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

Louisiana Showdown: State School Board Addresses Rules About Teaching Evolution

Will Louisiana public schools soon be teaching religious concepts in science class?

That's the question coming before the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education this week.

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the board is scheduled to act on guidelines for the teaching of "controversial" subjects such as evolution. Read more

Fallacious Flier: Religious Right Distorts Real Meaning Of 'Religious Freedom Day'

January 16th is "Religious Freedom Day," an annual event that commemorates one of the greatest documents promoting religious liberty ever written – Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.

Many scholars believe the Virginia Statute was an inspiration for the First Amendment. In eloquent language, the measure ended Virginia's state church and guaranteed religious liberty for all. If you haven't read it, you should. Read more

Capitol Lies: Religious Right Attacks On Visitors Center Don't Hold Up

I just got back from an exciting field trip: I walked a few blocks from Americans United's office to check out the Capitol Visitors Center, a new state-of-art facility that opened last month for people visiting the U.S. Capitol Building.

No, I wasn't goofing off; the visit was worked related. I am writing a story about Religious Right attacks on the Center for Church & State and figured I should take a look at it for myself. Read more

Plate Hate: South Carolina Rally Consigns Separationist Clergy To Hell

Things got ugly last night in Greer, S.C.

More than 400 people gathered at People's Baptist Church to protest a federal district court's decision to stop the production of a "Christian" license plate that would have featured a cross superimposed on a stained glass window with the words "I Believe." The DMV will decide by the end of the week whether they will appeal the district court's decision. Read more

Power Play: Religious Right Flexes Muscle In Race For GOP Leader

So, the Religious Right is dead, right? Its time has finally passed, and the movement has no more strength. It's yesterday's news, a historical relic, correct?

Not quite. It turns out the Religious Right might still have some kick left. In fact, its foot soldiers have been hard at work and just might have enough clout to pick the next head of the Republican National Committee. Read more

Troubling Times: N.Y. Newspaper Promotes Creation Museum During Special Arts & Leisure Weekend

Is the Gray Lady about to convert to fundamentalism?

I don't think so, but I was disappointed to see Kentucky's notorious Creation Museum listed among the attractions in The New York Times' Arts & Leisure Weekend Promotion heralded in a special pullout section of my newspaper last Sunday

During the Jan. 8-11 event, The Times sponsors public debates and discussions of contemporary issues and touts two-for-one admission discounts at museums, movies and shows in New York and around the country. Read more

A New Year's Greeting For The Ages: Jefferson's Jan. 1 Letter To The Danbury Baptists Still Rings True

I love Thomas Jefferson's New Year's Day greeting to the Danbury Baptists in part because it drives the Religious Right into such paroxysms of paranoia, ignorance and intemperance.

As I'm sure most of you know, President Jefferson sent a friendly missive to his Baptist admirers in Connecticut on Jan. 1, 1802. He thanked them for their support of him and of religious liberty. He also celebrated the First Amendment's religious liberty provisions and expressed sympathy for the Baptists' plight in a state where religious minorities still faced government hostility. Read more

Sign Slip-Up: Ohio Town Was Right To Remove Christian Marquee Message

Christmas may be over, but before we head into a new year, I think it's important to point out one last tussle over the holiday that had a happy ending.

The mayor of Avon, Ohio, posted the message "Remember Christ is in Christmas" on a marquee outside city hall on Dec. 15.

To Mayor Karl Zuber, it seemed like a harmless sign, just a "good Christmas message."

Sure, for a sign outside a church. But for a sign outside city hall, there is need to be more considerate – not to mention a requirement to follow the Constitution. Read more