Here are a number of recent news articles provided by the FFF Newsroon and other sources. This list is updated approximately weekly. Come across a relevant article we ought to post? Send us the link by e-mail.
For more news articles - see the Archive.
June 28, 2007. North Shore Chapter releases new "Advocacy Handbook."
The North Shore Chapter has produced a new "Advocacy Handbook" which sets forth guidelines for permitted and non-permitted
advocacy activities by IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. For more information, click on the button below:
August 28, 2007. Governor rejects requiring moment of silence in schools
Gov. Rod Blagojevich rejected a proposal to force public school students to reflect quietly at the beginning of each day.
In a veto message to the General Assembly, the Democrat said current state law allows teachers to ask students to take a moment for silent reflection before class. Requiring it could violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on state-sponsored religion, he said.
"I believe in the power of prayer," Blagojevich wrote. "I also believe that our founding fathers wisely recognized the personal nature of faith and prayer, and that is why the separation of church and state is a centerpiece of our Constitution, our democracy and our freedoms."
The measure's House sponsor, state Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, had argued it was not a religious exercise, but a chance for pupils to settle down and reflect on the coming day.
Originated by state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, the bill, S.B. 1463, passed the Senate 58-1 and the House, 86-26 — both majorities large enough to override a gubernatorial veto.
But during debate on the House floor, the proposal came under sharp criticism. Opponents said it could, at best, take time away from learning and, at worst, coerce religious activity.
"I am working with my wife to raise our children to respect prayer and to pray because they want to pray — not because they are required to," Blagojevich said.
The American Civil Liberties Union took no position on the legislation. A spokesman pointed out that the Constitution does not bar voluntary prayer, and at least 10,000 student groups nationwide currently express their faith in public schools.
Members of the North Shore Chapter of Ameicans United opposed the legislation and wrote letters to legislators and met with members of the General Assembly and the Governor's office to protest its passage and urge the veto.
It is unknown at this point whether sponsors of the legislation will attempt to override the Governor's veto. Members and those who support the Governor's position are urged to write to their Senators and Representatives to oppose any attempt to override the veto.
Here is a sample letter in MSWord that you can modify for your own use.
To find your State Senator or Represenative: CLICK HERE.
March 22, 2007. "Moment of Silence" Bill Passes Illinois Senate.
By a vote of 58-1, the Illinois Senate has passed SB1463 amending the "Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act" [105/ILCS/1] to require rather than permit a moment of silence at the start of the school day.
The bill now goes to the House for possible action. Read the March 22nd Chicago Tribune article and commentary by Eric Zorn on March 27th.
Americans United has long opposed "Moment of Silence" legislation. Here's the AU Position. Members of NSCAU are urged to write their State Representative in opposition to SB1463.
This was the sample letter opposing the legislation.
To find your State Represenative: CLICK HERE.
Click here for a MAP and DIRECTIONS.
The next regular meeting of the North Shore Chapter will be on Thursday, February 24th at
7:00 pm in the Pollack Room of the Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062-4513 - (847) 272-6224.
On December 20th, 2005, the famous Dover vs. Kitzmiller trial came to a conclusion. The decisive federal ruling was a high-profile defeat for proponents of "intelligent design" creationism and their attempts to have their religious beliefs taught as science in public schools. In addition, the Dover ruling was a turning point in the broader modern evolution/creationism battle.
Now, five years later, come join the North Shore chapter of AU as we celebrate this historic victory and as we look to the future challenges of teaching evolutionary science. The creationist movement may have suffered a defeat at Dover, but their tactics have evolved and they continue to pursue their agenda (even on our local school board level, as evidenced above).
Come for some celebration but also to be informed of the latest developments.
This meeting is free & open to the public, and refreshments will be served (a birthday cake for Dover vs. Kitzmiller)!
If you have any questions, contact Matt Lowry at 847-918-0499 or by e-mail.
But Church-State Separationists See Trouble Ahead. To Justice John Paul Stevens, one thing is perfectly clear: The Christian cross in the Mojave National Preserve cannot commemorate all veterans of World War I. (Read More)
Church & State is the monthly magazine of Americans United. Read the June 2010 issue by clicking on the cover image
or this LINK.
This month's cover story: "Cross Loss?" - Fractious Justices Send Mojave Cross Case Back To Lower Court.
Back issues of Church & State from 2002 - 2009 are available in the Archive.
Here is the new video "Worship or Not" from FFF. (Runtime approximately 5:35)
We invite you to visit the North Shore Bookstore where you'll find two dozen or more books focusing on
the issue of separation of church & state, religion & politics and Evolution versus Creationism and Intelligent Design.
Use this LINK or click on the button below: