Americans United in July filed a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep.
These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. That is certainly a laudable goal, but in this case, we believe the state has gone too far.
One of the things I love about working at Americans United is the religious diversity, both among our staff and among the many people across the United States who fight alongside us for religious freedom for all people.
Though I know there are things we disagree on in terms of our religious beliefs, we are united in a common passion for a common goal – to ensure religious/philosophical freedom for all and to refuse to allow religion to be used to harm or discriminate against others.
Sunday marks the beginning of Banned Books Week, an annual event sponsored by the American Library Association and other groups that support the freedom to read, explore ideas and learn.
Not everyone is for that. Religious Right groups often spearhead censorship efforts seeking to remove material they deem “offensive” from public schools, libraries or even privately owned bookstores. Some ideas, it seems, are too dangerous to explore.
A Minnesota restaurant owner responded to a tragic stabbing at a shopping mall in St. Cloud in an unfortunate manner. After the revelations that the perpetrator was Muslim, he decided to put a “Muslims Get Out” sign outside of his restaurant Monday morning.
Yesterday, a federal court of appeals released a troubling decision in which the judges ruled, by a vote of 2-1, that a controversial government-prayer practice can continue.
In Rowan County, N.C., (not to be confused with Rowan County, Ky., home of the infamous Kim Davis) members of the county board of commissioners open their meetings by leading the board and the assembled members of the public in prayer.
When I was a college student many years ago, we could look forward to an annual spring ritual: an itinerant evangelical preacher would appear on campus, set up base in an open area near the library and cut loose with some hellfire sermons.
Every summer, I have the pleasure of attending the National Conference of State Legislatures annual conference. I am AU’s State Legislative Counsel and this conference, the biggest gathering of state legislators and staff in the country, gives us with the opportunity to educate state legislators and their staff, about AU, our mission, and how we can work with them to fight for religious freedom.