In Kentucky recently, a federal judge ruled that the state could not deny a sales tax rebate to a Christian group, Answers in Genesis (AiG) for a theme park it is constructing featuring a life-size Noah’s Ark replica. To deny it would amount to pressuring AiG “to give up its religious beliefs, purpose or practice in order to receive a government benefit,” the judge said. The ruling was a defeat for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which continues to oppose the rebate.
In Tennessee, a bill to provide educational vouchers for parents of children in low performing public schools, advanced through a crucial House committee. Americans United opposes this bill, because many of the private school alternatives are faith-based. They would keep children trapped in failing public schools rather than allow them to choose a quality education in a faith-based school.
A group of atheists gathered in protest outside the Jan. 28 Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. They were dismayed that “a growing number of presidential candidates are basing much of their candidacy on their religious beliefs.” Presumably they are even more dismayed by the latest Pew Survey showing that 51 percent of Americans would be less likely to vote for a candidate who does not believe in God.