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Now's The Time To Recommit To The Vision Of Roger Williams

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, but it has a lot going for it. Its beaches on the Atlantic Ocean draw tourists, and Providence, the largest city and capital, struck me as a pretty vibrant place the one time I visited.

Rhode Island also has a fascinating history, which tourism and marketing officials in the state are wisely using to their advantage.

Here Are Some Interesting State Races You Might Have Missed

Yesterday, AU’s Communications Director Rob Boston wrote a blog post about the Religious Right-empowered issues the United States may face if the Trump administration implements some of its campaign’s talking points, and Legislative Director Maggie Garrett discussed the results of some ballot referenda.

A Bad N.C. Prayer Ruling Will Get Another Hearing

In September, a federal appeals court ruled that it is legal for members of the Rowan County, N.C., Board of Commissioners to open its meetings with a public prayer led by a board member.

Rowan County’s not a heavily urban area. It has a population of about 138,000. Not surprisingly, most of the prayers – about 97 percent – have been Christian in nature.

Appeals Court Upholds N.C. County’s Policy On Municipal Prayer

A federal appeals court in Sep­tem­ber upheld a North Carolina county’s controversial policy on government-sponsored prayer.

In Rowan County, N.C., members of the county board of commissioners open their meetings by leading the board and assembled members of the public in prayer.

Tar Heel Travels: Lessons From North Carolina

Last week, AU Legislative Director Maggie Garrett and I traveled throughout North Carolina to talk with faith leaders about the need to keep faith communities out of partisan politics as well as religious freedom legislation at both the state and federal levels.

We made stops in Greenville, Durham, Charlotte and Asheville. The people of North Carolina, particularly the AU chapter leaders and leaders with the North Carolina Council of Churches with whom we partnered, are incredibly gracious and hospitable. North Carolina is certainly a beautiful state. I loved our time there.

Coercive Municipal Prayer Upheld In North Carolina – For Now

Yesterday, a federal court of appeals released a troubling decision in which the judges ruled, by a vote of 2-1, that a controversial government-prayer practice can continue.

In Rowan County, N.C., (not to be confused with Rowan County, Ky., home of the infamous Kim Davis) members of the county board of commissioners open their meetings by leading the board and the assembled members of the public in prayer.

Beware The Gender Unicorn: Franklin Graham Takes Aim At The Transgender Community

Part of my job involves monitoring the activities of Religious Right groups, which means every day my email box receives messages from groups like the Family Research Council, Alliance Defending Freedom and American Family Association (AFA).

The AFA has lately been going around the bend about something called the “gender unicorn.” This unicorn, which has apparently surfaced (metaphorically speaking) in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, has Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham, in quite a tizzy.

God’s Army: Times Change, The Religious Right Does Not

More and more Americans are moving away from rigid, fundamentalist denominations or adopting a secular outlook, but the Religious Right shows no evidence of changing its tactics. A few of the movement’s biggest stars urged the faithful to enmesh themselves even further in the political process at a recent North Carolina conference.

Tar Heel Travels: Bringing Some Sense (And Separation) To North Carolina

As I write this I’m just back from a week in North Carolina, a state that only six years ago was often viewed as the South’s most progressive place. Something has gone horribly awry. 

 Before I get to that, a quick diversion about my less-than-perfect “travel karma.” I had booked a compact car to be picked up at the Jacksonville, N.C., airport to begin the journey. When I got to the Alamo rental car counter, I was told that there were “no cars of any size” available – and that no other company on the aisle had any cars either.

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