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

Alternative Universe: Iowa Presidential Forum Exposes Religious Right Disconnect From Reality

I spent two hours Saturday evening in front of my computer watching the Religious Right’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum.” The event, which took place at First Federated Church, a large fundamentalist congregation in Des Moines, featured six of the leading Republican presidential candidates – U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S senator Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Fundamentalist Forum: Religious Right To Grill Candidates On ‘Questions Of The Soul’

Tomorrow afternoon, most of the Republican presidential candidates will come together in Iowa for the latest in a seemingly endless series of debates as they try to prove to the electorate that they are qualified to be the leader of the United States.

Unlike previous debates, which have been sponsored primarily by news organizations, this one is a “forum” sponsored by an Iowa Religious Right group called The FAMiLY Leader, CitizenLink (an affiliate of the James Dobson-founded Focus on the Family) and the National Organization for Marriage.

Bully For Michigan!: Religion Exemption For School Harassment May Fail

Good news from Michigan! The state legislature is moving toward anti-bullying legislation that does not include an exemption for religiously motivated harassment.

As we reported to you earlier, the state Senate passed a measure to deal with bullying in public schools. But, remarkably, senators included an exemption for those who act out of “sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”

Meet And Greet: Obama Has Private Session With Archbishop Dolan, But White House Ignores Progressive Coalition

The New York Times reported yesterday that President Barack Obama met privately with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan at the White House last week in order to discuss, at least in part, religious liberty in America. This was their second meeting.

Contracting Controversy: The Catholic Bishops Want To Get Paid – Even Though They Won’t Do The Job

Some of my friends in Washington are employed by firms that handle contracts for various federal agencies. It works like this: The department in question (Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, etc.) issues a document listing in detail what needs to be done, and companies compete to get the contract by explaining how they’ll do it and what they’ll charge.

If a company doesn’t come up with a convincing plan or ignores the department’s wants, it won’t win the contract. It’s that simple.

Veterans Day Villainy: FDR Prayer Bill Is Shameless Partisan Stunt

Religious Right zealots are nothing if not inventive when it comes to cooking up bogus culture-war skirmishes and exploiting them for political gain.

Their latest scheme, however, is particularly appalling.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) has introduced H.R. 2070, a bill ordering the Secretary of the Interior to add a Franklin Delano Roosevelt prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  Roosevelt offered that prayer on D-Day as the United States began the military operation that liberated Europe.

Government Support For Religious Intolerance: A Bad Idea At Home And Abroad

Some religious schools teach intolerance. This is an unpleasant fact, but it must be acknowledged.

There are fundamentalist Christian academies that bash gay people with impunity, mock other religions and promote inaccurate and exclusionary “Christian nation” views of American history. Some ultra-orthodox Catholic schools tell students that anyone outside the true faith is hell bound.

Halting Harassment: Public School Efforts To Protect Students Run Into Religious Right Bullies

Many public schools are finally taking an overdue look at the problem of bullying. A number of state legislatures have even weighed in to address the issue.

That’s good news. After all, it’s impossible for a young person to do well in school if he or she is being bullied or is worried about being bullied.

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