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Ky. Legislature Votes To Display ‘In God We Trust’ Signs

Eleven legislative rooms in the Kentucky Statehouse will display signs reading “In God We Trust” thanks to a private donor.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the signs are a temporary measure, and they will eventually be replaced by permanent displays that will show an updated version of the state seal in addition to the national motto. The Kentucky legislature passed a measure calling for the signs in 2006.

Kentucky Senate President, Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) gave an explicitly sectarian rationale for the measure. Read more

Late-Breaking News: Ky. Rejects ‘Ark Park’ Funding

As this issue of Church & State went to press, officials in Kentucky announced that they will not offer tax incentives to a controversial theme park proposed by the creationist ministry Answers in Genesis. The officials said giving tax aid to the evangelistic park would violate the separation of church and state.

Look for more details in the February issue of Church & State. Read more

Americans United Welcomes Ky. Officials’ Decision Not To Award Public Funding To ‘Ark Park’

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Project Is Evangelistic In Nature

A proposed theme park based on the story of Noah’s Ark will not receive tax incentives from the state of Kentucky, officials announced today.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the move.

“This project was never a good candidate for public funding,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Its purpose is to promote fundamentalist Christianity, and it should be funded with private contributions from believers.”
Read more

Good Incentives Gone Awry: Kentucky Officials Are Adamant About Propping Up The ‘Ark Park’

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.

When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities. Read more

Prayer Panacea?: Ky. Group Says ‘Inspirational Messages’ In Public Schools Will Solve Several Ills

A Religious Right group in Kentucky is calling on parents to demand the right to deliver “inspirational messages” during public school assemblies, and they’re providing some interesting “facts” to make their case.

The Kentucky chapter of the American Family Association (AFA) just released a petition that declares, in no uncertain terms, that prayer in schools will take us back to Jesus and best of all, boost student test scores, lower the crime rate and even decrease the rate of HIV infection. Read more

False Freedom: Ky. Governor Should Veto Reckless ‘Religious Liberty’ Law

Kentucky legislators have passed a law they say protects “religious freedom” and have forwarded it to Gov. Steve Beshear.

This morning, Americans United joined other groups in the state asking Beshear to veto the bill.

It’s not that AU doesn’t support religious freedom. Indeed, we consider the separation of church and state a necessary precondition for true religious liberty to flourish. The problem is, this bill isn’t really about religious freedom; it’s designed to do other things entirely. Read more

What In Creation?!: Kentucky Legislators Tout Fundamentalism, Assail Modern Science

The other day I wrote about the ongoing disgrace of the Louisiana school voucher program, which – among other bad outcomes – will soon be pouring millions in taxpayer funds into the coffers of fundamentalist Christian schools, some of which teach that dinosaurs might still be alive and the Great Depression wasn’t so bad after all. Read more

Bad Breakfast: AU Tells Ky. Officials To Stop Promoting Religious Event

Government officials can and do sponsor and promote various public events. Job fairs, educational seminars and town hall meetings are just a few examples. When these events occur, government officials often go out of their way to make sure people know about them and urge them to attend.

Can they do the same with a prayer breakfast? Read more

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