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God's Lawyers

Stanford Law School in California is a prestigious institution with a distinguished past. Founded in 1893, one of its first professors was a former president, Benjamin Harrison.

When the school opened new offices in 1975, another president, Gerald Ford, was on hand for the festivities. On its website, Stanford proudly calls itself “one of the nation’s top law schools.” U.S. News & World Report agrees and ranks the school number two in the nation, behind only Yale Law School.

Sudden Conversion: Religious Right Warms Up To Church-State Separation In Calif. Yoga Case

Religious Right groups spend a lot of time beating on church-state separation. TV preacher Pat Robertson once called that constitutional principle “a lie of the left” and said it comes from the old Soviet Constitution.

Not to be outdone, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association asserted that Adolf Hitler invented church-state separation.

Others have been less hyperbolic but have still made it clear that they’re no fans of the handiwork of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Florida Cop-out: Lawsuit Settlement Allows Christian College Students To Get State Grants

We often say that the Religious Right and its allies don’t give up easily, now here’s some proof. Less than one month after the overwhelming defeat of Florida’s Amendment 8, which would have allowed taxpayer money to flow to religious institutions, students attending a fundamentalist Christian college have been made eligible to participate in a state-funded grant program.  

The IRS And Church Electioneering: Enforce The Law Already!

Is the Internal Revenue Service still enforcing the federal tax law ban on partisan politicking by churches and other non-profits?

IRS officials say they are.

In an interview with NBC News, IRS spokesman Dean Patterson repudiated comments by a regional IRS official who said recently that the agency was "holding any potential church audits in abeyance" while it revises its regulations in light of a 2009 federal court decision.

Missing Church: Penchant For Politics May Be Sending Congregants Out The Door

Nearly one in five adults in the United States say they have no religious affiliation.

This survey finding, released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, is pretty significant. In 2007, 15.6 percent of adults said they had no religious affiliation, and that number has grown by about 1 percent each year. It hit 19.6 percent in 2012.

Sunday Scofflaws: It’s Time For The IRS To Crack Down On ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

As many of you know, on Sunday more than 1,000 pastors nationwide took part in “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” an annual event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to encourage clergy to openly violate federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates.

AU staffers spent the holiday weekend fielding media calls about this. The Rev. Steven Baines, AU’s assistant field director for religious outreach, talked to several reporters.

Information, Not Intimidation: Religious Right Group Falsely Accuses AU Of Trying To Scare Pastors

It seems that one person’s information is another person’s intimidation.

Several weeks ago, Americans United sent 60,000 letters to houses of worship nationwide urging them not to endorse political candidates this election season. We didn’t do that because we were bored – we did it because we’ve seen an uptick in Religious Right efforts to enlist churches into partisan politics.

Altar Call: Americans United Letter Urges Clergy To Reject Church Electioneering

Yesterday I received some interesting mail from two residents of Colorado. Each envelope contained the same thing: a 20-page glossy publication produced by Ridgway Christian Center in Ridgway, Colo.

The publication features a calendar of upcoming ministry events and a list of conservative websites that the group recommends. But the most interesting thing about the publication is its cover: It’s a photo of a bunch of American flags headlined, “Honor God! Love your country! VOTE REPUBLICAN!”

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