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Teaching About Religion In Public Schools: Let’s Do It Right

The claim that public schools are “religion-free” zones is a Religious Right myth that has no basis in reality.

Public schools can (and do) teach about religion. Teachers discuss its role in world and U.S. history. They talk about biblical allusions found in great works of literature. They lecture on how religion has influenced art and music.

The approach must be objective and tied to legitimate educational objectives. Proselytism or elevating one faith over others has no place in the classroom. Read more

Responding To ‘The Response’: AU And Allies Offer Alternative To Perry Prayer Rally

I’m happy to report that I have survived the weekend in Houston and “The Response.”

In case you missed it, “The Response” was a fundamentalist Christian rally put on last Saturday at Houston’s Reliant Stadium by Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the ultra-right-wing American Family Association. Americans United has been speaking out against this excessive government entanglement with religion for over a month now. Read more

No Amen From Us: Perry Prayer Rally Gets Judge’s Approval, But Not Ours

I’m heading to Houston, folks! I’ll be accompanying Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn as we join with the Texas ACLU and other progressive allies to put on a rally on the night before Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s fundamentalist Christian prayer fest. Read more

Triumph In Texas: State School Board Approves Sound-Science Materials

We have a victory in Texas! On Friday, the State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve sound-science materials for public school biology courses.

By a 14-0 vote, the board chose to approve supplemental materials from mainstream publishers, not creationism-based recommendations from Religious Right-backed vendors. Read more

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

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