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Correcting A Confused Columnist: Why Gov. Perry’s Exclusionary Prayer Event Is Wrong For Texas – And America

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been in the national news a lot lately – as I’m sure many of you have noticed.

Besides talk of his possible presidential run, the media has been very interested in the governor’s initiation and endorsement of “The Response,” a fundamentalist Christian prayer rally to be held in Houston Aug. 6. Read more

The Fourth Of July And Freedom: Why Texas Gov. Perry Doesn’t Understand America

I will be celebrating this July 4th with my family in Michigan, where I’m about to head in a few hours.

I’ll be attending a parade on Monday and watching some fireworks with my niece and nephew, who are second-generation Americans. Since my niece was three, she’s boasted that she is an American. Now that she is a bit older (she turned five in June), she may finally start to understand what that really means. Read more

Houston, We Have A Problem: Texas Governor Sponsors Stadium Prayer Rally

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is headed to the football stadium, but he’s already out of bounds.

Perry, a well-known Religious Right panderer, has proclaimed Aug. 6 to be an official day of prayer and fasting and is urging Christians to ask God for the “[h]ealing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.” Read more

Denominational Disconnect: Texas County Seeks To Make Kids ‘Good Christians’ – With Scientology Slogans

Officials with the Juvenile Justice Department in Cameron County, Texas, appear to be confused about the proper relationship between religion and government.

A new youth outreach center has opened in Harlingen, and for some reason, officials saw fit to decorate it with slogans from a book penned by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. Worse yet, the department’s director is under the impression that these slogans will help turn troubled young people into good Christians. Read more

Local Option Error: N.J. Gov. Says School Boards Can Promote Creationism

If it were left up to Gov. Chris Christie, public education in New Jersey would be a free-for-all.

At a town hall in Manalapan, N.J., last week, Christie said he believes public school districts should get to determine whether to teach creationism in science classes because that’s a decision that should be made “at the local level.”

When asked at a press conference yesterday about this issue again, Christie reiterated his stance. Read more

Biological Warfare: Battles Under Way In Texas And Louisiana Over Science Education

It looks like Texas is due for another round of fussing and fighting over creationism in public schools.

The state Board of Education continues to be dominated by Religious Right zealots who refuse to accept modern science and seek to teach religiously based concepts in biology classes. (They also reject accepted history. Remember, these are the people who hired “Christian nation” propagandist David Barton to help rewrite their social studies standards.) Read more

Pregnant Pause: Taxpayer Funding For Abortion ‘Counseling’ Subsidizes Fundamentalist Religion

South Dakota legislators recently passed a controversial law placing new restrictions on abortion. A three-day waiting period (the longest in the nation) has drawn the most attention, but another provision is problematic from a church-state perspective. It requires any woman seeking an abortion to first undergo “counseling” at a “crisis pregnancy center.” Read more

Slow Learners: Conservative Think Tank Flunks Texas Social Studies Standards

Texas should have seen this coming.

The Lone Star State has received a “D” for the bogus public school social studies curriculum that its State Board of Education (SBOE) adopted last year.

The icing on the cake is that this letter grade comes from a report issued by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank. Read more

Crusade In The Classroom: Clashes Over Religion In Public Schools Plague Georgia And Texas

Disputes over religion in public schools are perennial. Some people, it seems, just won’t accept that fact that public schools are for teaching, not preaching.

Three recent developments bear watching.

First off, in Texas, the state legislature may be on the verge of another go-round in the ever-popular “let’s-display-the-Ten-Commandments-in-the-public-schools” crusade. Read more

Don’t Mess (With God) In Texas: Lone Star State’s Pro-Deity Pledge Wins Court Approval

It must be hard to be a non-believer in Texas. Not only do you have to put up with the bizarre antics of the fundamentalist-dominated State Board of Education, but now you can’t even express your support for the state without also affirming the existence of God.

In 2007, Texas legislators modified the state’s pledge of allegiance to include the phrase “under God.” (Yep, it’s hard to believe, but until just three years ago, the entire state of Texas was officially heathen!) Read more

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