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The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

This Is What Real Religious Persecution Looks Like: Hindu Air Force Dentist Fired For Being A ‘Witch’

In what seems to be a case of genuine religious persecution, a Hindu dental technician working on a contract with the U.S. Air Force says she was fired because of her religious beliefs.

And in a move that has been described as “a literal ‘witch hunt,’” her former co-workers even accused her of practicing witchcraft. Read more

Bible Stories: Focus On The Family’s Claims Of Public School Persecution Don’t Hold Up

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Perryville, the Great Chicago Fire and the defeat of the Roman Emperor Licinius by Constantine the Great.

But some schoolchildren are marking the day for alternative reasons: It’s Bring Your Bible To School Day. The event is Focus on the Family’s yearly attempt to transform average public school students into classroom missionaries. Read more

Lousy Legacy: Boehner Leaves D.C. Stuck With Voucher Program

With U.S. House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) announcement that he will be retiring from Congress this month, various media outlets are in the process of examining his legacy. While Boehner had an impact on many aspects of U.S. policy, in at least one area he leaves behind a legacy of failure: his private school voucher program in the District of Columbia. Read more

How Do You Get Policy Change In Washington?: Persistence, Persistence, Persistence

When President George W. Bush took office, his administration set about to change the rules for how the federal government funds faith-based organizations to perform social services, like running soup kitchens, job training programs and homeless shelters. He established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which worked with agencies across the federal government to weaken the longstanding church-state protections that had applied to these programs. Read more

Banned In Boston (And Elsewhere): The American Tragedy Of Censorship

When I was kid, the phrase “Banned in Boston” confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn’t censor things there.

They don’t anymore, but they sure used to. About 100 years ago, Boston was in the grip of dour “vice” crusaders who used their religious beliefs to decide what books and magazines people could read and what performances they could see on stage. And it wasn’t alone. Read more

Warped Weekend: Extreme Comments From The Values Voter Summit

The “Values Voter Summit” (VVS), an annual Religious Right gathering in Washington, D.C., took place over the weekend. The rhetoric at the confab, which is now in its 10th year, is pretty consistent: speakers preach Christian “persecution,” Islamophobia, homophobia, dissatisfaction with the federal government and religious revivalism to whip about 3,000 attendees into a frenzy. Read more