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Kentucky Triumph: State Supreme Court Blocks Public Funding Of Baptist University

The Kentucky Supreme Court handed down an important church-state decision yesterday – one that ended in a victory for Americans United and our allies.

The court ruled that $10 million in state funds could not be awarded to the University of the Cumberlands (UC), a school affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. In a 5-2 decision, the court said awarding government funds to a religious institution violates the Kentucky Constitution’s clear ban on tax aid to “any church, sectarian or denominational school.”

Sign Of The Times: ‘Hell Is Real’ Billboard May Cost Kentucky Its Federal Funds

Some Kentucky legislators seem to have a thing about church-state relations.

If the Bluegrass State’s lawmakers aren’t busy pushing for Ten Commandments displays on public land or advocating for the Bible to be taught in public schools, they’re looking for other ways to give religion a little governmental help.

The legislature’s latest debacle involves an aggressive effort to keep a “Hell is real” billboard standing beside a major interstate highway.

A Tale Of Two Cities (And Diagrams): Ten Commandments Battles Roil Kentucky And North Dakota

My roommate is a freshly minted high school teacher. Sometimes, while sitting together watching reruns of "Doogie Howser, MD.," I help her plan civics lessons for her students. If it weren't the middle of the summer, I would insist that she craft a Venn Diagram with her kids to teach about the separation of church and state.

Baptist Boondoggles: Courts In Kentucky Split On Tax Aid To Religion

Although my beloved home state of Kentucky is perhaps best known for its bourbon, burley and basketball teams, there are also a lot Baptists down there. Some of them support church-state separation; some of them don't.

On Monday, some of the ones who don't won a round in a lawsuit involving public funding of religion. A federal district court ruled that folks challenging tax aid to the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (KBHC) had no "standing" to bring their case into court.

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