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Whale Tale: AFA Staffer Says Bible Mandates Death For SeaWorld Orca

On Feb. 24, a tragedy occurred at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. A six-ton killer whale known as Tillikum pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater to her death in front of a crowd of horrified spectators watching a show.

Brancheau’s tragic death has led to some soul searching: What should be done with Tillikum? Is it ever appropriate to keep killer whales (also known as orcas) in captivity? Is it right to expect these animals to perform for our amusement? Read more

Having A Party: Religious Right Gets An Invitation To Tea

For months I’ve been trying to figure out what to make of the “tea party” movement.

Is it merely another band of anti-government, low-tax activists with a libertarian populist edge – or will it become the next wave of the Religious Right? Do the tea partiers intend to stay focused on issues like smaller government or will they take on social issues? Read more

Holiday Haranguers: Religious Right Tells America To Celebrate Christmas Its Way Or Get Out

I did an interview last week with TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). The network was interested in getting my thoughts about U.S. Rep. Henry Brown's resolution promoting Christmas. Read more

Friday Follies: A Round-up Of Stories From Here, There And Everywhere

It's Friday, and here's a quick round-up of some stories with church-state overtones that you might have missed:

* Remember the proselytizing cheerleaders in north Georgia? A lot of people are getting worked up over that, and I feel certain that a "fair and balanced" Fox News report isn't far off. Read more

What I Saw (And Heard) At The Revolution: Lessons From The 'Values Voter Summit'

I'm back from the Religious Right Bizarro World that is the "Values Voter Summit." As always, it was quite an experience.

I'll have a full report on the event in the October Church & State, but I wanted to share some things I learned at the Summit with you today: Read more

Pastors In Prison?: Religious Right Spreads Lies About Hate Crimes Bill

Legislation that would target hate crimes is expected to start moving in Congress soon. The Religious Right is going bananas.

The legislation, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 (H.R. 1913), is intended to do a few key things: It would allow the U.S. Justice Department to offer assistance when a crime that results in death or serious injury is committed against any American because of the victim's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Read more

Family Feud: Religious Right Attacks Brownback Over Sebelius Nomination

Few national politicians have been a better friend to the Religious Right than U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). Over the years, I've attended several Religious Right meetings where Brownback spoke. He always received a hero's welcome before adoring crowds. 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

Holiday Humbug: Merry Christmas, Donald Wildmon – And Happy Halloween, Too!

My 10-year-old son and I spent last night at a Halloween pumpkin carving contest. We had about half an hour to come up with a design, and despite our less-than-stellar knife skills, managed to win a ribbon for "Most Unusual Nose." (Based on the number of ribbons I saw, I suspect this was one of those contests where everyone got a prize.) Read more

Fast Food Freak-out: The AFA Is Not Lovin' It At McDonald's

I admit to having a weakness for McDonald's french fries. There's just something about those thin slivers of golden-fried potatoes, seasoned with just the right amount of salt. I know too much of them isn't good for me but figure it's OK to indulge every now and then.

McDonald's fries might not help my cholesterol count, but eating them does have one benefit: It annoys the Religious Right. Read more

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