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

Court To Rhea County: "Read Your Constitution"

During the infamous "Scopes Monkey Trial" 79 years ago, fundamentalist Christians went on the offensive in Rhea County, Tenn. Opposed to the teaching of evolution in public schools, they stretched a banner across the courthouse that exhorted, "Read your Bible." All these years later, some citizens of Rhea County still haven't learned their lesson.

Altar Call: Bush Campaign Woos 'Friendly' Churches

Debate over the issue of religion in politics reached a fever pitch this week when the George W. Bush re-election campaign's effort to build a political machine in churches came to light. News media reports say the Bush plan to enlist 1,600 "friendly" houses of worship in Pennsylvania may endanger congregations' tax-exempt status. Americans United notes that IRS rules forbid churches from endorsing candidates or engaging in partisan politics. Read all about it in the press clips below:

Holy War, Anyone?: Gen. Boykin Implicated In Abu Ghraib Scandal

Lt. General William Boykin is again making headlines, but this time not only for his offensive remarks. Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence, sparked controversy and investigation last year when he said Muslims worship idols and cast the war on terrorism as a religious conflict. Boykin declared that the real enemy of America -- which he describes as a "Christian nation" -- isn't Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.

The Bishop's Political Pastoral: Selective Coercion?

Roman Catholic Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs has issued a pastoral letter saying that American Catholics should not receive communion if they vote for candidates who defy church teaching on abortion, same-sex marriage and other social issues, according to The New York Times. This proclamation comes on the heels of moves by others in the Catholic hierarchy to deny communion to politicians who stray from church doctrine.

Politicizing the Communion Line

Almost 50 years ago, candidate John F. Kennedy assured a skeptical America that the Catholic Church would not influence his decisions as President. Kennedy believed "in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." An increasingly aggressive Catholic hierarchy is undermining this historic principle by attempting to control the votes of Catholic politicians on important social issues.