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

Misleading Missouri Measure: Amendment Harms, Not Helps Religious Liberty

The people of Missouri deserve better.

Not only has the state’s legislature passed a measure that could open the door to government-promoted religion – it plans to deliberately mislead Missourians about it.

H.J.R. 2 will appear on the November 2012 ballot. It’s an amendment that will add language to the state’s constitution codifying the right of Missourians to express their religious beliefs in public places, including public schools.

Sensible Separation: Dalai Lama Calls For Division Between Spiritual And Temporal Roles

The Dalai Lama really gets it.

The Tibetan spiritual leader is in Washington, D.C., to lead a 10-day peace festival at a venue just a few blocks from Americans United’s national office.

The Washington Post has been reporting on the event. Yesterday the newspaper mentioned the Dalai Lama’s longtime support of the separation of church and state.

Adoption Option: Ill. Agency Steps In To Help Kids After Bishop’s Departure

On June 1, a new law went into effect in Illinois that grants certain legal rights to same-sex couples. The state hasn’t adopted full marriage equality (yet), but civil unions are now recognized, meaning that same-sex couples enjoy many of the same rights are opposite-sex couples who are legally married.

Partisan Politics In The Pulpit: The LDS Church Says No

It’s not often AU can say this -- but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is on to something.

The LDS church has made a point to remind its senior leaders to remain politically neutral in the upcoming elections.

“The Church’s mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, not to elect politicians,” church president Thomas S. Monson and his senior counselors said in a letter sent to top church leaders recently. The letter was also posted as a statement on the church’s website.

Faith, Freedom And Frankfurters: An Independence Day Reflection

Last week, I gave a talk about church-state history at my wife’s church. I called my speech “The ‘Christian Nation’ Myth.”

Although I’m not an attorney, I laid out the case against the idea that the United States is some sort of officially Christian nation as one would in a courtroom, by marshaling the evidence.  I put forth the following points:

The Fourth Of July And Freedom: Why Texas Gov. Perry Doesn’t Understand America

I will be celebrating this July 4th with my family in Michigan, where I’m about to head in a few hours.

I’ll be attending a parade on Monday and watching some fireworks with my niece and nephew, who are second-generation Americans. Since my niece was three, she’s boasted that she is an American. Now that she is a bit older (she turned five in June), she may finally start to understand what that really means.

Schools For Scandal: Fla. Voucher Program Proves A Boon To Con Artists

It’s an article of faith among school voucher proponents that if we move toward a privatized system of education, competition will spur the creation of excellent schools.

That’s the theory. How does it work out in real life?

Not so well. In Florida, which has been using students with physical and learning disabilities as subjects in a privatization experiment, parents are learning the hard way that many private schools don’t really care about educating children. Their owners are just interested in making a fast buck.

Divisive Game: North Carolina Town Residents Play Capture The Flag

Some of you might recall a bit of a fuss that erupted in the town of King, N.C., last year over the flying of a Christian flag in a public park that serves as a veterans’ memorial.

When Americans United protested on behalf of a local veteran, city officials at first agreed (reluctantly) that to remove the Christian symbol. AU and the vet argued that a sectarian symbol like the cross does not represent all war dead.

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