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

Roberts Nomination Drawing More Concern

Concern continues to grow about President George W. Bush's nomination of John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice of the United States, with new legal and religious groups raising issues about the nominee's record.

Some 28 national organizations, including Americans United for Separation of Church and State, have already announced their opposition to Roberts.

Retreat On Robertson: FEMA Fumbles On Operation Blessing

Word is slowly getting out about the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) promotion of the Pat Robertson-owned charity Operation Blessing.

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck, FEMA issued a list of relief organizations that were accepting donations to help the victims. Robertson critics were surprised to see Operation Blessing listed second. The list was duly reprinted in newspapers nationwide, and was featured prominently on FEMA's website.

Utah Officials Reject 'Intelligent Design'

Utah state officials, including the governor, have stood firm against Religious Right pressure to muddle public school science courses with instruction on so-called "intelligent design" (ID).

Late last week Utah's State Board of Education voted unanimously to keep evolution in the biology curricula. The decision came despite mounting pressure from the Religious Right to include ID in science classes.

This Operation is no blessing for hurricane victims

Americans have been deeply moved by the plight of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and are responding with an outpouring of generosity. Millions of dollars have been donated to relief agencies.

To make donating easier, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains a list of relief agencies on its website. Many newspapers have reprinted it.

One group listed has no right being there: TV preacher Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing.

Opposition Mounts to Roberts Nomination

Americans United today joined a coalition of 20 organizations that announced a grassroots campaign of opposition to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr.

During a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, leaders of the groups joined forces to discuss their plans to defeat the Roberts nomination. Speaking on behalf of Americans United was Dr. Paul Simmons, a clinical professor of medical ethics at the University of Louisville and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. (Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn is away from the office.)

Air Force Action: New Religion Guidelines Issued

Repercussions are still being felt from Americans United's report to Pentagon officials earlier this year about evangelical Christian proselytizing at the Air Force Academy.

Yesterday Air Force officials released a set of guidelines covering religious expression that apply not only to the Academy but to bases nationwide.

The document makes it clear that while service members retain the right to discuss religion with their peers, senior officers must take pains to avoid imposing their religion on subordinates.

Robertson Repents, Sort Of: TV Preacher Struggles To Overcome Comments On Chavez

Televangelist Pat Robertson spent most of yesterday attempting damage control after his call for the American military to assassinate President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

During his Aug. 24 "700 Club" broadcast, the 75-year-old TV preacher insisted that he had not used the word "assassination," during his rant against the Venezuelan leader two days earlier. "I said our Special Forces should 'take him out,'" Robertson maintained. And then he blamed the Associated Press for misinterpreting his words and essentially igniting a national and international uproar.

Pat's Prevarication: 'Reverend Terminator' Says He 'Was Misinterpreted'

TV Preacher Pat Robertson's call for the American government to assassinate Venezuela's president may have done irreparable damage to his already shaky standing among the nation's religious and political circles.

Robertson's Aug. 22 comments during a broadcast of "The 700 Club," that killing President Hugo Chavez would be "a whole lot cheaper than starting a war," was condemned by American officials and drew worldwide attention. Even Religious Right leaders, some of whom have been close allies of Robertson, sought to distance themselves from the televangelist's commentary.

Blessing Court-Bashing: Justice Nominee Roberts Gave His Amen To Bill Bennett Blast

More documents about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts continue to be released by the White House – and for defenders of church-state separation, the news is not good.

According to a Washington Post report, in 1985 Roberts, then working as a legal advisor in the Ronald W. Reagan White House, was asked to review a speech then-Education Secretary William J. Bennett planned to deliver to the Knights of Columbus.