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Equal Access For All: Atheist Student Clubs Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Heckler’s Veto

If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.

My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)

There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.

How can this be? It’s a public school. Read more

Missed Opportunity: North Carolina’s Voucher Program Likely To Fund Homeschools

Supporters of North Carolina’s new voucher program say its “Opportunity Scholarships” are intended to benefit the state’s most disadvantaged students. This is common rhetoric from school choice advocates, who base their arguments on the assumption that private schools always offer students a better education.
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Equal Education: N.C. Christian School Rejects Vouchers After Discrimination Fight

A North Carolina private school will refuse voucher money after a public outcry over its anti-gay policies. Myrtle Grove Christian School had been approved to receive funds through the state’s new “Opportunity Scholarship” program, but under its ‘Biblical morality policy,’ it refuses admission to LGBT students and even the straight children of LGBT parents.

Critics called it state-funded discrimination.
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Sanctifying The Sabbath?: North Carolina Law Prohibiting Early Voting On Sundays Harms Minorities

Mark Creech, director of the American Family Association’s North Carolina affiliate, normally views government with a wary eye. But the state’s unprecedented roll back of voting rights banned polling on Sundays, and suddenly Creech is singing a new tune.
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Monumental Mistake: Calif. City’s Memorial Doesn’t Honor All Veterans

The municipal leaders of Lake Elsinore, Calif., decided they wanted to honor local veterans with a special monument in front of a local baseball stadium.

No problem there. The southern California city of about 51,000 people has produced its share of veterans, and giving them special recognition is a nice idea.

Unfortunately, the way the city chose to go about it was not so good. The original design was for a black granite marker depicting a soldier kneeling in front of a cross. Read more

‘Rock Beyond Belief’: Secularist Rally Gets Fair Play At Fort Bragg

Thousands of people are expected to converge on Fort Bragg in North Carolina tomorrow for “Rock Beyond Belief.” The festival, featuring music, speakers and activities for children, may be unprecedented; it appears to be the first openly atheistic event to take place at a military installation.

How did this come about? Oddly enough, evangelist Billy Graham’s ministry had something to do with it. Read more

Buncombe’s Bible Battle: Time For Change At A N.C. Public School

Change can be difficult, but it’s often necessary. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean you should keep on doing it – especially if what you are doing isn’t legal.

Public education officials in Buncombe County, N.C., are learning this hard lesson right now. The community is ensnared in a flap over the role of religion in its schools. Officials are crafting new policies, and we hope they do the right thing. Read more

Divisive Game: North Carolina Town Residents Play Capture The Flag

Some of you might recall a bit of a fuss that erupted in the town of King, N.C., last year over the flying of a Christian flag in a public park that serves as a veterans’ memorial.

When Americans United protested on behalf of a local veteran, city officials at first agreed (reluctantly) that to remove the Christian symbol. AU and the vet argued that a sectarian symbol like the cross does not represent all war dead. Read more

Marrying Church And State: N.C. Preachers And Politicians Want To Throw The Book (Of Matthew) At Same-Sex Couples

A recent poll showed that, for the first time, most Americans support extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. The number stands at 53 percent but is expected to grow in the years to come. Younger people are much more likely to favor the idea. Read more

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