It’s a gorgeous spring day in Washington today. Sadly, it’s likely to be an ugly day for church-state separation.
Americans United often points out the church-state separation is not only good for government, it’s also good for religion.
Yesterday, three members of the clergy – a Baptist minister, a Presbyterian minister and a rabbi – made that clear in a letter to Florida legislators. They wrote to oppose SJR 1218, a measure that tears down the church-state wall erected by the state constitution. Read more
Some people just have to learn everything the hard way.
According to a Louisiana newspaper, the Rapides Parish Police Jury has voted 8-1 to put the Ten Commandments on courtroom walls. (A police jury is what the people in some parts of Louisiana call their county council; its members are elected by the voters.)
The jury approved a motion to display the Decalogue, despite a strong warning from jury legal counsel. Read more
When it comes to school vouchers, Indiana State Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford) seems to get it.
The Republican lawmaker doesn’t want to support an Indiana bill that would use public funds to send students to religious and other private schools. Steele is the first Republican legislator in the state to voice opposition to the proposal. Read more
Back in September, Americans United urged Army officials to cancel an evangelistic event at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
AU said “Rock the Fort” targeted both service personnel and civilian families in the surrounding community for conversion to evangelical Christianity. Despite its clear religious nature, the rally and concert received the full backing of military brass, who helped advertise and fund the event to the tune of $54,500. Read more
There is trouble brewing in Kentucky once again. This time, the state government plans to offer new license plates for those who want to outwardly express their belief in God.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced plans to make available two standard-issue license plates next year – the traditional one that uses the state slogan “Unbridled Spirit,” and a new one that adds the words “In God We Trust.” Read more
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear at least has one thing right: taxpayers should never be required to fund discrimination.
Earlier this month, Beshear outraged scientists, civil liberties activists and, indeed, lots of people who care about reasonable and responsible government, with his plan to provide tax incentives for the developers of a creationism-themed park featuring a full-size rendering of Noah’s ark. Read more
What would theocracy look like if it ever came to America?
Perhaps it would involve government agents working on behalf of a preferred religious group and ferreting out religious dissenters. It’s a scary thought, but what’s scarier is that this already has happened in Jacksonville, Fla., according to a report by the Associated Baptist Press. Read more
When the “moment of silence” bill first came up for vote in the Illinois legislature years ago, some House members sang a song on the floor to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence.” It went:
Hello, school prayer, our old friend
It’s time to vote on you again
In our school house without warning
You seek a moment in the morning.
The words made very clear these legislators’ intent in proposing the measure: to bring government-sponsored prayer back into the public schools. Read more