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

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.

Freedom, Not Force: When It Comes To Evangelism, Cal Thomas Recommends The Power Of Persuasion

Cal Thomas used to be the Rev. Jerry’s Falwell’s PR man at the Moral Majority. He has written a number of books promoting far-right political views. He opposes legal abortion and is anti-gay.

Yet he recently penned a syndicated column that I agree with 100 percent. My head just might explode.

Taxation For Religion?: Pa. Governor Proposes School Voucher Scheme

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) last week promoted an “education reform” plan that includes taxpayer-funded school vouchers for tuition at religious and other private schools.

The proposal is supposedly targeted at low-income families with kids in “failing” public schools. The vouchers would permit these students to transfer to other private or public schools, including religious schools, provided the school chooses to accept the student.

 

Acute Agenda: For The House Leadership, Keeping The Religious Right Happy Is Job One

A week ago, I was sitting in a hotel ballroom surrounded by 3,000 Religious Right activists at the “Values Voter Summit.” Among the speakers we heard was House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

Cantor talked about several issues, among them jobs. In fact, we’ve been told over and over again that this Congress wants to get America back to work. But here’s a funny thing: We’re not actually getting legislation that has anything to do with jobs. It’s simply not on the House’s agenda.

Drive-Thru Baloney: Don’t Buy ‘Christian Nation’ Propagandist David Barton’s Junk Food History

The Religious Right likes to invoke American history to advance its agenda, but sometimes the truth of that history doesn’t fit with the fundamentalist narrative. When that happens, people like David Barton decide to write revisionist textbooks and peddle those books to public schools.

Rhode Island Banner Battle: Student Jessica Ahlquist Stands Up For The Constitution

In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a famous decision in a school prayer case called Abington School District v. Schempp. The justices, with only one dissenter, ruled school-sponsored and coercive programs of prayer and Bible reading in public schools unconstitutional.

That same year for some reason, students at a high school in Cranston, R.I., decided to create an 8-foot-tall banner containing an official school prayer and hang it in the school auditorium.

Weekend (Culture) Warriors: Some Things I Learned At The Values Voter Summit

As I mentioned on Friday, I spent the weekend attending the “Values Voter Summit,” the annual Religious Right uber-conference sponsored by the Family Research Council and its allies. This was the sixth time I’ve been to this event, and I wasn’t the only one there from Americans United. (Barry Lynn and three other staffers were there as well.)

Scaling The Summit: This Weekend, AU Will Be Up Close And Personal With The Religious Right

It’s going to be a lovely fall weekend in Washington, D.C., -- and I’ll be spending most of it inside surrounded by thousands of Religious Right zealots.

Yes, it’s time for the Family Research Council’s “Values Voter Summit.” This annual gathering, which begins today, has become the nation’s premier Religious Right confab. I wouldn’t think of missing it! After all, how often do you get to hear Ed Meese speak these days?

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