Raising Cain over city funding to preserve Mark Twain church. More separation of church and state paranoia in the military. AND the definition of marriage back in California courts.

Protests Erupt Over Mark Twain Church in Nevada

RENO, Nev. — (AP) A group that advocates separation of church and state is protesting a Nevada city’s decision to provide funding to a church that Mark Twain helped build as a fledgling writer in the 1860s.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State contends Carson City supervisors’ votes concerning the First Presbyterian Church violated the First Amendment.

City and church officials disagree, saying the money is merely going toward additional costs stemming from an agreement that paved the way for the congregation to construct a new church in return for backing off its plan to raze the original one… read

Questions Raised Anew About Religion in Military

WASHINGTON — (NYT) Terry Bradshaw stared intently into the camera, his eyes moist, as the interviewer asked him if his faith in God had helped him through his bouts with depression.

“Oh, yeah,” answered Mr. Bradshaw, the Hall of Fame quarterback. “Well, I’m a Christian for one thing so, yeah, I’d been praying.”

The viewers of this video were military personnel who were watching an official military production dealing with depression, suicide and “the importance of faith.” … read

Challenge to Gay Marriage Ban Reaches Calif. Court

SAN FRANCISCO — (AP) A year after the state Supreme Court entertained arguments on extending marriage to gay couples, many of the same lawyers will be back before the same justices this week arguing why California’s voter-appproved ban on same-sex marriage should stand or fall.

The passage of Proposition 8 last November changed the state constitution to prohibit gay marriage and trumped the high court’s decision as few months earlier to legalize it. But the ballot measure was appealed and the justices on Thursday are getting the final word on whether marriage is an institution that must accommodate two women or two men.

The debate will be framed by not only the gay and lesbian couples who see their struggle as the modern equivalent of prohibitions on interracial marriage, but the 7 million citizens who rejected that comparison in an $83 million election… read

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