiously-Affiliated Homes For Children May Hire Gays And Lesbians

A Kentucky taxpayer-funded, religiously-affiliated network of homes for at-risk children that Americans United has fought in court for more than a decade has made a pretty stunning announcement: It might start hiring gays and lesbians. Read more

Commandments Case In Florida County Is Dismissed

 

A six-year battle in federal court over the fate of a Ten Commandments monument at a Florida courthouse has come to an end.

 Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice M. Paul granted a motion by the American Civil Liberties Union to voluntarily dismiss the ACLU of Florida v. Dixie County case because its plaintiff was no longer planning to move to Dixie County. Thus the plaintiff had no legal standing to challenge the six-ton granite monument, the Ocala Star-Banner reported. Read more

By The Power Vested In Whom?

In New York, virtually anyone can perform a wedding ceremony – provided that he or she is first willing to receive online ordination from an entity like the Universal Life Church, a mail-order church that ordains anyone for a fee. At a recent wedding in New York City, Preston Bailey and Theo Bleckmann were married by Joan Rivers, a well-known comedian who received online ordination for the occasion. Read more

Americans United, ACLU Settle Kentucky Lawsuit Challenging Religious Coercion At State-Funded Baptist Children’s Home

State Officials Agree To Broad Reforms At All Publicly Funded Child-Care Agencies

Kentucky state government has agreed to make broad changes in its child-care system to protect children against religious coercion, indoctrination and discrimination in order to settle a bitterly fought, decade-long federal lawsuit filed by state taxpayers. Read more

Promoting Praying: Florida School Board Member Wants ‘Inspirational Messages’

Back in July, a law went into effect in Florida that allows school boards to adopt policies that permit students to deliver so-called “inspirational messages” – including prayer – at “noncompulsory” school events, such as graduations and other assemblies. Read more

Law Enforcement: N.C. Police Chaplains Told Not To Invoke Christ In Official Prayers

Chaplains offering prayers on behalf of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in North Carolina have been told to stop mentioning Jesus’ name in official invocations.

The policy has been in place for about one month, according to the Charlotte Observer, and it applies to police events such as academy graduations, as well as for promotions and memorials. Read more

Reading, Writing And Rebellion?: Fifty Years Later, Some Public Schools Still Resist The School Prayer Rulings

The New York Times ran an interesting piece recently about religion in public schools, making it clear that even though the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory, school-sponsored prayer nearly 50 years ago, many problems remain. Read more

Commandments Clash: Va. County Has One Last Chance To Avoid A Lawsuit – And Should Take It

Public education officials in Giles County, Va., can’t say they weren’t warned.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wrote to school officials recently telling them to remove Ten Commandments displays from the schools. The officials were also advised by their own attorney to take down the religious posters.

At first, they did. But when members of the community complained, the school board voted to put the Ten Commandments back into the schools. Read more

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