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All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

New Year, New Congress, Old Bill: Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is Still A Bad Idea

It’s a new year and a new Congress, but a familiar piece of legislation already has darkened the door of the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) wasted no time in resuming his efforts to roll back the prohibition on nonprofits endorsing or opposing political candidates. On Tuesday – the first day the 115th Congress was in session – Jones introduced H.R. 172 to “restore the Free Speech and First Amendment rights of churches and exempt organizations by repealing the 1954 Johnson Amendment.”

Time For Delay: Sessions’ Alarming Record Isn’t Complete, So Confirmation Hearing Should Be Pushed Back

Next week, Congress starts hearings on President-elect Donald Trump’s troubling cabinet nominees. First up, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on Trump’s pick for Attorney General, U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). But if the committee keeps to that schedule, it will have to consider a woefully incomplete record on Sessions. 

A Public School Football Coach In Washington State Wants To Pray With Players. AU Says That’s Out Of Bounds.

Yesterday, Americans United filed a friend-of-the-court brief in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, telling the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that a public school in Bremerton, Wash., had both the right and the obligation to take action when one of its coaches was discovered leading students in prayer.

The New Congress Convenes Today. Here Are Some Of The Challenges We Face.

The 115th Congress convenes today with the swearing in of both new and returning members. The Democrats picked up a few seats in both the House and Senate, but the Republicans will maintain their majorities in both chambers.

Come Jan. 20, the Republicans will also have control of the White House. Congressional leaders, however, aren’t waiting for Inauguration Day to start pushing through the agenda of President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Congress is going to move full speed ahead starting on day one. And Americans United will push back.  

Thomas Jefferson, A ‘Mammoth Cheese’ And The Church-State Wall: A New Year’s Day Tale

Yesterday, the country marked an important anniversary dealing with religious freedom that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Jan. 1, 1802, was a busy day at the White House for President Thomas Jefferson, who had a special visitor. His friend John Leland arrived from Massachusetts with a gift: a 1,200-pound wheel of cheese.

Known as the “mammoth cheese,” the wheel was a present from Jefferson’s Baptist admirers in New England. It was accompanied by a card reading, “The Greatest Cheese in America for the Greatest Man in America!”

Here Are The Top Ten Church-State Stories From 2016

In late December, you start seeing “Top Ten” lists for the year that was. So without further ado, here are the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2016 (in my humble opinion, at least):

A Maine Pagan Priest Can Wear Horns In An Official Photo

A Maine pagan has won the right to wear goat horns in a state-issued identification card. This is an example of the government treating all religions equally, and that’s a good thing.

Phelan Moonsong, 56, is a Pagan minister and a devotee of Pan. He has been wearing the goat horns since 2009, when he picked them up at a gathering of Pagan men.

To Moonsong, the horns are important religious attire.

AU Files Supreme Court Brief Denouncing U.S. Detention And Torture Of Muslims

Top U.S. Department of Justice and immigration officials should face legal scrutiny for the unconstitutional detention and torture of Muslims living peacefully in the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Americans United told the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday.

Here We Go Again: Trump May Still Believe in Muslim Ban

A few days ago, a reporter asked President-elect Donald J. Trump about whether recent attacks in Berlin and Turkey had caused him to rethink or reevaluate his plans for a Muslim ban or Muslim registry. He responded, “You know my plans. All along, I’ve been proven to be right.”

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