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St. Louis Bishop’s Attack On Girl Scouts Backfires As Cookie Sales Skyrocket

A Missouri chapter of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. recently raised a record amount of money at its annual fundraiser, thanks in part to a backlash to critical comments from a prominent Catholic cleric.

In a February missive, Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis slammed the Girl Scouts for supposedly promoting ideas that are “incompatible” with Catholic doctrine. Read more

Shredding The First Amendment?

Four years ago, officials at Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., decided they would like to resurface a playground at the church’s religious preschool – and that taxpayers should pick up the tab for it.

Under a state program, aid was available for such projects through a program that awarded grants to purchase recycled tires – but not for houses of worship. The church sued, and its attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a large Religious Right group, made a startling claim: The church has a constitutional right to taxpayer support. Read more

The Bishop’s Cookie Crumbles: St. Louis Prelate Attacks Girl Scouts

Every now and then, far-right religious groups or their leaders decide to attack the Girl Scouts. I’m not sure why because it never works out for them. Despite this track record of failure, Roman Catholic Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of St. Louis decided to join the fray recently.

Carlson issued a letter asserting that the Girl Scouts “is exhibiting a troubling pattern of behavior and it is clear to me that as they move in the ways of the world it is becoming increasingly incompatible with our Catholic values.” Read more

Faith Of The Fathers: Missouri State Sen. Attempts To Block Birth Control Coverage For His Daughters

A Missouri state representative who wants to stop his daughters from accessing birth control recently won a victory in his ongoing suit against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception regulations when the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear arguments in his challenge to the regulations, thus reversing a lower court ruling that threw the case out on standing.
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God’s Police?: Missouri Police Department Adds National Motto To Cars

Greene County, Mo., police cars now read “In God We Trust,” and some residents aren’t pleased by the change.

In a letter to the Springfield News-Leader’s “Answer Man,” Laura Entwisle wrote, “I recently saw a Greene County sheriff's deputy's car with letters on the bumper that say, ‘In God We Trust.’ I called the sheriff's office and was told that Sheriff Jim Arnott decided to do this.” Read more

Mo. War Memorial Removes Christian Symbol

Responding to concerns from Americans United, officials in Boone County, Mo., have covered up a Christian symbol on a public war memorial.

The action sparked complaints from some people in the area, but AU said it was the right thing to do.

The memorial in the city of Columbia listed the names of two local men who died during the first Persian Gulf War. It also included an ichthus, a symbol sometimes called a “Christian fish.” Read more

‘Values Voter’ Summary: In The Religious Right’s America, It’s Their Values And Your Loss

Tomorrow and Saturday I’ll be attending the Values Voter Summit, an annual Religious Right confab sponsored by the Family Research Council, American Family Association Action and other groups.

People sometimes ask me what the country would be like if these groups managed to achieve total political power. It isn’t necessary to speculate about that. You can see the results of it in several states right now. Read more

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