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Freedom vs. Fear: Restricting Religious Liberty Isn't The Answer To Terrorism

Last week, a community meeting was held in Spotsylvania County, Va., to discuss plans by a group of Muslims who want to relocate and expand an Islamic center where they have been worshipping for 15 years.

What should have been a routine matter of zoning turned ugly when two men in the audience began hurling insults. Read more

Remembering The Memorial: Happy Birthday To A Classic Of Religious Liberty

Let’s say a legislator in your state came up with the bright idea to force everyone to pay a special tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion.” What would you do?

You’d probably fire up your computer and use social media and Twitter to mobilize opposition. You might start an online petition or lobby the legislature directly.

But if it were 1785, and you didn’t have any of those tools, you might just have to do what James Madison did – reach for a quill pen and write a broadside so powerful it would sink the idea. Read more

Deja Vu All Over Again: Religious Objections To Interracial Marriage And Same-Sex Marriage

“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” has become a cliché, but opposition to marriage equality remains rooted in certain religious beliefs. The same-sex marriage bans of four states will be considered next week by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Proponents of these marriage bans framed their arguments in religious terms; legislators even quoted scripture and proclaimed that the ban was necessary “for the stability of society and for the greater glory of God.” Read more

Seize The Day!: Upcoming Religious Freedom Event Provides An Opportunity For Separation Advocates

Two weeks from today, the nation will celebrate Religious Freedom Day.

Don’t feel bad if you were not aware of that. Most people aren’t. Religious Freedom Day, which is celebrated every Jan. 16, tends to be somewhat obscure. My desk calendar, which includes Groundhog Day, Armed Forces Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday, does not list Religious Freedom Day. Read more

Fall From Grace: What The Religious Right Should Learn From The McDonnell Scandal

Leaders of Religious Right groups are fond of telling us that if we elect more fundamentalist Christians to office, we’ll have less corruption. Biblical literalists must be more ethical, right? Read more

Equality On The March: Same-Sex Marriage Moves Forward But Still Faces Legal Challenges

A federal judge struck down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban last night, calling it an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. US District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen began her decision with a lengthy quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, which struck down the state’s Jim Crow-era anti-miscegenation laws.  
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States Of Prayer: Legislators In Three States Push Bills To Promote Religion In Public Schools

The Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that our public schools aren’t meant to be places for spreading religion. But for legislators in three states, court rulings are no deterrent to their dogmatic agendas.

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.
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A Little List: The Top Ten Church-State Stories Of 2013

It’s that time of year when people are compiling lists. So let’s look at the Top Ten Church-State Stories of 2013.

1. Greece, N.Y., prayer case argued before U.S. Supreme Court: An Americans United-sponsored lawsuit challenging legislative prayer in the city of Greece, N.Y., reached the Supreme Court. Read more