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Fla. Couple Wins Legal Battle Over Holiday Display

A Florida family has won a legal battle against the city of Plantation, Fla., over an elaborate Christmas display that officials said snarled traffic and created a neighborhood nuisance.

A Broward County judge ruled Oct. 27 that Mark and Kathy Hyatt can set up their large display once again this holiday season. The couple argued in part that they have a religious right to celebrate Christmas through a big display of lights and decorations.

For Halloween, Here Are Seven Things Much Scarier Than Creepy Clowns

It’s Halloween, and I’m looking forward to distributing treats to the neighborhood children who come to my house tonight. As long as those creepy clowns stay away, it’s sure to be a good time.

I enjoy a good horror movie every now and then, but to me, the real world provides a more disturbing array of actual chills. In fact, here are seven things way scarier than ghosts, werewolves, zombies – and even phantom clowns:

Freedom Of Conscience: The Greatest Gift Of All

People sometimes ask me why I got so interested in defending separation of church and state. The answer is simple: As a kid, I was sent to a Catholic school for eight years.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of good teachers there and learned many things. But I found the school’s tendency to micro-manage prayer troubling. Three times a day, like clockwork, a nun, priest or lay teacher would order everyone to stand up and pray. In unison, we would chant one of two prayers – the “Our Father” or the “Hail Mary” – before sitting down for the lesson.

Who’s Been Naughty, Who’s Been Nice?: The AFA Explains It All For You

If you’re like me, you’ve been sitting around anxiously awaiting the release of the American Family Association’s “Naughty or Nice” list of retailers for the 2015 holiday season.

Just kidding. I haven’t been awaiting the release of this list – and I suspect you haven’t either – but the AFA sent it to me earlier this week, so let’s take a look at it, shall we?

Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. "The Wall of Separation" will be on hiatus until Monday, Dec. 29. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself?

The Nutcracker’s Lament: Religious Right Columnist Bemoans Imaginary ‘War On Christmas’

It’s Christmas Eve, and I thought you might appreciate an update on the “war on Christmas.”

To be honest, things have been kind of quiet this year – too quiet. It seems to me that not a creature is stirring – not even a mouse!

Sure, we had that business in Florida with the Satanic Temple. As you might recall, the rotunda of the State Capitol played host to a privately sponsored nativity scene and other religious messages (including a depiction of the Flying Spaghetti Monster), so Americans United helped the Satanic Temple win a spot for its display too.

Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself?

‘Merry Christmas’ In May?: Texas Legislators Reaffirm Right To Use Holiday Greeting

Texas legislators appear to have too much time on their hands. Members of the House of Representatives just passed legislation protecting everyone’s right to say “Merry Christmas.”

That’s right. It’s mid-May, and some Lone Star lawmakers are worried about Christmas and how it might be acknowledged in public schools. They’re so worried, in fact, that they’ve passed a bill guaranteeing the right to say “Merry Christmas” and display certain holiday symbols in schools.

Holiday Humbug: Sarah Palin Plots To Restore The True Meaning Of Christmas

As I glance out my office window today at the snowflakes drifting down from the leaden gray skies of Washington, D.C., I have to keep reminding myself that spring will be here soon – on Wednesday, actually.

But, of course, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start thinking about Christmas – especially if you’re Sarah Palin.

Christmas Confusion: Religious Right Keeps Looking For God In All The Wrong Places

The broken record that is Mat Staver, founder of the Religious Right group Liberty Counsel, is at it again: Christmas is under attack. Christmas is under attack. Christmas is under attack.

You could have fooled me. I stopped in a local mall last weekend, and it sure looked to me like Christmas was in full swing. On my way there, I passed more than one church with a Nativity scene on its lawn. Based on the decorations on my block alone, which include both the secular and the sacred, you’d have a hard time not knowing it’s Christmastime.

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