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American courts have recognized the importance of church-state separation. In a body of law that has evolved over more than two centuries, our courts have interpreted the First Amendment to ban compelled support for religion while protecting the right to worship as every American sees fit. This section examines the legal underpinnings of church-state separation and court interpretations of this principle.

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

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

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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

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

Pages

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

Not All Evangelicals Agree With Jerry Falwell Jr. And Liberty University – And They’re Speaking Up

Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.  

Roy Moore Has Always Believed He’s Above The Law

Back in the late 1990s when Roy Moore was a local judge in Etowah County, Ala., he was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for opening courtroom sessions with prayer and displaying a hand-carved Ten Commandments monument in his courtroom.

Moore had garnered national attention with his vow to defy any ruling against him, and his defenders thought the time was right to bring him to Washington, D.C., for a press conference.

The House Republicans’ Assault On The Johnson Amendment Just Got A Lot Worse

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday doubled-down on their efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which is the provision in current law that prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing candidates.

Thanks to a vote taken by members of the House Ways and Means Committee, now all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits and foundations – could endorse or oppose candidates in all of their activities.

House Committee Votes Along Party Lines To Weaken The Johnson Amendment

When Republican leaders in the House of Representatives unveiled their tax legislation earlier this month, the measure included a harmful provision that would severely weaken the Johnson Amendment, a federal law that prevents all tax-exempt organizations – including houses of worship, charitable nonprofits, foundations and others – from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.

We’ve Spent The Past Year Fending Off Donald Trump’s Attacks On Religious Freedom

A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.

Changing The Johnson Amendment Could Shift Billions Of Dollars From Political Campaigns To Churches That Endorse Candidates

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee began preliminary discussion over the new tax bill, which includes language that severely weakens the Johnson Amendment, a provision of the tax code that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates.

The tax bill, if passed as is, would allow churches – but not other tax-exempt organizations – to endorse political candidates if the endorsement happens during “religious services and gatherings.”

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Press Releases
Church & State
March 2017 Church & State

Supreme Mistake

Americans United Says Judge Neil Gorsuch Shouldn't Be Elevated To The Nation's Highest Court

July/August 2016 Church & State

Sooner State Showdown

Oklahoma Voters Set To Decide Fate Of State Constitution's Religious Freedom Clause

May 2016 Church & State

Innocence Abused

How A Reckless Combination Of Church And State Harmed Pennsylvania's Children

April 2016 Church & State

The Wall Banger

Justice Antonin Scalia Spent 30 Years Assailing The Separation Of Church And State

March 2016 Church & State

Shredding The First Amendment?

Religious Right Groups Hope A Dispute Over Recycled Tires In Missouri Will Blow A Hole In The Wall Of Separation Between Church And State

November 2015 Church & State

Teaching, Not Preaching

Can Public Schools Instruct About Religion Without Violating The Separation Of Church And State

October 2015 Church & State

Pugnacious Plaintiff

An Interview With Southern Baptist Minister Bruce Prescott, Who Successfully Challenged Government Display Of The Ten Commandments In Oklahoma