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Taxpayer Tithes: House Speaker Uses Budget Deal To Fund Religious Schools With Your Tax Dollars

It’s a gorgeous spring day in Washington today. Sadly, it’s likely to be an ugly day for church-state separation.

This afternoon, both houses of Congress are expected to vote on a budget deal that includes federal taxpayer funding to reauthorize and expand the Washington, D.C., school voucher program. Read more

Florida Folly: Constitutional Change Would Harm Religious Liberty, Clergy Say

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

Commandments Crusade: La. Parish Ignores Court Rulings, Pushes Religious Display

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

Public Funds For Fred Phelps?: Voucher Dollars Could Go To Religious Schools That Teach Hate

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

Fort Bragg Bias: Military Fails To Keep Promise To Support Secularist Event

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

State Plate Grates: Kentucky Government Proposes ‘In God We Trust’ License Tags

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

Ark Park Update: Ky. Gov. Says State Won’t Allow Job Bias – But That’s Not Enough

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

Mosque Money: New Controversy Erupts Over Proposed Tax Funding Of NYC Facility

Just when the hubbub over the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” seemed to be dying down, some new information has come to light. Read more

I Sued The Sheriff: Unmasked Blogger Gets Some Justice In Florida

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 Silence Speaks Volumes: Illinois Law Promotes Prayer, And The Court Knows It

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

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