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S.C. Legislature Considers Several Troubling Bills

Pre-filed bills for the 2015 legislative session indicate that separation of church and state is under threat in South Carolina. These bills include two school choice measures that would create more opportunities for subsidies of private religious education.

Senate Bill 24 would allow parents to deduct the cost of private sectarian education, as well as homeschooling, from their annual state income taxes. Critics of the bill slam it for allowing special incentives for families who choose sectarian schools. Read more

States Of Prayer: Legislators In Three States Push Bills To Promote Religion In Public Schools

The Supreme Court made it clear decades ago that our public schools aren’t meant to be places for spreading religion. But for legislators in three states, court rulings are no deterrent to their dogmatic agendas.

Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to “put prayer back in schools.” The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.
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Jail Tale: South Carolina County Puts Religious Freedom Behind Bars

My first job in Washington, D.C., was with a non-profit that served the correctional community. In 1986, a bunch of us on the staff spent the night in a new state-of-the-art jail that had just been constructed in Prince George’s County, Md. We wore jail uniforms and ate dry sandwiches for dinner. The lights snapped off at 10 p.m. sharp and came back on at 6 the next morning.

That was my only brush with the correctional system – and it was enough. Read more

Proper Prayer Practices: S.C. School Ends In-School Proselytism

Americans United has pointed out many times that public schools need not be “religion-free” zones. There are ways students can meet for prayer or to read religious texts – but it has to be their choice.

In Georgetown, S.C., a local resident, Violet Infinger, had been coming onto school grounds for 10 years to pray with students and pass out religious literature. Read more

Plate Histrionics: South Carolina's Bauer Rails Against 'Christian' Car-Tag Decision

When it comes to church-state separation, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer just doesn't have a clue.

That's never been more apparent than it was yesterday. After a federal judge ruled against a legislature-mandated "Christian" license plate, Bauer carried on in a way that made me think he not only failed to read the court's opinion, but that he also doesn't   understand the principle of basic fairness. Read more

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