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

Appeals Court Strikes Coercive Prayer At Public Schools

The federal courts continue to issue rulings against officially sponsored prayers in the public schools.

Earlier this week, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction covers the Dakotas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Arkansas, concluded that prayers held at mandatory public school staff meetings violate the First Amendment principle of church-state separation.

'Faith-Based' Programs Proliferate in Prisons

A new front has opened in the move toward "faith-based" prisons.

The "faith-based" initiative has attracted the attention and support of corrections officials in a number of states, including Florida, Texas, Kansas and Iowa. Now Georgia is joining the list.

Georgia newspapers reported yesterday that faith-based dormitories have been set up in six state prisons with plans to add the special units to all of the state's prisons.

T.D. Jakes Wary Of 'Faith-Based' Funding

Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent Dallas pastor and author, has voiced serious concerns about President George W. Bush's much-touted "faith-based" initiative.

Agapepress reported Aug. 18 that Jakes, pastor of Potter's House Church, has declared that churches accepting federal funds should set up separate entities to carry out publicly funded social services.

Pat's Pique: Robertson v. AU's Feisty Ferrets

TV preacher Pat Robertson simply can't help himself. When given the opportunity to discuss any issue involving the separation of church and state, he inevitably lobs falsehoods and personal attacks at his opponents. Instead of reasoned debate, Pat would rather assail the other side with ad hominem attacks and outright lies.

That's just what he did yesterday on his "700 Club" broadcast.

First The 10 C's, Now The Whole Bible?

Defenders of church-state separation hoped that the court defeat of Judge Roy Moore's 5,280-pound Ten Commandments monument would discourage others from following the same unconstitutional course. Now it seems that instead of just wanting to display the Commandments, some Religious Right activists are agitating for the entire Christian Bible.

S.C. Officials Defend Christians-Only Prayer

Darla Kayne Wynne, a South Carolina Wiccan, sued Great Falls town officials for opening their meetings with only Christian prayers, and she has won at every level of the courts. Government, the judges held, can't favor one faith over others.

After last month's victory before a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, Wynne went home thinking the case was over. A unanimous ruling from the usually conservative court all but ensures that the decision will stand.