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On Election Eve, Where We Stand

Americans will go to the polls tomorrow and elect a new president. It’s an awesome responsibility, one of the defining characteristics of a free people.

Americans United is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Under federal law, we can’t endorse or oppose candidates (although we can take sides on ballot referenda). Unlike some Religious Right groups, we respect this law and follow it.

It’s not our job to tell you how to vote. It is our job to remind you why civic participation is important. And it’s our job to tell you – and all Americans – what we stand for.

For Halloween, Here Are Seven Things Much Scarier Than Creepy Clowns

It’s Halloween, and I’m looking forward to distributing treats to the neighborhood children who come to my house tonight. As long as those creepy clowns stay away, it’s sure to be a good time.

I enjoy a good horror movie every now and then, but to me, the real world provides a more disturbing array of actual chills. In fact, here are seven things way scarier than ghosts, werewolves, zombies – and even phantom clowns:

Prayer Prescription?: Ga. Group Claims Official School Prayer Will Cure Society’s Ills

A Georgia group apparently thinks forcing more prayer into public schools will cure all sorts of societal problems.

During a rally yesterday on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol, a group called the Legislative Clergy Council gathered along with a handful of clergy and some students from Morehouse College in support of a student prayer bill.

Freedom Of Conscience: The Greatest Gift Of All

People sometimes ask me why I got so interested in defending separation of church and state. The answer is simple: As a kid, I was sent to a Catholic school for eight years.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of good teachers there and learned many things. But I found the school’s tendency to micro-manage prayer troubling. Three times a day, like clockwork, a nun, priest or lay teacher would order everyone to stand up and pray. In unison, we would chant one of two prayers – the “Our Father” or the “Hail Mary” – before sitting down for the lesson.

Father Of Falsehoods: Why Ted Cruz’s Dad Is Wrong About Prayer In Schools

Many misconceptions abound about the issue of prayer in schools, and some people persist in believing a lot of myths. One of the most common is that children all over America prayed in public schools until 1962 when the U.S. Supreme Court made them stop.

The issue arose recently because Rafael Cruz, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, told the Austin American-Statesman, “Prior to 1962, everybody prayed before school started. In 1962, the Supreme Court banned prayer. In 1963, they banned the Bible from school. Prior to that, the Bible was the principal textbook in all schools.”

No More ‘Jesus Pizza:’ Court Tells Colo. Cowboy Church To Hit The Trail

The Cowboy Church of the Crossroads may no longer meet in a public high school, according to the terms of a new settlement. ABC 7 reports that a federal court issued a consent decree that requires Florence, Co.,-based church to find a new home.

The settlement ends a legal battle between the Fremont RE-2 School District and a former teacher over Florence High School’s alleged promotion of the church.

Groups Say First Amendment Does Not Permit Texas Public School Cheerleaders To Display Religious Signs

Texas Supreme Court Should Prohibit On-Field Bible Banners, Watchdog Organizations Say

A Texas public school should be required to prevent cheerleaders from displaying large banners with Bible verses on the field during football games, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its allies have advised a state court.
 
In a friend-of-the-court brief filed yesterday in Matthews v.

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