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‘The Multiplicity Of Sects’: New Report Shows U.S. Religious Pluralism Expanding – Just As The Founders Wanted

A new report by Baylor University researchers shows that Americans are more religiously diverse than ever. Although the United States is still a deeply religious country, 20 percent do not have an affiliation with any specific faith tradition. (That number was 3 percent in the 1960s.)

Religious Freedom Day 2014: Resolve To Defend The Church-State Wall

I still use a large desk calendar, one made out of paper. (Yep, I admit I’m a dinosaur.)

This calendar thoughtfully fills me in on holidays major and minor. On March 17, I can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday. I wouldn’t want to miss Administrative Professionals Day on April 23, and Victoria Day (May 19) is a big deal in Canada. For you internationalists, Oct. 24 is United Nations Day.

But one holiday that does not appear is Religious Freedom Day, which is today, Jan. 16.

Misusing Madison: FRC Promotes Upcoming ‘Summit’ With Fake Quote From The Father Of The Constitution

In about two weeks, the Family Research Council will hold its “Values Voter Summit,” an annual event that has become the largest gathering of the Religious Right in the country.

Freedom From Foolishness?: Texas Gov. Misconstrues Religious Liberty

Whenever I hear someone – especially a politician – say that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, I just want to start screaming.

As I’ve pointed out many times on this blog and in other forums, that statement is inane and shows great ignorance of our founding principles. Religious Right figures started using it a few years ago, apparently believing they had stumbled onto something clever. In fact, they are simply spouting puerile nonsense.

Passing The Bill: Mass. Taxpayers To Subsidize Church Improvements

Generally speaking, members of the Unitarian Universalist denomination have been strong supporters of the separation of church and state. In my travels for Americans United, I often encounter UUs among AU’s membership, and I’ve spoken in some UU pulpits.

I was rather surprised, then, to read an editorial in the Gloucester, Mass., Times defending a Unitarian church that accepted $30,000 in local tax funds to pay for some work on its building.

Legacy Of Liberty: Celebrating Religious Freedom Day, 2013

Your calendar might not note this, but today is Religious Freedom Day, an event that celebrates passage of Thomas Jefferson’s pioneering Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia.

Some quick background: In 1784, Patrick Henry introduced a bill in the Virginia legislature that would have required all residents to pay a tax “for the support of the Christian religion, or of some Christian church, denomination or communion of Christians, or for some form of Christian worship.”

The Presidential Debate: What I’d Ask The Candidates About Church-State Separation

If you’re at all interested in politics, there’s one thing uppermost in your mind today: the presidential candidates’ debate tonight at the University of Denver in Colorado.

Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney will field questions from PBS “NewsHour” host Jim Lehrer. The focus of the debate is domestic policy. 

I’m sure a lot of the questions will turn on the economy – the unemployment rate, the budget deficit, taxation, health-care reform, funding for Medicare and Social Security, etc.

Presidential Proclamations: Some Chief Executive Thoughts For The Holiday

Today is Presidents’ Day. Celebrate by reading some great presidential classics of religious liberty!

Start with George Washington’s letter to Touro Synagogue, one of the most succinct statements ever issued about religious liberty.

Of course, Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, which contains the famous “wall of separation between church and state” metaphor, is always worth your time.

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