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Conservative Supreme Court could reverse decades of First Amendment law

The American Legion and its supporters recently filed initial briefs in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association, a Supreme Court case to be argued in February concerning the constitutionality of a four-foot, 90-year-old memorial cross displayed and maintained by a state agency in Bladensburg, Maryland. Depending on how the court rules, however, much more …

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Proposed laws in D.C. and Va. would require clergy to report sexual abuse

In response to recent Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandals, lawmakers in the District and Virginia say they will soon propose legislation that adds clergy to the list of people mandated by law to report child abuse or neglect. Both efforts hit at the hot-button intersection of child protection and religious liberty, but lawmakers are …

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Ionia Public Schools (MI) Accused of Promoting Religious Graduation Ceremony

Ron Wilson, the superintendent of the Ionia Public Schools in Michigan, is the guy who recently wrote in a local newspaper that the “growth of atheistic and secular humanist influence in our society appears to be eroding the fabric of our nation.” You won’t be surprised to learn, then, that his district has been promoting …

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Half of Southerners believe the US was founded as ‘explicitly Christian,’ new poll finds

Half of residents in 11 Southern states believe that America was founded as an explicitly Christian nation, a recent Winthrop University poll found. The view is a crux of Christian Nationalism, said poll director Scott Huffman. Those who espouse Christian Nationalist beliefs support the idea that the United States should be governed as an explicitly …

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Government display of cross is a constitutional, not religious, issue

The good people of Ozark have been whipped into a frenzy by tales of Christian persecution and myths of a War on Christmas. The heightened emotions and bunker mentality of those defending the Christmas cross seem to have wiped out one important fact: the cross violates the Constitution. Defending the cross is not defending your …

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Atheists Say the “First Step Act” Uses Taxpayer Money for Religious Programs

The bipartisan criminal justice bill that just passed through the Senate yesterday — and one of the only legislative issues both parties seem to support in large numbers — has a church/state separation problem. […] Except for the part that’s bad. One of the provisions in S. 3649 concerning an “evidence-based recidivism reduction program” — …

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Ringing in a Christian Nationalist 2019 With an Even Larger Legislative Playbook

State legislatures across the country became showcases for Christian nationalist legislation in 2018. Leading the charge was the ominously named Project Blitz—a coalition of Christian Right groups that are unambiguous about their intentions for the short and long term, to restore America to a Christian nation that never was. […] The Christian Right groups behind …

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Opponents of Bible classes in a West Virginia county’s schools win round in court

Parents engaged in battle with a West Virginia school system that for decades allowed Bible classes in elementary and middle schools won a round in a federal appeals court this week, setting the stage for a renewed legal tussle. The ruling means that the case will be sent back to a district court and that …

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Trump’s New Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Has a Disturbing Anti-LGBTQ Record

President Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who is set to replace John Kelly, has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ policies that is alarming advocates. Mulvaney has served as Director of the Office of Management Budget, and prior to that served in the South Carolina House and Senate, as well as the United States …

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Nashville secular group celebrates faith-free Christmas

Welcome to the “Heathen Holidays,” a Christmas celebration for the nonreligious, hosted by the local chapter of the Sunday Assembly. It’s a way to celebrate the joy of the Christmas season “without the discomfort of paying homage to any particular religion,” said Nicole Dittrich, one of the attendees. Many of the people attending the service …

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