Subscribe to RSS - Religious Instruction during the School Day or 'Release Time'

The concept of release time, whereby students leave public school during the day for religious instruction offsite, was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1952. It’s important to remember, however, that public schools aren’t required to permit outside groups to run release-time programs. If a school chooses to do so, it should not promote the plan or encourage students to take part in it. In addition, schools should not punish students who choose not to take part. Students who don’t want to participate in release-time programs should not see their education suffer. They should be given meaningful instruction while the program runs.

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

A Broad Ruling In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer Could Pave The Way For Private School Voucher Programs

Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.

Fighting For Religious Freedom In Arizona With An Invocation

Yesterday, Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman stood before her colleagues and offered an invocation. At first, it appeared to be just like any other day in the statehouse, where the House always opens its session with a prayer. But then Rep. Mark Finchem stood up, alleged that the prayer violated House rules and asked to give a substitute prayer. Finchem’s objection: Salman is an atheist and her prayer did not speak to what he understood to be a higher power.

AU Backs The March For Science In Support Of Sound Science In Schools And Government

Saturday is the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and Americans United is proud to be an official partner.

We encourage our members, supporters and activists to take part in the March for Science this Saturday, or to join one of the satellite marches around the country. You can download and print an AU sign in support of sound science here.

Authentic Faith Doesn’t Need Taxpayer ‘Help’

When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.

Why We’re Fighting Religion-Based Discrimination in West Virginia

Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.

Neil Gorsuch’s Impact On Supreme Court Religious Freedom Cases Could Be Felt Immediately

Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this past Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 113th justice, and his impact on pending religious freedom cases could be felt as early as next week.

On Monday, the court could announce whether it will grant review of the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For months, court watchers have been waiting to see whether the high court will take this case involving a Colorado baker who cited his religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against a same-sex couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

Pages

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

A Broad Ruling In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer Could Pave The Way For Private School Voucher Programs

Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.

Fighting For Religious Freedom In Arizona With An Invocation

Yesterday, Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman stood before her colleagues and offered an invocation. At first, it appeared to be just like any other day in the statehouse, where the House always opens its session with a prayer. But then Rep. Mark Finchem stood up, alleged that the prayer violated House rules and asked to give a substitute prayer. Finchem’s objection: Salman is an atheist and her prayer did not speak to what he understood to be a higher power.

AU Backs The March For Science In Support Of Sound Science In Schools And Government

Saturday is the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and Americans United is proud to be an official partner.

We encourage our members, supporters and activists to take part in the March for Science this Saturday, or to join one of the satellite marches around the country. You can download and print an AU sign in support of sound science here.

Authentic Faith Doesn’t Need Taxpayer ‘Help’

When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.

Why We’re Fighting Religion-Based Discrimination in West Virginia

Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.

Neil Gorsuch’s Impact On Supreme Court Religious Freedom Cases Could Be Felt Immediately

Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this past Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 113th justice, and his impact on pending religious freedom cases could be felt as early as next week.

On Monday, the court could announce whether it will grant review of the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For months, court watchers have been waiting to see whether the high court will take this case involving a Colorado baker who cited his religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against a same-sex couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

Pages

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

A Broad Ruling In Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer Could Pave The Way For Private School Voucher Programs

Nearly 20 years ago, Betsy DeVos and her husband were the primary funders of an effort to strip the Michigan Constitution’s no-aid clause – the provision that ensures the government doesn’t funnel taxpayer dollars to religious institutions, including private religious schools. Their goal: remove the constitutional barrier to implementation of a private school voucher program.

Fighting For Religious Freedom In Arizona With An Invocation

Yesterday, Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman stood before her colleagues and offered an invocation. At first, it appeared to be just like any other day in the statehouse, where the House always opens its session with a prayer. But then Rep. Mark Finchem stood up, alleged that the prayer violated House rules and asked to give a substitute prayer. Finchem’s objection: Salman is an atheist and her prayer did not speak to what he understood to be a higher power.

AU Backs The March For Science In Support Of Sound Science In Schools And Government

Saturday is the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and Americans United is proud to be an official partner.

We encourage our members, supporters and activists to take part in the March for Science this Saturday, or to join one of the satellite marches around the country. You can download and print an AU sign in support of sound science here.

Authentic Faith Doesn’t Need Taxpayer ‘Help’

When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.

Why We’re Fighting Religion-Based Discrimination in West Virginia

Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.

Neil Gorsuch’s Impact On Supreme Court Religious Freedom Cases Could Be Felt Immediately

Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this past Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 113th justice, and his impact on pending religious freedom cases could be felt as early as next week.

On Monday, the court could announce whether it will grant review of the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For months, court watchers have been waiting to see whether the high court will take this case involving a Colorado baker who cited his religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against a same-sex couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.

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Press Releases
Church & State
November 2015 Church & State

Teaching, Not Preaching

Can Public Schools Instruct About Religion Without Violating The Separation Of Church And State

November 2014 Church & State

Erasing Separation

In Texas And Other States, Religious Right Activists Want To Replace James Madison With Moses

February 2014 Church & State

States Of Confusion

Across The Country, Legislators Are Preposing Bills That Would Violate Separation Of Church And State

May 2013 Church & State

Religion Ruse

Despite A Half Century Of Supreme Court Rulings, States Are Still Looking For Ways To Sneak Prayer And Bible Reading Into Public Schools