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State Legislatures Are Coming Back Into Session, and We’re Already Seeing Threats to Religious Freedom

Each year, Americans United monitors hundreds of bills working their way through state legislatures, and we organize local activists to oppose legislation that would harm religious freedom. Last year we tracked more than 500 bills, and we expect to do the same for the 2020 session. While we don’t have a crystal ball, the bills already filed and the influence of harmful Trump administration policies give us an idea of some trends we expect to see this year. [au.org]

Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered

After decades of shielding the identities of accused child abusers from the public, many Catholic leaders are now releasing lists of their names. But the lists are inconsistent, incomplete and omit key details. [propublica.org]

Colorado’s New Ban on Conversion Therapy Wouldn’t Have Protected These LGBTQ Women. Here’s Why

Three women detail trauma they say they suffered from religious counseling related to their sexuality. [denverpost.com]

Judge Denies Injunction to Pastor Who Claims She Was Targeted For Work With Immigrants

A Christian pastor who ministers to immigrants and refugees failed to obtain a court order that would have prevented the government from continuing to monitor her activities along the U.S.-Mexico border and in New York. [courthousenews.com]

The United States Has an Evangelical Problem

Today, Evangelicals, having sold their souls for bowls of pottage, rabidly support Donald Trump, the most unqualified man to ever be president. Eighty-one percent of voting white Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump. If the presidential election were held today, Evangelicals would, yet again, overwhelmingly vote for Trump. Even if Trump was thrown out of office, Evangelicals are satisfied that Christian America will be safe in the “godly” hands of Evangelical and True Believer® Mike Pence. [patheos.com]

How Religion Can Impact Mental Health in Good and Bad Ways

When it comes to mental health, there are signs religion can do some good, under the right circumstances. Yet, religion can also have unintended consequences for mental and emotional development. Let us look at the ways religion affects our emotions and psyche. [patheos.com]

Were Neanderthals More Than Cousins to Homo Sapiens?

These members of the genus Homo have long occupied two different branches on the family tree. But now that researchers think these groups interbred, scholars are giving serious consideration to whether we are the same species after all. [sapiens.org]

A Threat to the Separation of Church and State

Republican lawmakers in Montana came up with a plan to help taxpayers fund scholarships for private schools, including religious ones. But Montana’s constitution makes it clear that public funding for parochial schools is not allowed. Now, religious school parents have appealed their case to the Supreme Court. The resulting decision could undermine the separation of church and state. [spotify.com]