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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Cross Purposes: Battle Over Religious Symbol Ends Happily In Arizona Town

On Monday, "The Wall of Separation" explored a flap over a cross being displayed at a government building in Camp Verde, Ariz., a small city of about 10,000 in the central part of the state.

As Sandhya Bathija noted, the town council was due to deliberate the matter; she expressed hope that its members would make the right decision.

Today I'm happy to report that they did.

Sotomayor And Religious Liberty: Court Nominee Says It's Central To The Constitution

As it turns out, we didn't have to wait too long for a question assessing Judge Sonia Sotomayor's thoughts on religious liberty.

Yesterday afternoon, as the Senate confirmation hearings continued, Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) asked Sotomayor her views on freedom of religion, which he called "one of the basic principles of our Constitution."

Sorting Out Sotomayor: Church-State Experts Wait For Answers, While The Southern Baptists Plunge Ahead

As you may have noticed, Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings continue today.

We've heard a lot of griping about her "wise Latina" remark and her decision in the Ricci case, as well as witnessed outbursts from anti-abortionist protestors.

But to our knowledge, we have yet to hear anyone ask her about her views on church and state issues.

Disruption Distraction: The Religious Right And Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor

I don't know what kind of Supreme Court justice Sonya Sotomayor will turn out to be.

My hope is that she's much in the vein as the man she will probably replace – David H. Souter.

But although I'm uncertain about Sotomayor's views on separation of church and state, there's one thing I know for sure: She deserves a fair hearing and an opportunity to explain her views and answer questions. And she deserves the right to do this in an atmosphere marked by professionalism and congeniality.

Shekels And Shackles: What The Government Funds It Also Regulates

As a kid I attended a private religious school for eight years. In the seventh grade, a new student joined our class.

Molly was – how shall I say this? – a "problem child." She smoked cigarettes, frequently cut class, cussed like a longshoreman and ran with a rough crowd. Our school was known for its strict discipline (not to mention intimidating nuns), and Molly's parents hoped it would provide the structure she needed.

It didn't work out that way.

After just a few months, Molly was gone. Even the nuns couldn't handle her. She was sent back to public school.

Going (For The) Green: Religious Lobbies Are Hot For Climate-Change Subsidies

What do federal energy policy and church-state separation have in common?

Apparently more than you might think. Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a climate-change bill that allotted some hefty benefits to religious groups.

The measure, which was approved 219-212, included a provision that would provide subsidies to "faith-based" organizations and other non-profits to cover of up to 50 percent of the cost of retrofitting their energy systems.

Flyover Flap: Air Force Drops Participation In Idaho Religious Festival

The Department of Defense has ended a decades-old tradition of lending support to a fundamentalist Christian festival in Idaho.

The Pentagon nixed a request for military flyovers during the "Treasure Valley God and Country Festival" held annually in Nampa. (Yes, this is the same city that wanted to pull sex education books from its public library shelves last year)

Star Dreck: Religious Right 'Federation' Clings On To Same Old Misguided Mission

Economic news, the possibility of health-care reform and even the death of "king of pop" Michael Jackson have dominated the headlines lately. But quietly, beneath the surface, the "culture wars" continue to percolate.

Leaders of the Religious Right aren't real happy with the current situation. President Barack Obama remains popular. Same-sex marriage is now legal in six states, and others are considering it. Abortion is still legal, and public schools aren't pushing fundamentalist Christianity.

What to do? Form a federation!

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