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

Weird Worldview: Religious Right Expects Tolerance For Its Intolerant Behavior

There’s little doubt the Religious Right lives in an alternate universe. But if you need proof, look no further than the fundamentalist response to backlash faced by several business owners who refused to serve LGBT customers.

W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pa, and the Inne of the Abingtons – they tried to class it up with an extra “e” – in North Abington, Pa., each recently refused to offer their services to same-sex couples. Read more

Sunday Shopping: Mandatory Store-Closing Laws Made Some People Blue

I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.

I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more

Bridal Backlash: Fundamentalist Shop Owners Refuse to Serve Same-Sex Couple

Anti-gay discrimination masquerading as “religious freedom” is back in the news after the owners of a Bloomsburg, Pa., bridal shop turned a lesbian couple away. Think Progress reports that the owners cited their Christian beliefs as the motivation for the decision.

“We feel we have to answer to God for what we do, and providing those two girls dresses for a sanctified marriage would break God’s law,” said Victoria Miller, who co-owns W.W. Bridal. Read more

Praying For Power: Alabama Officials Ask God To Protect State’s Coal Interests

Some regulatory officials in Alabama are taking issue with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal intended to reduce carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants, and they want the EPA to back off because they say their state’s coal deposits are no less than a gift from God.   Read more

Rocking The Boat: Fundamentalist Ministry Head Responds To AU’s ‘Ark Park’ Criticisms

For years, Americans United has been critical of attempts by local and state lawmakers in Kentucky to provide financial assistance to Ark Encounter, a proposed theme park that would feature a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark. Now Ken Ham, head of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis (AiG), which is spearheading the project, finally responded to AU’s criticisms. Read more

Bible-Based Laws?: Miss. Congressman Mails Calls For Policy Anchored In Scripture

A Mississippi congressman mailed a Bible to each of his fellow representatives last Friday. In a letter enclosed with the Bibles, U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) wrote that the tomes are intended to provide guidance for public policy.

“Our staffs provide us with policy memos, statistics and recommendations that help us make informed decisions. However, I find that the best advice comes through meditating on God’s Word,” Palazzo wrote. “Please find a copy of the Holy Bible to help guide you in your decision-making.” Read more

Good Incentives Gone Awry: Kentucky Officials Are Adamant About Propping Up The ‘Ark Park’

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.

When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities. Read more

Conversion Controversy: N.J. Court Upholds Ban On Anti-Gay Therapy Aimed At Minors

A federal court in New Jersey upheld the state’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors yesterday. U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson rejected a claim by two New Jersey parents that the ban violated the Constitution by prohibiting them from choosing the therapy for their child, who, they said, suffers from “unwanted” same-sex attractions. Read more

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