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

Moon Over Congress: About That 'King Thing'...

Fallout continues from revelations that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon was crowned "king of America" at a ceremony held in the Senate Dirksen Office Building in March.

Yesterday, The New York Times ran a story about the controversy, noting, with some understatement, that the royal congressional recognition of the controversial Korean evangelist (and self-proclaimed messiah) is "causing a bit of a stir" in the nation's capital.

IRS Warns Political Parties: Don't Politicize Churches

In election years, it's not uncommon for the Internal Revenue Service to issue a letter to non-profit groups, including houses of worship, reminding them that they may not intervene in partisan politics.

This year, the IRS is taking an additional step. It recently issued a three-page letter to officials with seven political parties reminding them not to lure non-profits into politics. It is believed to be the first time the IRS had issued such a letter to political parties.

Religion And Politics: A Moment In TIME

The role of religion in American politics is getting a great deal of press recently, so much so that TIME magazine devoted its cover story to exploring just how religious America wants their public officials to be. Of all likely voters, only 28% felt it very important that a presidential candidate be a religious person, according to the TIME poll. Despite this fact, 56% see religious values as a tool that public figures should use to guide their actions.

'Christian Nation' Controversy In Texas

Religious Right activists often insist that America is a Christian nation. Although most Americans are indeed Christians, the TV preachers who talk about America as a "Christian Nation" mean something more -- that America should be officially Christian.

Bush And The Vatican: Political Parley?

President George W. Bush has apparently asked top Vatican officials to push American bishops to become more politically active. In a talk with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the president reportedly declared that 'Not all the American bishops are with me' on the cultural issues, according to stories by the National Catholic Reporter and The New York Times. Some observers saw his remarks as an appeal for hierarchical help in the upcoming elections.

Court To Rhea County: "Read Your Constitution"

During the infamous "Scopes Monkey Trial" 79 years ago, fundamentalist Christians went on the offensive in Rhea County, Tenn. Opposed to the teaching of evolution in public schools, they stretched a banner across the courthouse that exhorted, "Read your Bible." All these years later, some citizens of Rhea County still haven't learned their lesson.

Altar Call: Bush Campaign Woos 'Friendly' Churches

Debate over the issue of religion in politics reached a fever pitch this week when the George W. Bush re-election campaign's effort to build a political machine in churches came to light. News media reports say the Bush plan to enlist 1,600 "friendly" houses of worship in Pennsylvania may endanger congregations' tax-exempt status. Americans United notes that IRS rules forbid churches from endorsing candidates or engaging in partisan politics. Read all about it in the press clips below: