Subscribe to RSS - Wall of Separation

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

Unreal Estate: Church Refuses To Sell Mansion To Same-Sex Couple

Sometimes it’s acceptable for a house of worship to discriminate.  

No one, for example, could reasonably expect a Catholic church to hire a Jewish rabbi. But does that limited exemption from anti-discrimination laws mean churches are free to refuse to sell real estate to gay couples? A Massachusetts court will soon decide that very issue. Read more

The Pluck Of The Irish: A St. Patrick’s Day Tale About School Prayer

The role of prayer in public schools has vexed the American people for a long time. Much misinformation circulates about what students can and can’t do when it comes to religion in schools.

Occasionally, Americans United Executive Director Barry Lynn or I are asked to discuss this issue on talk radio. Inevitably, someone will phone in and ask, “What’s the harm in a little prayer?” Read more

Educational Swamp: In Louisiana, Scientific Literacy Remains A Flashpoint

Creationism continues to make headlines in Louisiana, where a science teacher is under investigation for an unfortunate letter to the editor. Charlotte Hinson, who teaches in a Caddo Parish public school, wrote to the Shreveport Times after that  newspaper published articles favorable to evolution.

Hinson slammed the articles for treating creationism as an unproven theory, and evolution as fact. “That is strictly opinion,” she wrote.
Read more

Ridiculous Report: Catholic League Finds Anti-Catholicism Lurking Under Every Rock

Lest you forget he exists, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has released the organization’s annual report on “anti-Catholicism.” While Americans United certainly doesn’t support anti-religious bias of any sort, Donohue’s definition of discrimination deserves attention for its creativity, if nothing else.

According to the Catholic League, anti-Catholicism pervades American society – but that’s only because the League defines anti-Catholicism as anything that happens that Donohue doesn’t like. Read more

Rhee’s Misguided Mission: Former D.C. Public Schools Chief Jumps On Voucher Bandwagon

Like Anakin Skywalker turning into Darth Vader, former Washington, D.C., public schools chancellor Michelle Rhee has transitioned from an optimistic public education reformer to a jaded voucher advocate.

You may not be familiar with Rhee, but you should be because she might be affecting public education in your state, despite her thin resume. Read more

False Arrest: Ohio Cops’ Play Acting At Church Garners Bad Reviews

And now a quick visit to the “what-could-they-possibly-have-been-thinking?” department.

Police officers in Summit County, Ohio, are in hot water after they agreed to participate in a publicity stunt designed to drum up interest in a play about how difficult it is for pastors to publicly defend the Christian faith. Read more

Fall From Grace: Fundamentalist Preacher Gothard Resigns Following Abuse Allegations

Persistent sexual harassment allegations have finally ended the career of fundamentalist figurehead Bill Gothard. Gothard, 79, resigned from his post as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) yesterday. Thirty-four women had accused the preacher of harassment; four had accused him of molestation. Gothard had been placed on leave pending an investigation into the allegations, which span the last three decades.
  Read more

Putrid Poll: Dubious Family Research Council Survey Finds Most Americans Want Politics In The Pulpit

Is asking pastors to follow the law regarding pulpit politicking akin to bullying clergy? The Religious Right seems to think so. Read more

Stick A Fork In It?: Polls Demonstrate Growing Support For Marriage Equality And Against Discrimination

Public support for same-sex marriage continues to climb, and bills that would grant business owners the right to discriminate against LGBT clients are very unpopular,  according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll.
Read more

Pages