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Freedom From Foolishness?: Texas Gov. Misconstrues Religious Liberty

Whenever I hear someone – especially a politician – say that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, I just want to start screaming.

As I’ve pointed out many times on this blog and in other forums, that statement is inane and shows great ignorance of our founding principles. Religious Right figures started using it a few years ago, apparently believing they had stumbled onto something clever. In fact, they are simply spouting puerile nonsense. Read more

Texas Two-Step: Religious Right Anti-Family Planning Agenda Backfires In The Lone Star State

A funny thing happens when state lawmakers advance the Religious Right’s agenda: It can end up costing that state a ton of money. Big bills are a problem for even the staunchest allies of the Religious Right, and that has led to a change of heart in Texas when it comes to funding family planning services. Read more

Satan, Separation And Absurdity: Texas Gov. Rallies ‘Christian Warriors’ To Scale The Church-State ‘Iron Curtain’

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not one to shy away from hyperbole, having declared recently that church-state separation is the work of Satan.

During a conference call this week as part of radical pastor Rick Scarborough’s “40 Days to Save America,” which seeks to rally Religious Right voters, Perry went on a lengthy rant about the evils of keeping religion and government apart. Read more

Sins Of Commission: Conservative Christian Groups Are Turning Kansas Statehouse Into A Revival Tent

Americans United has already raised some concerns about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback’s seeming disregard for church-state separation. He is a steady ally of the Religious Right, having been the only governor to attend Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Christians-only prayer rally in Texas last summer. He also frequently pushes “faith-based” programs and has signed bills restricting abortion rights. Read more

What’s (Still) The Matter With Kansas?: ‘Revival Workshop’ At Statehouse Shows Ongoing Church-State Problems

Author Thomas Frank once asked: “What’s the matter with Kansas?” It seems at least part of the answer is the state’s growing disregard for church-state separation.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that a three-day “transforming revival” workshop that had been scheduled to take place in the main chamber of the Kansas House of Representatives will be moved to another venue thanks to scrutiny from Americans United and the news media. Read more

Of Gossip Girl, The Supreme Court And Tajikistan: My Favorite Memories Of AU

As they say, all good things must come to end.

I’m sad to report that today is my last day at Americans United. I’m heading on to a new communications position at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, where I promise to keep up the good fight.

But before I go, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on my past three-plus years here at AU. It has been a lot of fun. I’ve met great people who I am going to miss, and I have had some very interesting experiences that I’ll always remember.

Here are the top five: Read more

Responding To ‘The Response’: AU And Allies Offer Alternative To Perry Prayer Rally

I’m happy to report that I have survived the weekend in Houston and “The Response.”

In case you missed it, “The Response” was a fundamentalist Christian rally put on last Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the ultra-right-wing American Family Association. Americans United has been speaking out against this excessive government entanglement with religion for over a month now. Read more

‘Gee, Thanks, But I Have To Wash My Hair’: Governors Skip Perry Prayer Rally

Texas Gov. Rick Perry had big plans for his exclusionary Christian prayer rally this Saturday. He was so proud of the event that he invited all 49 other governors to attend.

The RSVPs to “The Response” have been trickling in, and it doesn’t look good. So far, the number of governors who plan to attend the event at Houston’s Reliant Stadium in person stands at exactly zero, notes the American Independent. Read more

Perilous Plot: Religious Right Leaders Scheme To Intervene In 2012 Presidential Election

Reporters with the mainstream media sure love to write about the presidential horse race, don’t they? And I find it interesting how certain candidates suddenly become all the rage. How many stories about Michele Bachmann have you seen recently?

But the media, so intent on polls and personalities, is missing a huge story: The Religious Right’s attempt to pick our next president. Read more

Houston, We Have A Problem: Texas Governor Sponsors Stadium Prayer Rally

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is headed to the football stadium, but he’s already out of bounds.

Perry, a well-known Religious Right panderer, has proclaimed Aug. 6 to be an official day of prayer and fasting and is urging Christians to ask God for the “[h]ealing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.” Read more