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The ‘Conscience’ Charade: S.D. Lawmakers Reject Unnecessary Church Protection Bill

An outbreak of common sense has struck parts of the South Dakota legislature.

Last week, the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee voted 4-3 to reject a completely unnecessary bill that would have made it clear that clergy can’t be forced to perform wedding ceremonies that violate their right of conscience. Read more

Pregnant Pause: Taxpayer Funding For Abortion ‘Counseling’ Subsidizes Fundamentalist Religion

South Dakota legislators recently passed a controversial law placing new restrictions on abortion. A three-day waiting period (the longest in the nation) has drawn the most attention, but another provision is problematic from a church-state perspective. It requires any woman seeking an abortion to first undergo “counseling” at a “crisis pregnancy center.” Read more

South Dakota Scofflaw: Rapid City Pastor Tries To Backpedal On Candidate Endorsement

Yesterday Americans United asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a South Dakota church whose pastor openly admitted that he endorsed a gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit.

The Rev. H. Wayne Williams of Liberty Baptist Tabernacle in Rapid City hasn’t been shy about what he did. In fact, state Sen. Gordon Howie, the candidate Williams endorsed during a May 16 church service, sent out a press release bragging about it.

Howie had challenged churches to endorse him and was ecstatic when one did. Read more

Religion At The Polls: Religious Right-Backed Candidates Fail At The Ballot Box

Yesterday was primary election day in a number of states. Several candidates who ran on platforms bashing church-state separation fared poorly.

Here are some results that might be of interest: Read more

South Dakota Scofflaws: Pastors Mount Campaign To Rush More Pulpit Endorsements

A few misguided religious leaders in South Dakota have decided they are above the law and are plowing ahead with a plan to endorse a gubernatorial candidate from the pulpit. Read more