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

Supremely Scary: Justice Thomas’ Approach To Church-State Relations Is Truly Frightening

It’s Halloween, so be prepared to see some scary things today. I’m expecting a full complement of neighborhood ghosts and goblins at the house tonight for trick or treat, but they can’t faze me. I’ve already had my scare for the day. It came in the form of a 19-page rant by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The high court, you see, has been trying to decide what to do with a case out of Utah dealing with crosses that were displayed along highways as memorials to members of the highway patrol who died in the line of duty.

Amending Common Sense: Religious Right Backs ‘Personhood’ Initiative In Mississippi

On Nov. 8, Mississippi voters will attempt to answer a question that American society has wrestled with for decades: when does life begin?

If it passes, Initiative 26 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to say that life begins at the moment of conception and that a fertilized egg has full legal rights as a person. The consequences of this would be far reaching, including banning abortion in virtually all cases (including rape and incest), as well as making many forms of contraception illegal.

‘Educational Choice’ And Hooey: School Vouchers Help Religious Schools, Not Families

A voucher subsidy for religious and other private schools just passed the Pennsylvania Senate, and voucher schemes are bubbling in Ohio and Tennessee. Other states are wrestling with the issue as well.

As usual, proponents of the scheme are depicting vouchers as a way to ensure “educational choice.” But what they don’t tell you is that the “choice” remains with the religious and other private schools. It is they and not parents who decide who gets admitted to their classrooms.

Halloween Comes Early: Congressional Hearing Will Showcase Religious Right Scare Tactics

It seems that some Republicans in the House of Representatives are awfully worried about government infringing on the liberties of the Religious Right, so the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution has called for a hearing today on “The State of Religious Liberty in the United States.”

Constitutional Emergency: Hospital Merger In Louisville Could Mean Church Control Of Health Care

Should public hospitals have to comply with the doctrinal mandates of the Roman Catholic hierarchy?

Most Americans would say “no” – and a pretty darn emphatic “no!” at that.

But University Hospital in Louisville, Ky., seems headed in that direction. As we reported earlier, the hospital, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is planning to merge with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and the St. Joseph Health System in Lexington.

Monumental Mistake: A Statue Of Jesus In A National Forest Violates Church-State Separation

In a postcard-worthy spot on Big Mountain in Montana stands a statue of Jesus Christ. The statue is in close proximity to Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Mont., and it has been something of a curiosity to skiers over the years.

The statue was put there more than 50 years ago by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization, to honor World War II veterans.

Poster Problems: In Giles County, Va., The Unconstitutional Writing Is On The Wall

Back in 1999, we at Americans United got word about a Pennsylvania school district that, after being prodded by a local fundamentalist minister, decided to post the Ten Commandments in a high school.

Members of the school board knew this was unconstitutional, so they tried an end-run: They designated a certain wall a “free-speech zone” and said community groups could post “character-building” material there. Naturally, the first item posted was a Ten Commandments display donated by a local church.

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