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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.

Rob Boston

The Religious Right’s Moses fixation continues to grow. Read more

Michele Bachmann, Moses, ten commandments, Islamic State, U.S. Capitol


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Rob Boston

Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.

These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days. Read more

Maryland, Pennsylvania, north carolina, sotuth carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Jamie Raskin, Laurie Goodstein, atheism, Openly Secular, Todd Stiefel, dueling


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Rob Boston

For the past few years, Americans United has been sparring on and off with a former Navy chaplain named Gordon James Klingenschmitt.

Klingenschmitt first came to our attention when he insisted that he had a right to pray in Jesus’ name at official events, even though his superiors had urged him to use more inclusive invocations. Read more

James Gordon Klingenschmitt, Navy, Barry Lynn, Colorado, Judge Elaine Kaplan


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Rob Boston

Is the Religious Right ready to give up on same-sex marriage? At least one observer thinks so.

Damon Linker, writing in This Week, cites a short article that appeared in the conservative journal First Things recently as evidence of some kind of turning point in how theocratic groups deal with same-sex marriage. Read more

same-sex marriage, Damon Linker, Theocons, First Things, R.R. Reno, This Week, Antonin Scalia


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Editor’s Note: This post originally ran on Thanksgiving Day 2007. It was written by Joe Conn, Americans United’s former director of communications. Joe, who retired in July of 2013 after a remarkable 33 years of service to AU, makes the case for being thankful for the church-state wall. Happy Thanksgiving!

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner today, do you plan to say grace? Read more

thanksgiving, garry wills, Jonathan Falwell, mayflower compact


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Rob Boston

A New York community provides a frightening example of what can happen when sectarian interests that don’t really care about public education gain control of taxpayer-funded schools that are meant to serve all.

The controversy centers on the East Ramapo Central School District in Rockland County. The area is home to a large concentration of Orthodox Jews, and they dominate the local school board. Seven of the board’s nine members are Orthodox men. Read more

East Ramapo Central School District, New York, Hank Greenberg


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Rob Boston

When you work at a place like Americans United, you have to be prepared for people who feel compelled to write in and tell you why you’re all wrong. Some do it politely, but many more don’t.

Sometimes the reactions we get are funny. I’ll never forget the man who emailed us a few years ago after I appeared on the Fox News Channel. He not only disagreed with what I said, he made fun of me for wearing a hairpiece! (I hate to break it to you, pal, but my mop is 100 percent real.) Read more

Military Religious Freedom Foundation, Bonnie Weinstein, Fox News Channel, anti-Semitism, mikey weinstein


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Sarah Jones

The small town of Ave Maria, Fla., is home to Ave Maria University, a strictly Catholic institution  – and critics say, an undemocratic form of government dominated by one man’s interpretation of religious doctrine.

The community of about 2,500 souls is a project of eccentric millionaire and Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan, who reportedly planned the town as an ultra- conservative Catholic enclave in an isolated stretch of Florida countryside. Read more

Ave Maria, Tom Monaghan, Dominos Pizza, Howard Simon, Jeb Bush, birth control


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Rob Boston

The Huntsville, Ala., City Council invited a Wiccan to deliver its opening invocation last week. And guess what? The city is still standing.

That’s right – no tornadoes, earthquakes, meteors or plagues of locusts have descended upon the community. Everybody got through it. Read more

Blake Kirk, Wicca, Huntsville, Operation Inclusion, Town of Greece v. Galloway


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