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is senior policy analyst at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Rob, who has worked at Americans United since 1987, contributes to AU's Wall of Separation blog, serves as assistant editor of AU's "Church & State" magazine, and has authored three books on religion and politics. Rob appears courtesy of Americans United.

Book Report: Yes, Politicians, We Know You Love The Bible. What Else Have You Read?

Rob Boston

Real estate magnate Donald Trump says lots of outrageous stuff, but none of it seems to slow him down. His latest gaffe, however, ought to give some pause to his fans in the Religious Right.

Trump was asked by a reporter with Bloomberg News about his favorite book, which is allegedly the Bible. Asked to name his favorite verse from that tome, Trump stammered, “Well, I wouldn’t want to get into it because to me that’s very personal. You know, when I talk about the Bible it’s very personal.” Read more

Rob Boston

Legislators in Arkansas voted earlier this year to erect the Ten Commandments at the state capitol in Little Rock. This would seem to be a clear example of government showing favoritism to a religious code. But for now, other faiths shouldn’t assume they’ll get the same treatment. Read more

ten commandments, Arkansas, Little Rock, Hinduism, Rajan Zed, Universal Society of Hinduism, Lord Hanuman, Florida, Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Rob BostonWall of SeparationA few years ago, I took part in a panel discussion on church-state issues at a Seventh-day Adventist church in Takoma Park, Md. During the question-and-answer session, an audience member asked why the Christian owner of a bu…

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Simon Brown

President Barack Obama’s White House website stresses that he is a civil rights president who is “leading the fight to protect everyone – no matter who you are, where you’re from, what you look like, or who you love.” Yet, the president continues to enforce a policy that allows taxpayer-funded religious discrimination. Read more

President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, Faith-based hiring discrimination, faith-based initiative, Baptist Joint Committee, Union for Reform Judaism, ACLU, NAACP, NARAL< Human Rights Campaign
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Rob Boston

Many misconceptions abound about the issue of prayer in schools, and some people persist in believing a lot of myths. One of the most common is that children all over America prayed in public schools until 1962 when the U.S. Supreme Court made them stop.

The issue arose recently because Rafael Cruz, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, told the Austin American-Statesman, “Prior to 1962, everybody prayed before school started. In 1962, the Supreme Court banned prayer. In 1963, they banned the Bible from school. Prior to that, the Bible was the principal textbook in all schools.” Read more

Ted Cruz, Rafael Cruz, School Prayer, Tom Clark, Abington School District v. Schempp, Pundit Fact, pi, Civil War, Philadelphia Bible riots
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Rob Boston

The announcement that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will speak at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Sept. 14 has left a lot of people scratching their heads. Has the world been turned upside down?

From Sanders’ perspective, the move makes sense. He’s seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, and it never really hurts a candidate to go into the lion’s den and stare down the opposition. Many supporters will see that as an act of political courage; you can almost hear them holler, “Give ‘em hell, Bernie!” Read more

Bernie Sanders, Jerry Falwell Jr., Liberty University, Hillary Clinton, IRS, Ted Cruz, Shannon Valentine, Scott Garrett
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Rob Boston

There is a thing called Godwin’s Law on the internet. It holds that if an online argument goes on long enough, someone will drag in a reference to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. At that point, that person has lost.

Today I’d like to propose a corollary to Godwin’s Law: Anyone who compares a non-racist organization to the Ku Klux Klan has lost as well. Read more

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, William Donohue, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Barry Lynn, Godwin’s Law, Ku Klux Klan, Vatican II, Moby Dick
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Rob BostonWall of SeparationBack in the early 1990s when officials in the state of Wisconsin passed a voucher plan, people were assured that the idea was to help poor students trapped in underperforming public schools. Read morenorth carolina, vouchers…

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Rob Boston

Colonial-era Baptist minister John Leland was a devout Christian, but he was no bigot.

In an essay titled “The Virginia Chronicle” (1790), Leland attacked antiquated laws in the Old Dominion that limited public office to certain types of Christians.

“If a man merits the confidence of his neighbors in Virginia,” observed Leland, “let him worship one God, twenty Gods or no God. Be he Jew, Turk, Pagan, or Infidel, he is eligible to any office in the state.” Read more

John Leland, atheism, Kay Hagan, Cecil Bothwell, north carolina, Charles Pinckney, Article VI
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Rob Boston

I’ve been monitoring the Religious Right’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, and I’m not impressed. Read more

American Family Association, Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, Roy Moore, Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel, Glenn Beck, The Blaze, Protect Thy Neighbor, Jeannette Knoll, louisiana, Alabama
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