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

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.

Welcome To Dixie County: Thou Shalt Love The Ten Commandments – Or Get Out!

Last Sunday, the residents of Dixie County, Fla., rallied on behalf of a controversial Ten Commandments monument that sits in front of their courthouse.

One woman held a sign that let people know exactly what she thinks of those who object to the government-endorsed religious display.

“If you don't like what our USA was built on,” her sign read, “‘GET OUT.'”


Well, sister, here’s some news: the United States of America was “built on” the constitutional separation of church and state. So if anybody needs to leave, it’s not us.

Voucher Mea Culpa: Pa. Church Leaders Recant Lobby-Or-Else Order To Needy Parochial School Parents

The Catholic hierarchy in Pennsylvania experienced a teachable moment recently when one of its officials demanded that needy parents lobby lawmakers for a school voucher bill or lose tuition assistance their children are receiving to attend parochial school.

On Oct. 20, Dr. Ronald T. Bowes, assistant superintendent for policy and development for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, sent a letter to the principals of local Catholic schools.

Creche Clash Averted: Connecticut Community Defuses Christmas Controversy

With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, we’re racing full throttle toward Christmas. Tree lots and holiday lights have already sprung up in my neighborhood. (How much time did you spend shopping online yesterday? Be honest.)

For those who celebrate the holiday, it’s a festive time of year, marked with twinkling lights, decorated trees, greeting cards, rich food, gifts and social events with family and friends. For many, it’s also a time of religious devotion, attending services at their chosen house of worship. It’s supposed to be a time of goodwill and good cheer.