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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.

Please Think Of The Children: Mont. Public School Had No Business Sending Kids To Creationist Attraction

Rob Boston

You might have read yesterday about Americans United’s latest victory. It’s one I’m especially pleased to see: Officials at a public school in Glendive, Mont., were going to send third-graders on a field trip to a local spot run by creationists. AU’s attorneys put a stop to that. Read more

Rob Boston

For the past few years, I have been receiving emails from Josh Duggar.

Don’t get the wrong idea. We’re not friends or anything like that. I signed up to receive “action alerts” from the Family Research Council. The FRC was, until recently, Duggar’s employer, and many of the emails it sent came in Duggar’s name. The organization was clearly trying to exploit his reality TV star power. Read more

Family Research Council, Tony Perkins, Josh Duggar, 19 and Counting, InTouch, Sarah Posner
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Rob Boston

Americans United’s Legal Department received a complaint recently about a public high school in the town of Willoughby that planned to perform an opera based on Christian concepts.

The opera, “I Am Martol,” was written by Ben Richard, a choral music teacher at South High School. Its plot concerns a sinner who is approached by a messenger from God and given a final chance to repent by accepting the Lord’s message of salvation. The sinner does so and ascends into heaven. In other words, it was the standard evangelical Christian message set to music. Read more

Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ted Diadiun, Peter Krouse, Willoughby, Ohio, I Am Martol
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Rob Boston

Back in the 1990s when I was regularly covering the antics of TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, one part of the job was particularly distasteful: listening to speeches by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Read more

Daniel Lapin, Toward Tradition, Family Research Council, Jack Abramoff, Pat Robertson, Tony Perkins, Islam, John Whitehead, Frank Schaeffer
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Rob Boston

Seats inside the U.S. Supreme Court were at a premium today for the oral argument in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.

I was fortunate to get a spot in the press gallery. I was in the back row, and my view was obstructed by two large columns, but I’m not complaining; I would have been willing to hang from the rafters for this historic argument, a marathon session that featured five attorneys and lasted two and a half hours. Read more

Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Elena Kagan, sonia sotomayor, same-sex marriage, Supreme Court, Donald Verrilli, john bursch, mary bonauto
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Rob Boston

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.

In preparation for this, a sad collection of Religious Right leaders trooped to the microphone at the National Press Club on Friday to denounce marriage equality – again. Read more

Rick Scarborough, James Dobson, E.W. Jackson, Keith Fournier, Janet Boynes, Dred Scott, same-sex marriage, Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel
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Gregory Lipper

“Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” has become a cliché, but opposition to marriage equality remains rooted in certain religious beliefs. The same-sex marriage bans of four states will be considered next week by the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. Proponents of these marriage bans framed their arguments in religious terms; legislators even quoted scripture and proclaimed that the ban was necessary “for the stability of society and for the greater glory of God.” Read more

marriage equality, Supreme Court, virginia, Michigan
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Rob Boston

The last time I flew on a commercial plane, a toddler threw an iPhone at me.

The girl looked to be about a year and half old, and her mother was very apologetic. I smiled as I handed the phone back – it had bounced off my shoulder – and joked, “Your daughter has a good arm. Maybe she’ll play baseball someday.” Read more

air travel, discrimination, iPhone
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Rob Boston

Last week I taped an interview with Sister Maureen Fielder, host of “Interfaith Voices,” a popular radio program exploring religious issues that is carried by many NPR stations.

The topic of the show was Indiana’s new “religious freedom” law, and appearing with me was Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, a libertarian journal. We had a spirited but thoughtful discussion. Read more

Maureen Fielder, Interfaith Voices, mollie ziegler hemingway, Mike Pence, same-sex marriage, Indiana
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Rob Boston

Last week, Americans United wrote to John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and told him that it’s high time he began enforcing the law prohibiting partisan politicking by houses of worship and other tax-exempt entities. Read more

Jerry Falwell Jr., Ted Cruz, Liberty University, John Koskinen, IRS, Alicia Petska, David Corry
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