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

So It Goes: Mo. School District Reconsiders Vonnegut Book Ban

When members of the Republic School Board of Education in Missouri voted 4-0 to remove Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five from its curriculum, I’ll bet they had no idea the backlash they’d receive.

But it just goes to show, making a stink of things can really go a long way. Thanks to Americans United and our allies (including the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library!), the board has now agreed to reconsider its misguided decision.

Fringe Festival: Why We Must Take ‘Dominionists’ Seriously

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent day-long prayer-and-fasting rally in Houston has led to some interesting fallout. Commentators in the media are taking an overdue look at the extreme views of the groups that sponsored “The Response.”

Unfortunately, some are reaching a strange conclusion: These groups are so out on the fringe that we don’t need to worry about them.

With Charity For Some?: Illinois Court Rejects Catholic Agency’s ‘Right’ To Discriminate With Public Funds

We’ve had a welcome slew of court victories for church-state separation as of late.

Most recently, a state court in Illinois has rejected a lawsuit brought by Catholic Charities. The Catholic agency wanted to continue receiving government contracts for adoption services but still discriminate by refusing to place children with couples in civil unions.

‘The Response’ And The Truth: Houston Prayer Rally Kicked Off ‘Biblical’ Political Campaign

Religious Right folks can be sneaky, that’s for sure.

They know the best way to surreptitiously influence elections: hold an event at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas; say it’s about prayer not politics; collect thousands of email addresses through the event’s registration process; and two weeks later, send out a mass email urging attendees to show up at the polls and recruit others to go along.

State Audit Confirms Milwaukee Voucher Schools Score No Better

The Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau has released a report confirming what a group of privately funded researchers found last year: students in Milwaukee using vouchers to attend private and religious schools perform no better on standardized tests than their counterparts in public schools.

Idaho Victory!: Federal Appeals Court Rejects Bible-Based Charter School Lawsuit

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) lost another battle this week in its ongoing crusade to bring religion into public schools.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Idaho Public Charter School Commission acted constitutionally when it ordered the Nampa Classical Academy not to base its curriculum on the Bible or any other religious texts.

In August 2009, the Commission told Academy officials that using religious literature as primary teaching materials violates the state constitution and would not be permitted.

Poisonous Brew: Beware Of The Tea Party’s Theocratic Kool-Aid

Is the Tea Party really just the Religious Right in a tri-corner hat? Two scholars seem to think so.

In a fascinating op-ed in The New York Times yesterday, David E. Campbell and Robert D. Putnam talked about the kind of Americans who came to identify with that much-discussed movement.  Campbell, an associate professor of political science at Notre Dame, and Putnam, a professor of public policy at Harvard, have done the research to tell us where the Tea Party really came from.

Bad Choice: Ohio Official Drops Creationism Crusade – And Takes Up School Vouchers

Some people just don’t know when to give up.  Take Springboro (Ohio) school board member Kelly Kohls. Kohls recently suggested that “intelligent design,” the current variation of creationism, be taught in her local public schools.

According to the Dayton Daily News, Kohls said, “Creationism is a significant part of the history of this country. It is an absolutely valid theory and to omit it means we are omitting part of the history of this country.”

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