Over the weekend, a group of atheists, humanists, agnostics and others held a “Reason Rally” in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of people attended the event, which was designed in part to express support for secular government and separation of church and state. This is an audience we want to reach, so Americans United had an informational table at the rally.
A crony of Religious Right pseudo-historian David Barton will not be joining the Texas Supreme Court.
Rick Green, a former Texas state representative and “Christian nation” advocate, narrowly lost his bid for the bench in March to state Supreme Court incumbent Paul Green (no relation). Green has sought the seat before.
That Green was very nearly elected to Texas’ highest court is somewhat shocking. The Dallas Morning News noted that he has been described as a “serial abuser of ethics standards.”
Editor’s Note: Chris Rodda is senior research director for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation and a longtime debunker of Religious Right figure David Barton. Rodda’s new book, Liars for Jesus: The Religious Right’s Alternate Version of American History, Volume 2, has just been released and is available on Amazon.com. Rodda talked about the book recently with Church & State Editor Rob Boston.
It seems Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has a poor understanding of both American history and the First Amendment. So let’s take a few moments to educate him.
In a recent viewpoint piece published by the San Antonio Express-News, Patrick attempted to argue that religious freedom is under attack in the United States, which is contradictory to America’s “Christian nation” roots.
By Jonathan Engel
The United States is awash in arguments over the separation of church and state. From access to birth control to the case of recalcitrant Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis; from displays of the Ten Commandments in public buildings to police departments placing “In God We Trust” on their patrol cars, the arguments rage on and on, too numerous and too depressing to restate in their entirety here.
Americans United recently sent a warning letter to an Arizona public charter school, telling officials there to stop assigning a textbook that promotes religion to students in government classes.
In a letter sent Aug. 28 to officials at Heritage Academy in Mesa, Americans United explained that a text used in the school’s mandatory senior government/U.S. Constitution class teaches students religious beliefs such as divine creation of all things, divine judgment after death and the Ten Commandments.
Legislators in Arkansas believe that you can’t fathom America without first understanding the Ten Commandments.
“In order that they may understand and appreciate the basic principles of the American system of government, the people of the United States of America and of the State of Arkansas need to identify the Ten Commandments, one of many sources, as influencing the development of what has become modern law,” intoned legislation authorizing placement of a Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol in Little Rock.
The Religious Right’s claim that the United States was founded to be a “Christian nation” has been debunked so many times by so many legitimate scholars that it’s amazing the assertion has any staying power.
Editor’s Note: Steven K. Green is the Fred H. Paulus Professor of Law and director of the Center for Religion, Law & Democracy at Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon. Green, who served as legal director of Americans United from 1992—2001, is the author of several books on church-state relations, most recently Inventing a Christian America: The Myth of the Religious Founding (Oxford University Press). Green discussed his new book with Church & State Editor Rob Boston recently.