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

Religion In Court: N.C. Judges Say No To Koran, Yes To Bible

Some North Carolina county judges are revealing the constitutional pitfalls of requiring religious oaths in courtrooms.

When a Guilford County Muslim woman went before Judge Tom Jarrell regarding a domestic family dispute, she requested to be sworn in on the Koran, but neither the judge nor the courthouse had one available. She was told either to swear herself in as a witness by placing her hand on the Bible and promise to tell the truth or raise her hand and give affirmation to be honest.

The Flag Desecration Amendment: It's Just The Beginning

An activist leading the charge for a constitutional amendment barring flag desecration has admitted that the amendment will be just the first of several changes to the Bill of Rights.

In a recent letter to a columnist for the ultra-conservative Washington Times , Patrick H. Brady, chairman of the Citizens Flag Alliance, tied to the flag-burning amendment to a series of other long-sought Religious Right goals.

'Faith-Based' Bigotry?: Christian Adoption Agency Says No To Catholic Families

A fundamentalist Christian adoption agency receiving state funds in Mississippi is probably not a social service provider that the Bush administration would highlight in its ongoing promotion of its controversial "faith-based" initiative.

Bethany Christian Services, according to its Web site, "manifests the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services."

But the love and compassion apparently do not extend to Catholics.

Consensus Candidate: Roy Moore For Supreme Court

A gaggle of some of the nation's most far-out conservative activists has a name for President George W. Bush's hunt for a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Roy Moore.

Yes, that Roy Moore – the man who defied a federal court order and lost his job as Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice because of his obsession with keeping a 2.5-ton Ten Commandments monument in the state Judicial Building.

Evangelicals On The Rise: Military Chaplaincy Tilting Heavily To One Side

Recent allegations of religious bias at the Air Force Academy in Colorado
Springs may be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to religious pluralism
in the military.

A recent front-page New York Times article paints a troubling portrait
of the military chaplaincy generally, noting that evangelicals who insist on
their right to engage in aggressive forms of proselytism are a "growing
force" in the military chaplaincy.

Rare Reversal: City Officials See Mistake, Scuttle Plan For Creationism Display At Zoo

After some unwanted media attention and lots of angry missives from constituents, Tulsa, Okla. city officials dumped a plan to erect a creationism exhibit at the city zoo.

In early June at the behest of a loud Christian Right activist, the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board voted to allow an exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo depicting the biblical account of God's creation of the world, as described in the Book of Genesis.

Dan Hicks, the Religious Right crank, was not happy with other exhibits at the zoo, which he claimed represented non-Christian religions.

Faith And Church-State Separation: Poll Says They Fit Together

America has long been thought to be more religiously devout than other economically developed countries. Pundits often assume that this means that Americans are soft on church-state separation issues.

To the contrary, a new AP-Ipsos poll reveals deep-seated wariness among Americans of religious influence on American politics. A solid 61 percent said that they do not think religious leaders should influence government decisions.

Rosa Repents: Air Force Academy Official Admits Bias Problems

Last month, Americans United expressed concern about religious bias and a heavy evangelical Christian atmosphere at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

At the time, officials at Focus on the Family and other conservative organizations and publications dismissed AU's concerns and even accused the organization of launching a witch hunt against conservative Christians. But now vindication has come from a source who ought to know: the Academy's superintendent, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, has admitted the problem is real.