Bush's Own Denomination Opposes White House 'faith-based Initiative'

'charitable Choice' Aid To Religion Threatens Church-State Separation, Say United Methodists

In little-noticed testimony likely to spark intense controversy, the Bush administration has told Congress that "faith-based" groups cannot include religious activity in their programs if they are publicly funded.

Carl Esbeck, a Justice Department attorney representing the White House, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution June 7. During that hearing, Esbeck was asked if religious organizations would be allowed to take money under the "faith-based initiative" and still sponsor religious activity. Esbeck said, "No." Read more

U.S. Senate Rejects School Voucher Proposal

AU's Lynn Hails Vote As Victory For Public Schools, Taxpayers And The Constitution

The United Methodist Church, the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination, has expressed its opposition to key features of President George W. Bush's "faith-based initiative."

The Rev. Eliezer Valentin Castanon, of the church's General Board of Church and Society, outlined the denomination's position during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing June 6. Castanon said the church cannot support the "charitable choice" provisions of the Bush plan because they violate church-state separation, subsidize religious discrimination and threaten the independence of churches. Read more

Americans United Opposes Religious Right Effort To Censor Sex Education In Public Schools

Congress Should Not Fund Religious Viewpoint, Says AU's Lynn

Senate defeat of a school voucher proposal is a victory for religious freedom and public education, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

By a 58-41 vote, the Senate yesterday rejected an effort to add a voucher plan to President George W. Bush's education bill. Americans United for Separation of Church and State hailed the vote as a victory for public schools, taxpayers and the Constitution. Read more

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Child Evangelism Group

High Court Maintains Bar On School-Sponsored Religion, But Allows Religious Group To Meet On Campus Outside School Hours

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has joined nearly three dozen national organizations in opposing efforts by the Religious Right to censor sex education classes in public schools.

Thirty-five organizations announced a campaign today to oppose a plan by Congress to reauthorize funding for "abstinence only" education programs. The groups say these programs deny important information to teenagers, promote a religious viewpoint and are often medically inaccurate. Read more

Church-state Watchdog Group Criticizes Bush Plan To Give Federal 'guidance' To Churches On Fatherhood

Clergy Don't Need Advice From White House, Says AU's Lynn

While maintaining its prohibition on school-promoted religion, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that private religious groups can sponsor a student evangelism club on campus after school hours if other private groups are allowed to use the facilities at that time.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a national watchdog group that filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court, said the justices' ruling in Good News Club v. Milford Central School is disappointing. Read more

Ashcroft Applauds TV Preacher's 'christian Nation' Diatribe

Attorney General Speaks At D. James Kennedy's Capitol Hill Gathering

President George W. Bush today announced that he has asked the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to develop materials to guide urban congregations in finding role models for young men who have been raised without fathers. Bush made the remarks at the National Summit on Fatherhood in Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the president is heading down the wrong path. Read more

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Case On Government-sponsored Ten Commandments Display

Inaction By High Court Means Indiana Religious Display Must Come Down

TV preacher Pat Robertson's Regent University is soliciting support with a full-page ad in U.S. News & World Report that features a bogus quotation about the Ten Commandments supposedly uttered by James Madison. Read more

Faith-based Group Draws Criticism For Telling House Congressional Committee About 'completed Jews'

Teen Challenge -- A Bush Favorite -- Boasts About Converting Jews To Christianity

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it would not hear an appeal of an Indiana case dealing with a government-sponsored Ten Commandments monument displayed on public property.

The high court's rejection of Books v. City of Elkhart allows a lower court ruling prohibiting government endorsement of the Commandments to stand.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed a brief in the case at the appeals court level, said this is the latest in a long line of setbacks for supporters of government-sponsored religion. Read more

Bush Meets With Religious Groups In 'desperation Bid' To Get 'faith-based' Initiative Back In Motion

'hail Mary' Passes Usually Don't Work, Says AU's Lynn

The debate over public funding of religious social service providers grew more intense this week when a leader of one of President Bush's favorite faith-based groups made insensitive comments during a congressional hearing.

A top official of Teen Challenge International, a fundamentalist Christian substance-abuse program that treats addicts through proselytizing, drew criticism for calling Jewish converts to Christianity "completed Jews." Read more

Success Rate Of 'faith-based' Recovery Programs Grossly Exaggerated, Says Americans United

Claims Of 80 Percent Cure Rates Not Backed By Empirical Research, Watchdog Group Asserts

President George W. Bush is using tomorrow's National Day of Prayer to help promote the Religious Right agenda and further cement his ties with religious conservatives, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has charged.

"George W. Bush is president of all the people," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "He should not use his office to promote a narrow religious agenda. He holds the office of president, not national pastor." Read more

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