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

Land Of The Lost: Highlights From The Values Voter Summit

Simon Brown

The Religious Right’s annual “Values Voter Summit” (VVS) took place over the weekend in Washington, D.C. As usual, it was a mix of homophobia, Islamophobia, religious revivalism and bashing of President Barack Obama disguised as a policy conference.   Read more



Simon Brown

It seems a Pennsylvania county has its heart set on enforcing a backdoor blasphemy law thanks to a persistent and misguided district attorney.

Earlier this month, a story made the rounds on social media concerning a 14-year-old boy in Everett, Pa., who posted on Facebook a photo of himself simulating a sex act with a statue of Jesus. Read more

Everett, Pennsylvania, Jesus statue, desecration, Love in the Name of Christ, William Higgins


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Simon Brown

Ken Ham, president of the fundamentalist ministry Answers in Genesis, has sold Kentucky lawmakers on the idea that a religious theme park featuring a 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark deserves taxpayer dollars because it will create jobs. Read more

Ken Ham, ‘Ark Park’, Answers in Genesis, Insitute on the Constitution, David Whitney, Michael Peroutka, Ark Encounter


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Rob Boston

If there were a prize for unmitigated gall, it would be awarded today to Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Moore, speaking during a recent panel discussion at the Evangelical Leadership Summit, an event sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., told the crowd that they need to “reclaim” the phrase separation of church and state, a term he admitted that “we long ago tossed overboard.” Read more

Russell Moore, Southern Baptist Convention, James Madison, thomas jefferson, Constitution Day


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Simon Brown

A prominent evangelical Christian campus ministry has lost its official recognition at 23 public colleges in California thanks to the organization’s discriminatory policies. Read more

InterVarsity Christan Fellowship, California State University


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Simon Brown

A prominent evangelical Christian campus ministry has lost its official recognition at 23 public colleges in California thanks to the organization’s discriminatory policies. Read more

InterVarsity Christan Fellowship, California State University


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Simon Brown

A city councilman in Washington state has a stance on pre-meeting prayers that is too extreme for even some staunch Religious Right allies to accept.

John Trumbo of the Kennewick City Council recently suggested that council meetings ought to open with an invocation “directed in name and reference to the same God addressed in the Founding Fathers’ signatory documents that established this nation,” the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald reported. Read more

Greece v. Galloway, John Trumbo, Mayor John Rees, Founding Fathers, Alliance Defending Freedom, Joseph Richardson


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Simon Brown

A “school choice” advocacy group recently put out a report card on voucher programs around the country, but the rankings aren’t based on things like test scores, graduation rates or college prep. Instead, the Center For Education Reform (CER) rated state programs based on how easy it is for students to obtain a voucher.

CER looked at the 14 states plus Washington, D.C., with voucher schemes. It gave out three As, three Bs, seven Cs and two Ds. Read more

Center For Education Reform, Walton Family Foundation, school choice


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Simon Brown

The Town Board of Greece, N.Y., has issued its formal policy on pre-meeting prayers, leading to a combination of confusion and backlash.  

Almost four months ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that while communities are free to open their meetings with predominantly Christian prayers, they may not exclude other points of view. Read more

Greece Town Board, Greece v. Galloway, Supreme Court, Alliance Defending Freedom


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Simon Brown

An Alabama official wants to display the Ten Commandments outside a county courthouse, and he thinks he can justify the location of said monument by arguing that the famous list of biblical laws simply isn’t religious.

Instead, said Jackson County Commissioner Tim Guffey (R), he just wants people to know the supposed basis behind America’s most famous documents. Read more

Tim Guffey, ten commandments, Roy Moore, Constitution, Declaration of Independence


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