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Left Behind In Albia: Iowa Town Tries To Defend Cross-Filled Memorial

Late last month, attorneys at Americans United sent a letter to officials in the small town of Albia, Iowa.

We got word that county and city officials there had earmarked tax funds and provided public land for a war memorial whose central feature is a row of 21 crosses. AU attorneys wanted to let them know that this wasn’t such a good idea.

We had hoped to resolve this matter in private, outside of the glare of the media spotlight, but someone in town gave our letter to the local newspaper, the Union-Republican.

Marginalizing Morality?: Fla. Pastor Claims Church-State Separation Prevents Children From Learning Not To Steal

A Florida pastor thinks he has the solution to reducing theft in the United States, and it has nothing to do with law enforcement.

As far as the Rev. Garry Wiggins of Evangel Temple Assembly of God in Jacksonville is concerned, school-age children are being prevented from learning basic morals – including that theft is wrong – because of the pesky constitutional principle of church-state separation.

Adding Up The ‘Nones’: Changing U.S. Religious Landscape Likely To Affect Church-State Separation

Religiously unaffiliated Americans are on the rise, according to the Pew Research Center’s latest Religious Landscape Study. Roughly 56 million Americans now identify themselves as agnostic, atheist or “nothing in particular.” That’s more than 22 percent of the population.

Limits On Liberty?: Nearly 20 Percent Of Americans Think Religion Should Not Be The Subject Of Satire

In the wake of a terrorist attack in Paris that resulted in the murder of 12 people at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a lot of people on this side of the Atlantic are wondering what limits, if any, should be placed on our freedom to mock religion.

Free Press, Free Society: Paris Attack A Reminder Of First Amendment’s Importance

Three gunmen broke into the headquarters of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo yesterday and murdered 12. The attack is almost certainly revenge for the paper’s decision to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed and Muslims; its offices had previously been firebombed, and the gunmen identified themselves as members of Al Qaeda.

Divine Dormitories? ‘Faith-Based’ College Housing Raises Constitutional Alarm

Troy University’s new faith-based dorm might be a hit with religious students, but it’s proving less popular with church-state watchdogs.

The school, which belongs to Alabama’s system of public colleges and universities, recently opened a Catholic-run residence hall. The Newman Center features a chapel and ministry center run by the Archdiocese of Mobile – and the university itself controlled much of the project.

Petition Interdiction: Tenn. Legislator Seeks To Make It A Crime To Protest Church-State Violations

Whenever I hear someone talking about the alleged shift in American politics that is supposedly turning the country away from far-right politics, I have to pause, collect myself and say politely, “We’re not quite there yet.”

If you don’t believe me, take a look at what’s going in some of the states.

It’s estimated that 24 state legislatures have been strongly influenced by an unholy partnership of Religious Right groups and Tea Party activists. Some awfully strange legislation is surfacing in those states.

Most Americans – Except Evangelicals – Support Equality

A new public opinion poll from the Barna Group found that 66 percent of Americans say no one set of values or beliefs should receive favored status in the United States.

The poll, which was announced Jan. 18 and was the result of a telephone survey, found that just 23 percent of Americans think “Judeo-Christian values” should be given preference in this country.

But when it comes to evangelicals, Barna (an evangelical-leaning enterprise) learned that 54 percent of evangelical Christians want to bestow favored status on “Judeo-Christian values.”