Istook Religion Amendment Set To Move In Congress

Measure Would Devastate Constitutional Protections For Religious Liberty, Church-State Watchdog Group Charges

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook's so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment" is set to begin moving in Congress next week.

Sources on Capitol Hill say the controversial measure is scheduled for action in the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 3. The proposal would then go to the floor for a vote by the full House of Representatives soon afterward.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State charges that the Istook Amendment would devastate First Amendment religious liberty protections.

Christian Coalition's New Drive Could Endanger Churches' Tax-exempt Status, Charges Americans United

Evangelical Attorney Warns Against Biased Voter Guides

Washington, D.C. - The Christian Coalition's new plan to draft churches into its political machine could place the tax-exempt status of thousands of houses of worship in jeopardy, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has warned.

Coalition leaders announced recently that the group wants to recruit 100,000 "church liaisons" by November 2000 as part of an effort to bring conservative churches into the political arena.

Watchdog Group Issues Report Detailing Rutherford Institute's Record Of Attacks On President Clinton And First Lady

Group Founder's Claim That Institute Is Not Part Of Anti-Clinton Religious Right Is Spurious, Americans United Charges

Washington, D.C. -- Americans United for Separation of Church and State has issued a new report detailing the Rutherford Institute's history of attacks against President Bill Clinton and the First Lady, debunking claims by the Institute's founder that he is not hostile to the president.

Christian Coalition Reorganization Proposal Is Act Of Legal Desperation

IRS/FEC Pressure, Mounting Evidence Forces TV Preacher's Tax-Exempt Coalition To Admit It's A Political Machine

Washington, D.C. -- The Christian Coalition's reported interest in giving up its current tax-exempt status and starting a political action committee shows that legal pressures from government agencies and watchdog groups are finally taking their toll.

That's the view of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a national church-state watchdog organization that has exposed the partisan political activities of the Coalition since TV preacher Pat Robertson founded it in 1989.

Judge In Alabama Issues Order Blocking Federal Court Decision Against School-sponsored Prayer

Americans United For Separation Of Church And State Denounces 'Ten Commandments' Judge For Provoking Constitutional Showdown

A state court judge in Alabama has provoked a constitutional showdown by attempting to block enforcement of a federal court order barring officially sanctioned prayer and other religious activities in public schools.

Gadsden Circuit Judge Roy S. Moore issued a temporary restraining order Nov. 4 blocking enforcement of U.S. District Judge Ira DeMent's ruling against religious practices in Alabama public schools. Moore ordered the Etowah County Board of Education and the Alabama State Board of Education not to enforce DeMent's ruling within Moore's Etowah County jurisdiction.

Sweeping Federal District Court Ruling Bars Officially Sanctioned Religion In Alabama Public Schools

Judge's Ruling Sends Strong Message To Nation, Says Au

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has hailed a sweeping federal district court order barring school-sanctioned religious activities in Alabama public schools.

"All over the country, school boards are coming under increasing pressure by groups such as the Christian Coalition to implement religious worship in public schools," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "This ruling sends a timely reminder that America's public schools are for education, not indoctrination."

Fresno Mayor Should Repay Taxpayers For Promise Keepers Donation, National Watchdog Group Says

A national church-state watchdog group has urged Fresno Mayor James Patterson to reimburse the city's taxpayers, charging the mayor inappropriately arranged for the payment of $75,000 for a Promise Keepers rally.

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said that Patterson's use of public funds to pay for the stadium rental for a Promise Keepers rally last June raises serious legal concerns. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the California State Constitution forbid the use of tax money to subsidize religion, he said.

Henry Jordan Reignites Religious Debate With Letter Criticizing Muslim Faith

Church-State Watchdog Group Says 'Enough Is Enough,' Urges Jordan To Resign

Columbia, S.C. - Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called for the resignation of Dr. Henry Jordan, South Carolina school board member, after he once again criticized Muslims and their faith. The incident follows public outrage over his "screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims" comments describing minority faiths just four months ago.

In Closed-door Session, Pat Robertson Unveils Plan To Control GOP Presidential Nomination

TV Preacher Compares Supposedly Non-Partisan Coalition To Tammany Hall Political Machine

Washington, D.C. -- In a speech that raises serious legal questions, Christian Coalition Chairman Pat Robertson told a closed-door session of the group's state leaders his plan to control the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.

Speaking at a Sept. 13 breakfast for state leaders at the Coalition's "Road to Victory" Conference in Atlanta, Robertson said he will recommend a candidate in private correspondence and urge Coalition leaders to unite behind the candidate.

Charleston County Council Display Of Ten Commandments Would Violate Church-state Separation

The Charleston (S.C.) County Council's plan to post the Ten Commandments in council chambers would violate church-state separation, say two civil liberties groups.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina filed suit today in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the government-sponsored religious display.

Council members voted May 20 to endorse the posting, and said they would use a Ten Commandments plaque donated by a private group.

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