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

Pence’s Pandora Problem: Ind. Governor Signs Troubling ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill

Simon Brown

Indiana just passed a law that could allow for religious-based discrimination, but Gov. Mike Pence wants you to believe the measure he signed won’t cause any harm. Read more

Simon Brown

A federal lawmaker thinks cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy and all members of the armed forces, whether enlisted or commissioned, should be forced to recite an oath that ends with the words “so help me God,” and he recently introduced legislation that would attempt to do just that by requiring Congress to approve any changes to oaths. Read more

Rep. Sam Johnson, U.S. Air Force Academy, mikey weinstein, Military Religious Freedom Foundation, oath
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Rob Boston

Susan Hemeryck, the self-described “Catholic warrior” who vandalized a display by the Satanic Temple in the state capitol rotunda in Tallahassee, Fla., is getting off scot-free.

You read that right. All charges against Hemeryck were dropped, even though she admitted to police officers that she attacked the display because she considered it offensive. Read more

Catholic Warrior, Satanic Temple, Susan Hemeryck
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Rob Boston

Susan Hemeryck, the self-described “Catholic warrior” who vandalized a display by the Satanic Temple in the state capitol rotunda in Tallahassee, Fla., is getting off scot-free.

You read that right. All charges against Hemeryck were dropped, even though she admitted to police officers that she attacked the display because she considered it offensive. Read more

Catholic Warrior, Satanic Temple, Susan Hemeryck
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Simon Brown

As some business owners nationwide argue that they have a “religious freedom” right to refuse service to LGBT customers, one Oklahoma lawmaker fought back with a proposal that would have required businesses to issue public notice if they intended to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Read more

marriage equality, Emily Virgin, Chuck Strohm, Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act, Freedom Oklahoma
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Simon Brown

Religious Right star Rick Santorum seems to think that repeating a lie often enough will make it true, but his insistence that children are not allowed to read the Bible in public schools still has no basis in reality.   Read more

Rick Santorum, Abington School District v. Schempp, Bible, U.S. Supreme Court
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Simon Brown

When you picture a typical church, what comes to mind? If it’s not “naked paint parties,” then you would probably side with Florida officials who recently revoked the tax exemption of a “church” that appears to have been a nightclub trying to skirt tax laws.   Read more

Life Center: A Spiritual Community, Markus Q. Bishop, Panama City Beach, Spring Break, nightclub, Dan Sowell, Panama City Beach Police Department Chief Drew Whitman, IRS, tax exemption, Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen
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Simon Brown

An Arkansas lawmaker’s proposal that would result in the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on public land looks like a jobs bill for a Religious Right legal organization.

Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) filed a last-minute measure yesterday that would allow for the Decalogue display on the grounds of the state capitol in Little Rock. Read more

ten commandments, Sen. Jason Rapert, Liberty Institute, tea party, Decalogue
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Simon Brown

An Arkansas lawmaker with a history of causing church-state conflicts is in hot water this week in the wake of allegations that he “re-homed” – a euphemism for gave away – two adopted girls to a former employee who later raped one of the children. Read more

Rep. Justin Harris, Arkansas Better Choice program, Eric Cameron Francis, Re-Home, Growing God’s Kingdom
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Simon Brown

Government-sponsored prayer is all or nothing. That means legislative bodies that want to begin meetings with an invocation must either be inclusive of all viewpoints, or prohibit official prayers completely. But don’t tell that to one Idaho senator who seems to have a real problem with the prospect of a Hindu prayer before a senate session. Read more

Idaho Senate, Rajan Zed, Sen. Steve Vick, Hindu American Foundation, Sen. Brent Hill, Hinduism
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