The official Americans United blog on legislation and activities of lawmakers.
Roughly half of the states have adjourned their 2013 regular sessions so far, and among those states, Tennessee was one that kept AU quite busy. The legislature introduced numerous bills that threatened religious liberty in various – and creative – ways. Read more
People interpret the phrase “religious freedom” wildly differently. We believe it simply means being able to individually choose to practice or support any religion – or no religion – with free will. Indeed, legislation helps ensure religious rights are protected in many situations: to ensure a prisoner has access to kosher meals, to avoid forcing an employee to work on the Sabbath if other options are available, or to fight against the application of zoning laws in ways that forbid building mosques, but not other houses of worship, in certain areas. Read more
It seems silly to have to reiterate this, but legislators around the country seem to forget: students in public schools are indeed allowed to engage in student-led, voluntarily prayer and read the bible when not disruptive to class. Any legislation that seeks to “clarify” an individual’s right to do so is often unnecessary and creates more problems for religious liberty than it solves. Read more
Yesterday afternoon the House passed H.R. 592, a bill allowing taxpayer money to go towards rebuilding of houses of worship by a vote of 354-72. Such funding would entangle religion and government by forcing taxpayers to fund religion with which they may not agree, violating the separation of church and state. Read more
Despite the fact that we don’t get to see Texas Governor Rick Perry in the limelight as much anymore, we are still feeling the negative effects of his attempts to chip away at the wall of separation of church and state. Most recently, he nominated Barbara Cargill as the Chair of the Texas State Board of Education. Read more