Senate Passes Dramatically Improved 'faith-based' Bill

Controversial Church-State Language Deleted From 'CARE Act,' Says Americans United

After months of frequently heated debate, the U.S. Senate today approved "faith-based" legislation that Americans United for Separation of Church and State called a "significant improvement" over the legislation's earlier versions.

In an April 8 letter to senators, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn thanked them for removing language from the bill, known as the "Charity Aid, Recovery & Empowerment Act of 2003" (or CARE Act) that would have exempted religious charities from certain constitutional and civil rights safeguards.

Istook School Prayer Amendment Unnecessary, Divisive And Dangerous, Says Americans United

First Amendment Does Not Need To Be Rewritten, Group Asserts

U.S. Rep. Ernest J. Istook's latest attempt to add a school prayer amendment to the Constitution deserves a speedy defeat in Congress, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"It's time again to remind the U.S. Congress of a fundamental truth: The First Amendment is not broken and doesn't need to be fixed," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "Istook's amendment claims to protect the people's right to pray, but that right is already protected by the First Amendment. "

Education Secretary Paige Should Repudiate Remarks About Religion, Insists Americans United

Top Education Official's Promotion Of Christianity, Criticism Of Pluralism In Public Schools, Is Unacceptable, Says AU's Lynn

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige should repudiate his recent remarks favoring Christianity in public schools and expressing hostility toward religious diversity, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In an April 8 letter to Paige, Americans United demanded that the federal official apologize for his remarks about religion in the schools or step down from his public post.

Army Must Halt Iraq Chaplain's 'coerced Baptisms,' Says Americans United

Civil Liberties Group Urges Military To Stop Activities Of 'Southern Baptist Evangelist'

U.S. military officials should order a chaplain in Iraq to stop offering food and fresh water for bathing to soldiers in exchange for being baptized and listening to his sermons, Americans United for Separation of Church and State told the Army today.

Americans United has asked the Army to rein in the activities of Chaplain Josh Llano at Camp Bushmaster in Iraq. On April 4, the Miami Herald reported that Llano bragged about enticing soldiers to become baptized by offering them clean water in his baptismal font.

U.s. Military Support For Baptist Evangelism Program Draws Protest From Americans United

Use Of Army Base, Military Resources To Recruit Pastors Into Church Outreach Work Violates Constitution, Says Watchdog Group

U.S. Army assistance to a Southern Baptist evangelism program violates the U.S. Constitution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In an April 4 letter to Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White, Americans United protested Major General William G. Boykin's endorsement of a Southern Baptist evangelism program and his use of Ft. Bragg, N.C., military facilities and personnel to host and promote the ministry.

Proposed Changes In Senate 'faith-based' Plan Remove Major Constitutional Problems

Compromise May Pave Way For Passage Of 'CARE Act,' Says AU's Lynn

A proposed compromise on controversial elements of the Senate "faith-based" plan eliminates major constitutional issues and may pave the way for Senate passage, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

At a press conference today in the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) announced that he supports the removal of a section of the CARE (Charitable Aid, Recovery and Empowerment) Act that has provoked constitutional concerns.

Public Schools Are Not Required To Promote Evangelism, Americans United Tells Appeals Court

Teachers Cannot Be Forced To Distribute Fliers For Religious Outreach, Watchdog Group Advises Three-Judge Panel

Public schools have no legal obligation to help an evangelical Christian group promote itself to young school children, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has advised a federal appeals court.

Americans United and allied groups filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief March 25 arguing that a New Jersey public school does not have to allow the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) to post signs in schools, participate in a "back-to-school night" and require teachers to distribute its promotional fliers in class.

New Hud 'faith-based' Regulations Violate Church-state Separation, Says Americans United

Watchdog Group Urges Congressional Panel To Examine HUD Proposals That Allow Publicly Funded Church Construction, Job Discrimination

The Department of Housing and Urban Development should scrap proposed regulations governing "faith-based" organizations because they violate the U.S. Constitution and undercut civil rights protections, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

HUD announced rule changes dealing with its policy toward faith-based organizations in January. On March 25, the U.S. House Financial Services Housing Subcommittee is holding a hearing on the new regulations and how they will affect participation of faith-based groups in HUD-funded programs.

Tv Preacher Pat Robertson Endorses Church-state Separation - In Iraq

In Startling Turnabout, Christian Coalition Founder Insists On Secular Government To Ensure Religious Liberty

TV preacher Pat Robertson has called on President George W. Bush to ensure that the post-war government of Iraq is secular and maintains the constitutional separation of church and state.

Federal Aid For Church Construction, Repair Would Violate Constitution, Warns Americans United

Proposed 'Faith-Based' Aid From HUD Draws Protest From Watchdog Group

The Bush administration's plan to use federal housing funds to help churches and other houses of worship construct or repair their facilities is constitutionally flawed and should not be implemented, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a seven-page memorandum delivered today to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Americans United's legal department said the plan, which was first made public in early January, fails "to comply with constitutional requirements."

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