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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.

Taxing Our Patience: Is The IRS Finally Ready To Stop Church Politicking?

Rob Boston

Have you heard the latest? The Internal Revenue Service has entered into a secret deal with an atheist group to monitor pastors all over America and squelch their political speech!

That’s the latest paranoid fantasy from the Religious Right. The truth, as is often the case, is much more mundane.

Before we get to the meat of things, some background: A lot of us in the separation of church and state community have been frustrated over the blatant partisan political activity that some churches (on the right and the left) engage in. Read more



Rob Boston

Back in the 1990s, some Religious Right activists in Virginia got the bright idea to begin attacking America’s public libraries. The idea was to demonize public libraries in the same way that public schools have been successfully demonized by fundamentalists in some parts of the country.

The effort, dubbed “Family Friendly Libraries,” fell flat. Americans simply weren’t interested in allowing a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists to determine what books they or their children could read. Read more

censorship, Texas, Phillio Missick, King of Saints Tabernacle, Twilight, Harry Potter, Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, American Library Association, Banned Books Week, Vampire Knight, Blood Promise, Philip Pullman


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Rob Boston

OK, now we’ve done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when it comes to issues of sexuality have really torqued off the Religious Right – so much so that some of them are thinking of going into exile. Read more

First Things, Carl Trueman, David Gibson, James Madison, Roger Williams, thomas jefferson, John Leland


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Rob Boston

Every couple of years, a story surfaces in the media about Religious Right leaders and their latest whine-fest. The script goes like this: They’re not happy because they still haven’t gotten everything they want. Read more

Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Harold Stassen, George W Bush, Gary Bauer, Religious Right, Republican Party


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Rob Boston

I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.

I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more

Blue Laws, Cherokee County, Oklahoma, Maryland, McGowan v. Maryland


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Rob Boston

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs since 1986, so when it comes to museums, I am spoiled. Just a short subway ride away is the National Mall, lined with the Smithsonian museums. They are an incredible national treasure.

When I’m traveling, I try to take some time to visit local museums as well. When my children were younger, we never missed a science museum. Several cities have them now. Not only are science museums a great educational resource, they can also be a significant income generator for communities. Read more

Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis, Creation Museum, Ark Encounter, Ark Park, kentucky, Greg Stumbo


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Rob Boston

Some recent travel took me through Salt Lake City. While waiting to catch a flight, I spotted an interesting article in the Salt Lake Tribune: It appears that changes may finally be coming to two polygamous communities in southern Utah/northern Arizona. Read more

Warren Jeffs, Short Creek, Hildale, Colorado City, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Willie Jessop


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Rob Boston

Yesterday I received a press release from something calling itself the “American Pastors Network” discussing the group’s recent activities in Ukraine.

I get releases from this organization a lot. Although it calls itself “the first and largest national network of Bible-believing pastors,” the organization seems to consist mainly of a number of fundamentalist preachers in Pennsylvania. Usually they are fulminating against same-sex marriage and gay rights. They really do not like LGBT people. Read more

Ukraine, Russia, Vladimir Putin, World Congress of Families, American Pastors Network, Dale Armstrong, Scott Lively, Uganda


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Rob Boston

Some commentators continue to insist that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores was no big deal. It’s a narrow ruling, they insist, and there are other ways to ensure that women can get access to birth control. Read more

Alliance Defending Freedom, Robin Marty, Sara Hellwege, Tampa Family Health Centers, birth control, Hobby Lobby


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Rob Boston

Last night, an atheist offered a secular invocation before a meeting of the Greece, N.Y., Town Board.

The ground did not open up and send the town of Greece hurling into the bowels of hell. No one was struck by lightning. In fact, all that happened is that the members of the town board and those attending the event heard a thoughtful invocation delivered by local resident Dan Courtney. Read more

Greece, Dan Courtney, Center for Inquiry, American Humanist Association, Ronald Lindsay, Jennifer LeClaire, Charisma News


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