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is the Communications Associate for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and appears courtesy of AU.

Simon Brown

The Religious Right doesn’t want the government getting involved with church activities – except when churches do things fundamentalists don’t like.

You may have heard about the recent flap over the Muslim prayer service held last week at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. On Nov. 14, the church hosted several hundred Muslims in an attempt to build positive relations between Islam and Christianity. Read more

Rep. Louie Gohmert, Washington National Cathedral, Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, Religious Right, Ebrahim Rasool


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Simon Brown

The latest scare story making the Religious Right rounds involves a group of Colorado high school students who were told they could not meet during the school day for Christian prayer. As usual, the situation is not what it seems. Read more

Alliance Defending Freedom, Chase Windebank, Todd Starnes, Fox News, Religious Right, Pine Creek High School


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Simon Brown

A Maryland school district recently decided to remove all religious holiday names from its official calendar, but this isn’t another chapter in the phony “war on Christmas.”

It’s not a battle in the “war” on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Easter, either. Read more

Montgomery County School Board, war on christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha


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Simon Brown

The Internal Revue Service indicated earlier this year that it has the proper mechanism in place to investigate houses of worship that break the law by engaging in partisan politicking. But recent comments by the tax agency’s top official indicate there’s still some confusion about this issue. Read more

IRS, Commissioner John Koskinen, Tax Analysts, Freedom From Religion Foundation, ralph reed


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Simon Brown

When an extremist dad found out his daughter had received an assignment to learn about the rise of Islam in history, he got more than a little upset. In fact, he went so far as to threaten the school.

The Maryland Independent in Charles County reported last week that Kevin Wood, a former corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, was slapped with a no-trespassing order after he made vague threats over the phone to La Plata High School Vice Principal Shannon Morris. Read more

Islam, Kevin Wood, La Plata High School, World History, crusades


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Simon Brown

Every other year during election season, Americans United reminds clergy nationwide to stay out of partisan politics.

Most religious leaders have no problem respecting the federal tax code’s prohibition against campaign intervention by houses of worship and other non-profits that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Read more

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Jesse Jackson, IRS, 501(c)(3), Johnson Amendment, Pulpit Politicking


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Simon Brown

A local government in a conservative state recently made a surprising decision – it voted not to open its meetings with an official prayer.

The Ketchikan, Alaska, Gateway Borough Assembly voted this week not to incorporate official invocations into its meeting agenda by a count of 5-2.

Given the controversial nature of this issue, there was quite a bit of debate before the vote. KTOO News, an Alaska radio network, reported that 10 people spoke in favor of official prayer and eight against it. Read more

Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly


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Simon Brown

As the November elections approach, it seems a second-tier advocacy group run by a disgraced Religious Right icon is gearing up to make a major impact.

Politico reported this week that Ralph Reed’s Faith & Freedom Coalition (FFC) is planning an all-out blitz in states like Colorado, Iowa, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Louisiana and North Carolina in the hope that Republicans and can take control of the U.S. Senate. Read more

ralph reed, Faith and Freedom Coalition, Christian Coalition


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Simon Brown

The number of students using vouchers to attend private schools in the Oshkosh, Wisc., area grew rapidly in the past year, showing once again that so-called “school choice” schemes are frequently little more than a taxpayer-funded bailout for religious schools. Read more

Wisconsin Parental Choice Program, Valley Christian School, Lourdes Academy


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