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‘Rock Beyond Belief’: Secularist Rally Gets Fair Play At Fort Bragg

Thousands of people are expected to converge on Fort Bragg in North Carolina tomorrow for “Rock Beyond Belief.” The festival, featuring music, speakers and activities for children, may be unprecedented; it appears to be the first openly atheistic event to take place at a military installation.

How did this come about? Oddly enough, evangelist Billy Graham’s ministry had something to do with it. Read more

Buncombe’s Bible Battle: Time For Change At A N.C. Public School

Change can be difficult, but it’s often necessary. Just because you’ve been doing something for a long time doesn’t mean you should keep on doing it – especially if what you are doing isn’t legal.

Public education officials in Buncombe County, N.C., are learning this hard lesson right now. The community is ensnared in a flap over the role of religion in its schools. Officials are crafting new policies, and we hope they do the right thing. Read more

Divisive Game: North Carolina Town Residents Play Capture The Flag

Some of you might recall a bit of a fuss that erupted in the town of King, N.C., last year over the flying of a Christian flag in a public park that serves as a veterans’ memorial.

When Americans United protested on behalf of a local veteran, city officials at first agreed (reluctantly) that to remove the Christian symbol. AU and the vet argued that a sectarian symbol like the cross does not represent all war dead. Read more

Marrying Church And State: N.C. Preachers And Politicians Want To Throw The Book (Of Matthew) At Same-Sex Couples

A recent poll showed that, for the first time, most Americans support extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. The number stands at 53 percent but is expected to grow in the years to come. Younger people are much more likely to favor the idea. Read more

Forsyth Saga: N.C. Challenge To Government Prayer Reaches Appeals Court

A courtroom in Richmond, Va., will be the site of a church-state showdown on Thursday. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in an important case dealing with official prayer before government bodies. Americans United will be there. Read more

Flag Football: Religious Right Sneak Play Would Keep Christian Banner Flying

As usual, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is advancing a scheme to skirt the Constitution.

Lawyers at the Religious Right legal outfit have come to the aid of city officials in King, N.C., eager to provide advice on a new policy regarding religious flags at the community veterans memorial. Read more

Flag Furor: North Carolina Town Battles Over Christian Banner

Americans United has always strived to educate the public about what the Constitution says about religious freedom.

Some days, we feel we have done a good job and that most Americans really do understand that keeping the government separate from religion is the only way to secure religious liberty for all. Other days, however, we are reminded of how much more work we have ahead of us to make that message clear.

Today is one of those disappointing days. Read more

CSI Davidson: Church-College Cops Can’t Have State Power, Says N.C. Court

Fighting crime can’t be easy, but deputizing religious groups to do the job of police officers definitely isn’t the answer.

Fortunately, that shouldn’t be happening in North Carolina, thanks to a unanimous state appellate court decision yesterday. In State of North Carolina v. Yencer, a three-judge panel ruled that it is an unconstitutional “government entanglement with religion” to allow a religious school’s security officers to enforce state law. Read more

Invocation Infraction: N.C. Commission Votes To Continue Sectarian Prayer

Some residents of Henderson County, N.C., seem determined to fight unnecessary battles.

According to news reports, the Henderson County Commission held a meeting last night to hear from the community and take a final vote on whether its monthly meetings should continue to open with sectarian invocations. Read more

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