Joseph L. Conn / All Posts

Joseph L. Conn is the Director of Communications of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Religion in Public Schools

Idaho’s state slogan is “Great Potatoes, Tasty Destinations.” I’d like to add a third item: “Scrumptious Church-State Decisions.”

In a major defeat for the Religious Right, a federal court in Idaho has ruled that public charter schools have no constitutional right to use the Bible as part of their curriculum.

U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge held Monday that […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion

One of my former colleagues here at Americans United used to slip in a personal grace before lunchtime meals with others on the staff. It was silent prayer and so quick you had to be very, very observant to even notice it.

R. wasn’t trying to proselytize anyone, but he was a devout Christian and he wanted to express his […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life, Religious Right Research

What would a Religious Right-dominated America look like?

You can get a pretty good glimpse of that deplorable prospect from some recent activities in Jacksonville, Fla.

After Mayor John Peyton nominated Parvez Ahmed to the Human Rights Commission, Religious Right forces swung into action.

According to a May 7 Religion Dispatches article, several members of the city council led […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Religious Right Research

Mat Staver is a piece of work, isn’t he?

Staver, in case you case you haven’t been keeping up with the Falwell Empire, is dean of the Liberty University School of Law and head of Liberty Counsel, a Religious Right legal group.

Staver isn’t as well known as the lawyers at American Center for Law and Justice or the […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion

I don’t really look to Bob Barr for sound advice on religious liberty issues.

The former Georgia congressman is, after all, the guy who demanded that military commanders at a base in Texas ban Wiccan soldiers from observing the vernal equinox, enthusiastically backed a measure that directed the federal courts to leave decisions about Ten Commandments displays up […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives, Focus On The Family, Marriage & Sexuality

Just how rotten was the “faith-based” initiative under President George W. Bush?

Let the Iowa Independent fill you in.

In an April 16 report, the online newspaper reported that the Iowa Family Policy Council (IFPC) has received more than $3 million in federal grants through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The money was supposedly earmarked for […] Read More

Religious School Vouchers, Tax Funding of Religion

Misguided Florida lawmakers are trying to railroad through a constitutional amendment that would allow tax dollars to subsidize religion.

By a 6-2 vote yesterday, the Senate Committee on Education PreK-12 approved a ballot measure that would delete church-state separation safeguards in the state constitution.

Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) tried to depict SJR 2550 as a protection for religious […] Read More

Faith-Based Initiatives

Sid Kemp is upfront about the agenda of Feeding God’s Children. The ministry, affiliated with Two Rivers Church in Lenoir City, Tenn., provides food and other assistance to children in Appalachia and Guatemala, and it provides evangelism as part of the package.

Although recipients and volunteers don’t have to be “believers,” he said, religious outreach is a big part of […] Read More

Government-Sponsored Religion, Religion in Public Life

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Virginia House of Delegates has just passed a bill that supporters hope will keep the Antichrist at bay.

You hear a loud whirring noise, you say? That would be Thomas Jefferson and James Madison spinning like tops in their Virginia graves.

Yes, it’s true. Yesterday House members approved a measure that would […] Read More

Marriage & Sexuality, Religious Right Research

If you need a reminder of how important church-state separation is, read Joel McDurmon’s chilling essay “A Perfect Hatred.”

McDurmon is director of research for American Vision (AV), a Georgia-based Religious Right outfit that seeks to replace our constitutional democracy with a government built around an ultra-fundamentalist reading of the Bible. These “Christian Reconstructionists” often say publicly what […] Read More