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

Sinking Ship?: Kentucky “Ark Park” Faces Funding Shortfalls, Delayed Groundbreaking

As time passes, the “Ark Park” in Kentucky is beginning to look more and more like a sinking ship.

Americans United has been highly critical of the proposed theme park, which would include a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark and models of dinosaurs, which Answers in Genesis (AiG), the group heading the project, insists were carried on the biblical boat.

The Greatest Holiday Gift Of All: Religious Freedom

Hanukah began on Tuesday, yesterday was the Winter Solstice, and Sunday is Christmas. With all of this celebrating going on, it can be hard to find time to take a breather. But this is a good time to reflect on religious liberty in America, even if you aren’t celebrating one of these holidays.

Consider Christmas. It occupies an interesting niche in American public life. It’s primarily a Christian holiday, but as years pass, more and more people are celebrating it in a secular fashion. At the same time, others celebrate the holidays of other faiths or choose to ignore them all.

Frankly, This Is Silly: Two Congressmen Gripe About Being Forced To Pay For Their Own Holiday Cards

One of the perks of being a member of Congress is access to a “free” mail system. Senators and representatives can send information to constituents about legislation, congressional votes or other government-related matters and “frank” the envelope, with the taxpayer picking up the stamp. (It’s not really free because you and I pay for it.)

The franking system isn’t for personal mail. If you’re a member of Congress and want to drop Aunt Gertrude a note to ask how her gall bladder surgery went, you must pay for the stamp yourself.

Victory In Georgia: Appeals Court Says University Can Require Religious Student To Follow Ethics Rules

The Religious Right’s rigid mindset dictates that its adherents can do things on their own terms no matter what the law or anyone else says. As a student at a Georgia university and the Alliance Defense Fund recently discovered, federal courts don’t support that mentality.

Jennifer Keeton was pursuing an advanced degree in counseling at Augusta State University until it became clear that she intended to impose her religious beliefs on clients in violation of the professional standards of her academic program.

Super Superintendent: An Educator In Rural Oklahoma Comes To The Defense Of Public Schools

Oklahoma has a private-school voucher plan aimed at children with special needs, and one of its toughest critics is a career educator in the tiny community of Mounds, population 1,200.

Donna Campo, superintendent of the Liberty Public Schools, hasn’t been shy about speaking out against any plan to divert taxpayer funds to private schools. A recent profile of Campo in the Tulsa World found her in feisty form.

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.

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