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The First Temptation Of The Book Banners: Censorship

Sunday marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association and other groups that support the freedom to read, explore ideas and learn.

Not everyone is for that. Religious Right groups often spearhead censorship efforts seeking to remove material they deem “offensive” from public schools, libraries or even privately owned bookstores. Some ideas, it seems, are too dangerous to explore.

Fla. Folly: State Court Punts On Challenge To Program Offering Tax Credits For Donations To Religious School ‘Scholarship’ Funds

A Florida court just threw out an appeal brought by Americans United and its allies challenging a school-voucher-like program that provides taxpayer support for religious organizations. As disappointing as that outcome is, it’s doubly frustrating to see a second Sunshine State court fail to even consider the merits of the case.

In the Crosshairs: Fla. City Debates Future of Sectarian Symbol In Public Park

A cross displayed in a public park in Pensacola, Fla., isn’t a problem because it’s “simply there” and it’s like a tree.

I know. It doesn’t make sense. Yet those arguments were made recently by the Pensacola News-Journal after the American Humanist Association (AHA) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed suit to remove a Latin cross from Bayview Park. The suit, which the groups filed on behalf of four residents, argues that the display of a sectarian symbol on public land violates the First Amendment.

(Un)Fantastic Five: AU’s Protect Thy Neighbor Project Announces New Tool To Track Faux ‘Religious Freedom’ Bills

As state legislatures gather across the country to start their 2016 legislative sessions, Americans United’s Protect Thy Neighbor (PTN) project is gearing up to monitor and fight legislation that would allow individuals, businesses and government employees to harm others in the name of religion.

Rob Boston In Naples, FL -- “Are We a Christian Nation?”

Mark your calendars! Rob Boston, AU’s director of communications, will be speaking at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Naples, Florida! The topic will be “Are We a Christian Nation?”

DATE: Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 
ADDRESS: 6340 Napa Woods Way, Naples, FL

A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. start of the main program. A Q&A will follow. 

Christmas Truce: Nativity Scene No Longer Gracing Fla. Capitol Rotunda

It seems Satan and a self-proclaimed “Catholic warrior” have driven a nativity scene from the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee – at least for this year.

In response to controversy caused by seasonal displays in the capitol rotunda last year, including a display by the Satanic Temple that was vandalized, a group that had previously sponsored a crèche decided to discontinue its practice.

Fla. Gospel Concert Organizers Reject Public Funding

Organizers of a Brownsville, Fla., gospel concert rejected a taxpayer-funded tourism grant after Americans United raised concerns about its legality.

The Escambia County Board of County Commissioners had originally voted to give $30,000 to the “It’s Personal” venue for hosting the Aug. 7 concert; the venue is affiliated with Friendship Baptist Church, and concert organizers said the event was to be held in collaboration with the house of worship. The brother of Friendship Baptist’s pastor, the Rev. LuTimothy May, also sits on the board of county commissioners.

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