Role Of Religion In Presidential Campaign Heads 2008 'top Ten' List Of Church-state Stories

From Radioactive Clergy To Media Inquisitions, Religion Was A Hot Topic In This Year's Race For The White House, Say Editors Of Church & State Magazine

The role of religion in the presidential campaign tops the 2008 “Top Ten” list of top church-state stories, according to the editors of Church & State.

The monthly magazine, published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is the nation’s only news periodical devoted exclusively to the intersection of religion and government.

Said Church & State publisher Barry W. Lynn, “It was a wild and crazy year. To tell you the truth, I’m glad it’s coming to a close. I’m hopeful 2009 will be a lot better.”

Military Does Not Have To Credit Retiree's Religious Work, Federal Appeals Court Rules

AU Attorney Assists With Litigation In Case Upholding Bar On Government Support Of Religious Activities

A federal appeals court has ruled that a military retiree has no right to be compensated by the federal government for work he did as a youth pastor, in a case an attorney with Americans United for Separation of Church and State helped argue.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 18 that the rights of Linden Bowman, a former sergeant in the Air Force, were not violated when military officials ruled his religious work was ineligible for the Department of Defense’s Community Service Program.

Americans United Applauds Federal Court Ruling Against South Carolina's 'Christian' License Plate

Federal Judge Blocks Issuance Of 'I Believe' Automobile Tag Featuring Cross And Stained-Glass Church Window

A federal judge today ruled that the state of South Carolina may not issue a special “Christian” license plate featuring a cross, a stained-glass window and the words “I Believe.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which sponsored the litigation to stop issuance of the plate, hailed the decision.

Religious Right Stirs Up Strife In Season Of Peace, Americans United Charges

Watchdog Group Appeals To Americans To Reject Religious Right's Divisive 'War On Christmas' Rhetoric

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on Religious Right leaders and their allies in the media to stop using Christmas as a vehicle for divisiveness.

As in years past, Religious Right groups are using the Christmas holiday to divide Americans and stir up animosity by falsely claiming that there is a “war on Christmas.” Americans United said it is ironic to see these groups using a season dedicated to peace and understanding to foster conflict.

Texas State School Board Should Uphold Sound Science, Reject Creationism, Says Americans United

Religious Right Push For Creationist Concepts In Texas Science Standards Could Damage Textbooks Nationwide, Says AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged the Texas State Board of Education to stick to sound science and reject creationist concepts when revising its science standards.

The state school board is currently examining the science curriculum, which is reviewed and updated every 10 years. The Seattle-based Discovery Institute and other Religious Right forces are seeking to include loopholes that undermine instruction about evolution and open the door to creationist ideas.

Supreme Court's Commandments Lawsuit Should Have Been Litigated On Church-state Grounds, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Urges Justices To Require Government Neutrality Toward Religion

A Ten Commandments lawsuit to be heard this week by the U.S. Supreme Court inappropriately focuses on free-speech rights rather than church-state separation, says Americans United for Separation of Church & State.

The justices will hear oral arguments Wednesday in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum.

The case tests whether Pleasant Grove City, Utah, can accept a Commandments monument for permanent display in a local park while turning down a monument showing the tenets of another faith. The Summum religion sued the local government after its display was rejected.

AU Asks IRS To Investigate N.C. Baptist Group That Hosted Obama Rally

Event Featuring Michelle Obama May Have Violated Federal Tax Law, Says Watchdog Group

The General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina may have violated federal tax law by hosting Michelle Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, at an event that appeared to be little more than a campaign rally, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

During her Oct. 29 appearance before the group, Obama praised her husband and told the crowd he is qualified to be president because of his past struggles. “Don’t we deserve a president with that kind of experience?” she asked. “Barack Obama gets it because he’s been there.”