Subscribe to RSS - Wall of Separation

The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Battling Bias: Interpreter Can’t Get Tax-Funded Job Because He’s The ‘Wrong’ Religion

For several years now, Americans United and other groups have spoken out against religious hiring bias in taxpayer-funded “faith-based” programs.

The issue to many people might seem like a legal abstraction. That’s why it’s helpful to occasionally have a human face put on the controversy.

Consider the case of Saad Mohammad Ali, a Washington state resident who volunteered for the evangelical Christian agency World Relief for six months.

‘Under God’ Upheld: Appeals Court Says Pledge Is Patriotic, Not Religious

A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that use of the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the separation of church and state.

The 2-1 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest decision in a long-running legal campaign by Michael Newdow, a California atheist activist, to have “under God” declared unconstitutional.

Bachmann In Overdrive: Minnesota House Member Favors Church Electioneering

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said on “Hot Tea” radio yesterday that she is sick of “radical leftist organizations” that “intimidate Christians” from speaking about politics from the pulpit.

Bachmann called for Congress to repeal the federal law that prevents all 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates.

The (Mis)education Of Sen. Lieberman: Why The Senate Must Reject The D.C. Voucher Expansion

The battle to end Washington, D.C.’s controversial school voucher program is entering a critical phase.

A little background: The plan, pitched as an “experiment,” was initially authorized in 2004 for five years. Heavily promoted by the Bush administration, it passed the House of Representatives by a single vote six years ago on a night when many voucher opponents were away from the floor. Republicans held the vote open for more than 40 minutes to gather the necessary votes. It later cleared the Senate only as a result of a procedural move.

Remembering Vashti’s Victory: McCollum Decision Is Landmark Of Liberty

Sixty-two years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court held that “released time,” a program whereby public schools set aside class time for on-campus religious instruction, violated the constitutional separation between church and state.

The 1948 decision, McCollum v. Board of Education, was a landmark in application of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause to church-state violations occurring in the public schools.

Whale Tale: AFA Staffer Says Bible Mandates Death For SeaWorld Orca

On Feb. 24, a tragedy occurred at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla. A six-ton killer whale known as Tillikum pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau underwater to her death in front of a crowd of horrified spectators watching a show.

Brancheau’s tragic death has led to some soul searching: What should be done with Tillikum? Is it ever appropriate to keep killer whales (also known as orcas) in captivity? Is it right to expect these animals to perform for our amusement?

Pages