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All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Voucher Victory!: Scheme To Award Taxpayer Funds To Religious Schools Collapses In Pennsylvania

Good news from Pennsylvania: A hotly contested school voucher plan has failed to pass the state House of Representatives.

Gov. Tom Corbett has been pushing this legislation since he was elected in 2010. Under the scheme, vouchers were aimed at families earning no more than 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($41,000 for a family of four) whose children attend schools that are in the bottom 5 percent in terms of standardized test performance.

Over The Line: Kentucky School Officials Are Wrong About Teaching Evolution

Just when it looks like a state public school system is making progress in the teaching of evolution, creationism rears its ugly head.

A new standardized biology test scheduled to be administered to Kentucky public school students starting in the spring of 2012 would require that teachers devote significant time to teaching evolution.

Lowe Down: Hardware Chain Should Not Have Caved To Religious Right Blowhards

I am the humble servant of a non-profit organization and have never really aspired to be a high-powered corporate public-relations man. But today I’m going to step into that role and offer some free advice to Lowe’s Home Improvement and any firm facing the threat of a boycott from fundamentalist zealots.

My advice is simple: Ignore them. When you ignore them, nothing happens. When you cave in to them, lots of things happen – all of them bad.

Skeletal Santa Clobbered: Controversial Holiday Artwork Vandalized Outside Virginia Courthouse

During this season that is often referred to as a time for giving, a Virginia woman gave a local artist a piece of her mind – and did so in a very inappropriate way.

Mary Czarnecki of Leesburg, Va., was so upset by a display outside the Loudoun County Courthouse of a skeleton dressed in a Santa Claus suit and hanging on a cross, that she disassembled it and placed it on the ground.

Plate Problem: Texas DMV Approves ‘One State Under God’ License Plate

The governing board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has just approved a new license plate with three crosses and the words “One State Under God.”

This is the same governing board that had previously approved tags with “God Bless Texas,” “God Bless America” and “One Nation Under God.”

Supporters of the latest religion-themed plate celebrated the board’s decision as a victory for freedom of religion and speech.

Constitutional Correction: Another Tennessee School Board Forced To End School-Sponsored Religion

It seems that some school boards in middle Tennessee have a lot to learn about religious freedom.

The Sumner County Board of Education has just settled a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Tennessee after nine students complained that teachers led classroom prayers, religious organizations distributed Bibles at school, school events were held in churches and youth ministers preached to children unsupervised in school lunchrooms.

Misguided Memorial: Cross At Marine Base Doesn’t Honor All The Fallen

The United States military is highly diverse. According to a 2010 analysis, many different Christian denominations are represented in the ranks, but some personnel are Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan or followers of other traditions. One survey found that as many as 25 percent cited no religious preference at all.

Christmas Cranks: Rhode Island Governor Under Fire For ‘Holiday Tree’

My family and I are planning to get a Christmas tree this weekend. We usually opt for a Fraser fir. They’re attractive trees with sharp needles that discourage our two cats from getting too close.

I have no problem calling it a Christmas tree because we celebrate Christmas. But if someone called it a “holiday tree” or even “a seasonal evergreen display,” I wouldn’t much care. The holiday will come either way, and we’ll still experience all of our traditions.

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