Subscribe to RSS - Discrimination, Religious Refusals, Exemptions & Free Exercise

Americans should have the right to believe (or not believe) in God as the individual's right of conscience dictates. The government cannot compel anyone to attend, or refrain from attending, a religious service. In most cases, religious groups must abide by the secular law, although limited exemptions may be carved out in some cases. As advocates for religious freedom, we stand for the right of everyone to believe or not believe, but no one's religion should be an excuse to do harm to others.

PROTECT THY NEIGHBOR is Americans United's campaign to prevent the use of religion to discriminate against and otherwise cause harm to individuals. FIND OUT MORE HERE.

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

Pat Loves Bobby: Robertson, McDonnell Push Marriage Amendment

Who does Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell represent – all the people of the Commonwealth or TV preacher Pat Robertson?

On May 25, McDonnell appeared on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to tout his work on behalf of an anti-gay constitutional amendment and to fawn over the controversial televangelist. The Virginia official, who is a graduate of Robertson's Regent Law School, is doing everything in his power to add a draconian change to the state constitution that would write the religious majority's views on marriage into the state's governing document.

When Lies Have Legs: TV Preacher Spreads Misinformation

It's been a rough month for TV preacher Pat Robertson.

First, he repeated the old canard on the "700 Club" May 11 that Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn believes that municipal fire departments should not be permitted to extinguish blazes at houses of worship. That outrageous tale was promptly debunked in an AU press release and by the Associated Baptist Press. View this release.

Storming The Hill: 'Clergy for Fairness' Urges Senate To Reject Marriage Amendment

Clergy from an array of religious denominations converged on Capitol Hill today to denounce the federal marriage amendment.

With a Senate vote on S.J. Res. 1 expected in early June, religious leaders operating under the banner of Clergy for Fairness gathered to speak to reporters, to lobby senators and promote a petition drive.

"We are united in our opposition to the federal marriage amendment," said the Rev. Dr. Paul Simmons, an ordained Baptist minister and president of Americans United's Board of Trustees.

Marriage Crisis: Ripping Up The Constitution Behind Closed Doors

In a closed-door session today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a federal marriage amendment to the Senate floor for consideration.

By a 10-8 margin this morning, the committee, headed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), approved S.J.Res.1, which mandates that marriage in America "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) voted against the proposed constitutional amendment and lambasted his colleagues for deliberating in a private session.

San Diego Showdown: Battle Over Cross In California Park Continues

A 17-year battle to keep a towering Christian cross atop a hillside overlooking San Diego, Calif., has become yet another front in our nation's so-called culture wars.

Philip Paulson, a Vietnam veteran and San Diego resident, sued the city seeking removal of the 43-foot religious symbol from Mount Soledad Natural Park. His lawsuit argued that the icon violates the separation of church and state. Religious symbols, the case contended, are properly displayed on private property, such as a church lawn, but not in a public, tax-supported park.

Bah, Humbug: Mo. School District Renames Winter Break

It's now much closer to the Fourth of July than it is to Dec. 25, but culture-war skirmishes over Christmas continue.

In suburban St. Louis, the board of education at Francis Howell School District has voted 4-3 to rechristen "Winter Break" as "Christmas Break." According to a report in the O'Fallon (Mo.) Journal, school board members said they have received more emails on this topic than any other they can recall.

Covert Operation: Congress Pushes Sectarian Prayer In Military

Some members of Congress have once again demonstrated that they have a poor understanding of religious freedom and diversity in the military.

During deliberations over a massive defense authorization bill May 3, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) slipped a rider into the bill that gives military chaplains a broad-based right to offer sectarian prayers.

Faith-Based Firewall: Conservative Priest Says Bush Initiative Endangers Religion

President George W. Bush's "faith-based" initiative has drawn plenty of opposition. Moderate and progressive religious and political leaders have argued that the president's agenda violates the First Amendment and politicizes religious work.

Now, a staunchly conservative voice has joined the chorus of criticism.

The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest and president of the Acton Institute, says he would "rather see a president rally people to give more to charity than rally voters to support government programs that go to religious organizations...."  

Pages

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

Pat Loves Bobby: Robertson, McDonnell Push Marriage Amendment

Who does Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell represent – all the people of the Commonwealth or TV preacher Pat Robertson?

On May 25, McDonnell appeared on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to tout his work on behalf of an anti-gay constitutional amendment and to fawn over the controversial televangelist. The Virginia official, who is a graduate of Robertson's Regent Law School, is doing everything in his power to add a draconian change to the state constitution that would write the religious majority's views on marriage into the state's governing document.

When Lies Have Legs: TV Preacher Spreads Misinformation

It's been a rough month for TV preacher Pat Robertson.

First, he repeated the old canard on the "700 Club" May 11 that Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn believes that municipal fire departments should not be permitted to extinguish blazes at houses of worship. That outrageous tale was promptly debunked in an AU press release and by the Associated Baptist Press. View this release.

Storming The Hill: 'Clergy for Fairness' Urges Senate To Reject Marriage Amendment

Clergy from an array of religious denominations converged on Capitol Hill today to denounce the federal marriage amendment.

With a Senate vote on S.J. Res. 1 expected in early June, religious leaders operating under the banner of Clergy for Fairness gathered to speak to reporters, to lobby senators and promote a petition drive.

"We are united in our opposition to the federal marriage amendment," said the Rev. Dr. Paul Simmons, an ordained Baptist minister and president of Americans United's Board of Trustees.

Marriage Crisis: Ripping Up The Constitution Behind Closed Doors

In a closed-door session today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a federal marriage amendment to the Senate floor for consideration.

By a 10-8 margin this morning, the committee, headed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), approved S.J.Res.1, which mandates that marriage in America "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) voted against the proposed constitutional amendment and lambasted his colleagues for deliberating in a private session.

San Diego Showdown: Battle Over Cross In California Park Continues

A 17-year battle to keep a towering Christian cross atop a hillside overlooking San Diego, Calif., has become yet another front in our nation's so-called culture wars.

Philip Paulson, a Vietnam veteran and San Diego resident, sued the city seeking removal of the 43-foot religious symbol from Mount Soledad Natural Park. His lawsuit argued that the icon violates the separation of church and state. Religious symbols, the case contended, are properly displayed on private property, such as a church lawn, but not in a public, tax-supported park.

Bah, Humbug: Mo. School District Renames Winter Break

It's now much closer to the Fourth of July than it is to Dec. 25, but culture-war skirmishes over Christmas continue.

In suburban St. Louis, the board of education at Francis Howell School District has voted 4-3 to rechristen "Winter Break" as "Christmas Break." According to a report in the O'Fallon (Mo.) Journal, school board members said they have received more emails on this topic than any other they can recall.

Covert Operation: Congress Pushes Sectarian Prayer In Military

Some members of Congress have once again demonstrated that they have a poor understanding of religious freedom and diversity in the military.

During deliberations over a massive defense authorization bill May 3, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) slipped a rider into the bill that gives military chaplains a broad-based right to offer sectarian prayers.

Faith-Based Firewall: Conservative Priest Says Bush Initiative Endangers Religion

President George W. Bush's "faith-based" initiative has drawn plenty of opposition. Moderate and progressive religious and political leaders have argued that the president's agenda violates the First Amendment and politicizes religious work.

Now, a staunchly conservative voice has joined the chorus of criticism.

The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest and president of the Acton Institute, says he would "rather see a president rally people to give more to charity than rally voters to support government programs that go to religious organizations...."  

Pages

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

Pat Loves Bobby: Robertson, McDonnell Push Marriage Amendment

Who does Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell represent – all the people of the Commonwealth or TV preacher Pat Robertson?

On May 25, McDonnell appeared on Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network to tout his work on behalf of an anti-gay constitutional amendment and to fawn over the controversial televangelist. The Virginia official, who is a graduate of Robertson's Regent Law School, is doing everything in his power to add a draconian change to the state constitution that would write the religious majority's views on marriage into the state's governing document.

When Lies Have Legs: TV Preacher Spreads Misinformation

It's been a rough month for TV preacher Pat Robertson.

First, he repeated the old canard on the "700 Club" May 11 that Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn believes that municipal fire departments should not be permitted to extinguish blazes at houses of worship. That outrageous tale was promptly debunked in an AU press release and by the Associated Baptist Press. View this release.

Storming The Hill: 'Clergy for Fairness' Urges Senate To Reject Marriage Amendment

Clergy from an array of religious denominations converged on Capitol Hill today to denounce the federal marriage amendment.

With a Senate vote on S.J. Res. 1 expected in early June, religious leaders operating under the banner of Clergy for Fairness gathered to speak to reporters, to lobby senators and promote a petition drive.

"We are united in our opposition to the federal marriage amendment," said the Rev. Dr. Paul Simmons, an ordained Baptist minister and president of Americans United's Board of Trustees.

Marriage Crisis: Ripping Up The Constitution Behind Closed Doors

In a closed-door session today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to send a federal marriage amendment to the Senate floor for consideration.

By a 10-8 margin this morning, the committee, headed by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), approved S.J.Res.1, which mandates that marriage in America "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman."

Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) voted against the proposed constitutional amendment and lambasted his colleagues for deliberating in a private session.

San Diego Showdown: Battle Over Cross In California Park Continues

A 17-year battle to keep a towering Christian cross atop a hillside overlooking San Diego, Calif., has become yet another front in our nation's so-called culture wars.

Philip Paulson, a Vietnam veteran and San Diego resident, sued the city seeking removal of the 43-foot religious symbol from Mount Soledad Natural Park. His lawsuit argued that the icon violates the separation of church and state. Religious symbols, the case contended, are properly displayed on private property, such as a church lawn, but not in a public, tax-supported park.

Bah, Humbug: Mo. School District Renames Winter Break

It's now much closer to the Fourth of July than it is to Dec. 25, but culture-war skirmishes over Christmas continue.

In suburban St. Louis, the board of education at Francis Howell School District has voted 4-3 to rechristen "Winter Break" as "Christmas Break." According to a report in the O'Fallon (Mo.) Journal, school board members said they have received more emails on this topic than any other they can recall.

Covert Operation: Congress Pushes Sectarian Prayer In Military

Some members of Congress have once again demonstrated that they have a poor understanding of religious freedom and diversity in the military.

During deliberations over a massive defense authorization bill May 3, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) slipped a rider into the bill that gives military chaplains a broad-based right to offer sectarian prayers.

Faith-Based Firewall: Conservative Priest Says Bush Initiative Endangers Religion

President George W. Bush's "faith-based" initiative has drawn plenty of opposition. Moderate and progressive religious and political leaders have argued that the president's agenda violates the First Amendment and politicizes religious work.

Now, a staunchly conservative voice has joined the chorus of criticism.

The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, a Roman Catholic priest and president of the Acton Institute, says he would "rather see a president rally people to give more to charity than rally voters to support government programs that go to religious organizations...."  

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
November 2017 Church & State

Trans Targets

Having Lost The Legal Fight Over Marriage Equality, The Religious Right Is Increasingly Attacking The Transgender Community

November 2017 Church & State

Block The Ban

Americans United Says Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 Is Still Unconstitutional – And Still Un-American

October 2017 Church & State

Singing From A Different Hymnal

Trump’s Church-State Policies Are Spurring Dissenting Religious Groups To Stand Up To The Extremism Of The Religious Right

October 2017 Church & State

West Virginia Win!

Americans United And Allies Secure Settlement For Couple Who Endured Anti-LGBTQ Harassment When They Sought To Marry

October 2017 Church & State

Let Them Eat Cake

The U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide If A Bakery Can Use Religion As An Excuse To Deny Services To Same-Sex Couples

September 2017 Church & State

Battling The Ban

The Legal Fight Over President Trump’s Muslim Ban Heads To The Supreme Court

September 2017 Church & State

Ending A Cycle Of Abuse

A Recent Case In Michigan Sheds Light On An Extreme Practice – And Those Who Defend It In The Name Of ‘Religious Freedom’