church and state

16 Stories

Satanic Temple Sues to Lead City Council Prayers

Group is taking Scottsdale, Ariz., to court

(Newser) - A group that invokes the name Satan as a metaphor for opposing religious tyranny has sued the well-off Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Ariz., accusing officials of discrimination after being denied an opportunity to give the opening prayer at a City Council meeting. Michelle Shortt of the Satanic Temple of Tucson... More »

Thou Shalt Not Erect Religious Monuments on City Grounds: Court

Ten Commandments structure in Bloomfield, NM, declared unconstitutional

(Newser) - Much like those "rapid-fire warnings at the end of prescription drug commercials," a disclaimer on a Ten Commandments monument in New Mexico might require "a reasonable observer … to get on his knees" to read it, an appeals declared this week. That was one of the factors... More »

Tennessee Lawmakers: We Want Bible as State Book

It's up to Gov. Haslam whether bill is 'unconstitutional,' 'sacrilegious,' or neither

(Newser) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has a bill coming his way that has the Bible nominated as the official state book, a move critics say would be both "unconstitutional and sacrilegious," per Nashville Public Radio . The state Senate approved the holy tome 19-8 Monday night, which could make Tennessee... More »

Here's a Better Way to Define Marriage, Civil Union

Essay: Government should get out of the romance department

(Newser) - It didn't take long after the Supreme Court's decision in favor of gay marriage for the next potential legal challenge to surface: Should polygamists be allowed to marry? The debate over what "marriage" means will begin anew, but Froma Harrop thinks there's a more fundamental question... More »

'God' Now Optional in Air Force Oath

Cadets can skip it if they'd like

(Newser) - An oath of honor uttered by Air Force cadets might be a little less godly from here on out. The service says cadets now have the option to skip the last phrase, "So help me God," reports the Air Force Times . The move comes in response to a... More »

Michelle Obama: Best Place to Talk Politics? Church

First lady raises eyebrows with speech promoting political engagement

(Newser) - The Obamas might have a checkered history with religion and politics, what with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the president's "clinging" gaffe. But in a speech last week spotted by CNS News , Michelle Obama told the crowd that there was "no place better" than church to discuss... More »

Santorum Still Ripping JFK Speech

Absolute separation is 'not America,' it's France, he argues

(Newser) - Rick Santorum just cannot let this John F. Kennedy speech go: He again slammed JFK's remarks on the separation of church and state last night, although this time he didn't go so far as to say that they made him want to vomit . "Obviously, the language that... More »

Santorum: JFK Religion Speech Made Me Sick

Candidate defends role of religion in public life

(Newser) - Rick Santorum says reading John F. Kennedy's famous 1960 speech about the separation of church and state in America made him want to hurl. "To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up," the... More »

Atheists Raise $44K for Teen Prayer Foe

'Evil little thing' Jessica Ahlquist awarded scholarship

(Newser) - Rhode Island teen Jessica Ahlquist's fight against a school prayer banner didn't win her many friends in her strongly Catholic hometown—but it has won her a hefty college fund. Prominent atheists, who praise the 16-year-old for standing up to critics "with class and style," are... More »

Town Slams Teen Atheist's Fight Against Prayer

8-foot prayer hung in school in Cranston, RI, for 49 years

(Newser) - A 16-year-old Rhode Island atheist has her heavily Roman Catholic town of 80,000 in an uproar after she successfully sued her school to take down a eight-foot-tall prayer that hung in the school auditorium for 49 years, reports the New York Times . One state representative called Jessica Ahlquist “... More »

House to Vote on Beefing Up 'In God We Trust'

Bill would encourage schools, government buildings to post national motto

(Newser) - It's already stamped on our coins, but a group of lawmakers would like see our national motto get even greater play. The House will vote on a bill today that would strengthen the phrase "In God We Trust" and push schools and other government and public buildings to... More »

What If Schools Had to Teach Islam in Science Class?

And how is 'intelligent design' any better?

(Newser) - Legislators in at least seven states have introduced “stealth creationism” bills this year, requiring educators to teach some form of “intelligent design” in schools—and some of those same people have also pushed laws banning Islamic Sharia rules from being used in the courtroom. The message is clear,... More »

Majority of World Muslims: Islam Belongs in Politics

Majority of world's Muslims say Islam has place in politics

(Newser) - A majority of the world’s Muslims want their religion to influence politics, a Pew Research poll finds. In Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, and Nigeria, majorities would back the legalization of stoning to punish adultery, the amputation of thieves’ hands, and the death penalty for converts from Islam to other religions,... More »

Utah Highway Crosses Violate Constitution: Court

'Massive' crosses violate separation of church, state

(Newser) - Erecting roadside crosses for fallen members of Utah's Highway Patrol is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court has decided. The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, addressing a lawsuit launched by an atheist group, said the memorials—which typically stand twelve feet high and include photographs and biographical information—constitute government... More »

Put an Atheist on Supreme Court

(Newser) - President Obama should "absolutely" take into account the religious views of his next nominee for the Supreme Court, but not for the usual reasons, Marc Cooper says. "Clearly, the next person to take the bench should be an atheist," he writes for the Los Angeles Times . Having... More »

Why Obama's Our Most Radical President

Chief executive runs a 'secular-socialist machine' from White House

(Newser) - Newt Gingrich is defending—and, in fact, repeating—his assertion that President Obama is "the most radical president in American history." Only those in the "cultural elite" could possibly view his administration as moderate, he writes in the Washington Post . It is a "secular-socialist machine,"... More »

16 Stories