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Thanksgiving: What I'm Thankful For – Besides The Turkey And Dressing

Editor's Note: This post originally ran on Thanksgiving Day 2007. It was written by Joe Conn, Americans United's former director of communications. Joe, who retired in July after a remarkable 33 years of service to AU, makes the case for being thankful for the church-state wall. Happy Thanksgiving!

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner today, do you plan to say grace?

Thanksgiving 2009: Let's Be Thankful For Religious Liberty!

Note: This post is a re-publication of one that originally appeared on Thanksgiving Day 2007. Enjoy the holiday!

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner today, do you plan to say grace?

If so, what religious tradition will the prayer come from? Will it be a blessing from the Jewish, Muslim or Hindu faiths? Will it be Catholic, Mormon or one of the infinite varieties of Protestant denominations?

Maybe you won't offer a prayer at all, instead simply thanking the cook for the bounteous meal set before you rather than a deity of any sort. Read more

Staver Palaver: Falwell Law School's Mean Dean Defames Americans United

Is Americans United for Separation of Church and State "one of the most dangerous organizations in America"?

Mat Staver seems to think so.

Staver, dean of the late Jerry Falwell's Liberty University Law School and president of Liberty Counsel, went on a tiresome tirade about AU in today's edition of One News Now, the wacky Wildmon family's "news service."

What could have provoked Staver's ire? Read more

Falwell Fast One?: Lynchburg Preacher's Sectarian House Prayer Doesn't Track Chaplain's Online Version

This weekend, for the first time since I have lived here, I found myself at a Washington-area Hindu temple.

That's because my parents were in town, and when my mom visits, it's on the top of her to-do list. So to satisfy my mother, and my religious quota for a while, I spent 10 to 15 minutes at a local temple.

I may not spend much time praying, but I still consider myself a Hindu and a follower of the faith. I don't need to listen to prayer all the time or have images of my faith displayed all around to know that. Read more

Liberty Learns A Lesson: Falwell School Accepts AU Advice On Political Clubs

Americans United reacted quickly when word spread recently that officials at Liberty University had revoked university recognition of a student Democratic Party club.

AU, noting that recognition and funding were still being extended to a Republican club on campus, asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the matter. Liberty University, as a tax-exempt institution, could not lawfully favor one party over another, Americans United asserted. Read more

Chips Off The Old Block?: The Falwell Family Is – Surprise! -- Promoting Partisan Politics

I'm shocked, shocked, to find that partisan political activity is going on in the Falwell religious empire.

Today's Lynchburg News & Advance reports that Joe McCain, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's brother, will be leading a public rally at Liberty University tomorrow. The candidate's sibling will also be speaking at the university's morning convocation, the newspaper said. Read more

Falwell's Faulty Logic: Lynchburg Preacher Says We're All A Bunch Of Crooks

The late Jerry Falwell's son, Jonathan, is distraught over the state of our national ethics. In a recent column, he cited a report by the General Accounting Office (GAO) that found that some federal workers had illegally used tax funds to buy things like "Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie [and] lavish dinners." Read more

More Lies From Lynchburg: What Jonathan Falwell Didn't Tell You About Preachers And Politicking

To employ a turn-of-phrase we use in the South, Jonathan Falwell "sure takes after his daddy, doesn't he?" Jonathan may not look much like Jerry, but he sure acts like him.

In his "Falwell Confidential" last week, the Lynchburg televangelist urged pastors to plunge neck-deep into partisan politics. He quoted Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University School of Law, on ways to circumvent the federal ban on electioneering by churches and other tax-exempt entities. Read more