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I’m Excited To Join The Americans United Team!

Editor’s Note: Liz Hayes is Americans United’s new assistant director of communications. In this blog post, she explains what motivated her to want to work for Americans United.

I was born, raised and worked as a journalist for nearly 15 years in western Pennsylvania in the suburbs of Pittsburgh – the politically purple borderlands where liberalism drains into the conservative rural vastness that smears the center of the state red.

Fake ‘War On Christmas’ May Have Spurred Trump’s Presidential Run

Why did Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality TV star with no political experience, decide to run for president?

We have no shortage of theories. Some say Trump wanted free publicity to boost his sagging personal brand. Others assert it was all a stunt to launch a new cable TV channel. Still others insist Trump jumped in to shake things up and have a little fun, never expecting to actually win the Republican nomination.

Now Trump’s son Eric has put forth a new theory: His father was upset because the White House Christmas tree was renamed a “holiday tree.”

Symbols and Civil Religion

Some very powerful people in the United States see absolutely nothing wrong with generalized government endorsement of religious belief.

Pledging To Respect Everyone’s Rights: N.Y. School Allows Student To Opt Out Of Patriotic Exercise

A spat over a high school student’s decision to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance has been favorably resolved. The administrators of Southside High School in Elmira, N.Y., have agreed to allow a student to sit during the Pledge in response to a letter from the American Humanist Association (AHA).

Still Divisible Under God: Supreme Court Opts Not To Review Pledge Challenge

When I was a kid, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance in school. By rote, obediently. Elementary school days of hand-over-heart and guileless allegiance.

Then middle school rolled around. It became less cool, sure, but still unchallenged. It was patriotic at least, during a post-9/11 time when car flags flew in unison.

But in response to the intercom’s summons most high school mornings, I stayed quiet. When I lacked the resolve, I admit I moved my lips. Muscle memory, maybe. Or was it social? Either way, it was my silent protest.

Billboard Boorishness: Vandals Attack Secular Patriotic Message In North Carolina

As we head into the long weekend in celebration of the birth of our country, it’s a good time to remember how lucky we are that our Constitution guarantees us so many rights and freedoms.

One of these freedoms, of course, is the option to choose what faith to believe in, or to believe in nothing at all. Our Constitution protects and welcomes everyone, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu or an atheist.

‘Under God’ Upheld: Appeals Court Says Pledge Is Patriotic, Not Religious

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the separation of church and state.

The 2-1 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest decision in a long-running legal campaign by Michael Newdow, a California atheist activist, to have “under God” declared unconstitutional.

Pledge Provocation: What's Wrong With Knowing Your Rights?

Recently, the Fox News Channel rang up the Rev. Barry Lynn, AU's executive director, to discuss what he thinks about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.

Since they asked, he answered.

"The Pledge of Allegiance creates a constitutional problem," he said. "You have to tell students they can opt out."

For some reason, this statement has generated some controversy – as if it is so reprehensible to want to educate students about their rights!