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Pulpit Perfidy: More Misinformation In The Wake Of ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’

Introductions are hard. I never know exactly what to share about myself upfront, so I’ll do my best to stick with the essentials. My name is Simon Brown, and I am the new communications associate at Americans United. I may be new to AU, but I’ve reported extensively on church electioneering for Tax Notes (it was my first story for that publication), so it’s fitting that my first blog post here is on this issue.

Memphis Blues: Church’s Intervention In Politics Should Spark IRS Action

The city of Memphis, Tenn., is in the middle of a municipal election, and a large Baptist church has decided to let everyone know who the true “pro-family” candidates are. Isn’t that special?

Actually, it’s illegal.

The leadership of Bellevue Baptist in Cordova, Tenn., may think they’re being clever. The church doesn’t come right out and post its favored candidates on its website. Instead, the church links to another website that lists three candidates deemed worthy of support.

Pulpits Aflame With Politics?: Religious Right Prepares For 2012 Elections

I’m often asked what the Religious Right is up to these days. Some people, noting the death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell in 2007 and the aging of leaders like Pat Robertson and Donald Wildmon, assume the movement is slowing down.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Religious Right groups and their allies in the Tea Party are giddy from their electoral successes in 2010. They’re gearing up for another round in 2012. Much of what is happening is occurring below the radar and doesn’t necessarily capture headlines. But it’s very real.

Prostituting The Pulpit: Religious Right Wants Churches To Get Partisan, But Most Americans Don’t

Poor Erik Stanley.

The Alliance Defense Fund attorney keeps pleading with evangelical clergy to step forward and become political bosses, but the clergy – and the American people – keep saying no.

Stanley and his Religious Right cronies salivate at the prospect of an evangelical Christian voting bloc marching in lockstep under the dictates of rigid right-wing pulpiteers and electing candidates who will tear down the wall of separation between church and state.

Idaho Victory!: Federal Appeals Court Rejects Bible-Based Charter School Lawsuit

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) lost another battle this week in its ongoing crusade to bring religion into public schools.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Idaho Public Charter School Commission acted constitutionally when it ordered the Nampa Classical Academy not to base its curriculum on the Bible or any other religious texts.

In August 2009, the Commission told Academy officials that using religious literature as primary teaching materials violates the state constitution and would not be permitted.

My Way Or The Highway: In Campbell County, Va., It’s Pray To Jesus Or Get Out

The Campbell County Board of Supervisors holds sessions on the first Tuesday of each month in the basement of the Haberer Building in Rustburg, Va., and according to the board’s website, all meetings are open to the public.

But don’t expect to feel welcome there if you happen to hold the wrong views about religion.

Good News!: Most Americans Reject Religious Right’s View Of Constitution

The right-wing Alliance Defense Fund sent out a fundraising email this week that sounded a familiar Religious Right theme.

“You’ve likely heard the phrase: ‘the separation of church and state,’” it said. “But did you know it’s NOT in the U.S. Constitution? The phrase has been misused by opponents of the Gospel IN OUR OWN COURTS to erode your freedom.  It’s a distortion of what the First Amendment intended.”

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