Religious freedom is a fundamental American value, guaranteeing our right to believe—or not—as we see fit. That right to believe (and to act on those beliefs, as long as we are not harming third parties) enjoys powerful First Amendment protection.
That protection, however, does not mean that dissatisfied persons can file lawsuits in order to force the government into adopting policies that favor their personal religious beliefs.
Rhode Island is the smallest state in the union, but it has a lot going for it. Its beaches on the Atlantic Ocean draw tourists, and Providence, the largest city and capital, struck me as a pretty vibrant place the one time I visited.
Rhode Island also has a fascinating history, which tourism and marketing officials in the state are wisely using to their advantage.
President-elect Donald J. Trump campaigned in part on a vow to repeal the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that bars tax-exempt groups, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates.
Today, President-elect Donald Trump named yet another troubling pick for his cabinet: he’s tapped U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) for Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).
HHS is responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as many vital social service programs including those for early-childhood education and adoption and foster care. While Price’s nomination will be controversial because of his clear desire to fully dismantle the ACA, those who support religious freedom should also have concerns.
If there’s anyone out there who still thinks the Donald Trump presidency won’t be so bad for separation of church and state, chew on this: Trump offered the job of Education Secretary to Jerry Falwell Jr.
That’s right: Trump was prepared to turn the U.S. Department of Education over to a biblical literalist who would have been absolutely unqualified for the job.
The election of Donald Trump to the presidency has renewed talk about creating some sort of national registry of Muslims entering the United States. In some versions, this is similar to the disastrous Bush database enacted after 9/11.
Though not unexpected given Trump’s campaign rhetoric over the past year and a half, the proposal is still frankly horrifying – not only because it’s a blatantly unconstitutional form of religious discrimination and persecution, but because we’ve seen this before.
Editor's Note: This post originally ran on Thanksgiving Day 2007. It was written by Joe Conn, Americans United's former director of communications. Joe, who retired in July of 2013 after a remarkable 33 years of service to AU, makes the case for being thankful for the church-state wall. Happy Thanksgiving!
By Joe Conn
When you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner today, do you plan to say grace?
Today, president-elect Donald Trump tapped Betsy DeVos to serve as Secretary of Education in his administration.
In all of the reaction over the election, it’s easy to overlook other stories of interest, some of which are actually good news.
Consider this one: A federal judge has ruled that there’s likely no “religious freedom” right to defraud a federal program designed to help low-income families avoid hunger.