Watts/bush Faith-based Bill Violates Constitution, Says Americans United

Measure Will Hurt Churches, Taxpayers And Families In Need, Asserts Church-State Watchdog Group

"Faith-based" legislation introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives would violate the Constitution's church-state provisions and subject America's houses of worship to entangling government red tape and possible lawsuits, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Government Funding Of Religion Would Do Lasting Damage To Both Church And State, Says Americans United

Congressional Plan To Subsidize Churches 'Doesn't Have A Prayer,' Says AU's Barry Lynn

A House bill that gives government funding to churches to provide social services would do lasting damage to both religion and government, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Today, U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) and other House members announced "faith-based" legislation that would give grants and contracts to churches to do social services, as part of a broader program to let religious groups solve social problems. The measure, known as the "Community Solutions Act" (H.R. 7), comports with President George W. Bush's "faith-based" initiative. Read more

Church-state Watchdog Group Files Lawsuit Challenging Government Display Of Ten Commandments In Pittsburgh

Legal Action Seeks Removal Of Religious Plaque At Allegheny County Courthouse

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of two Allegheny County, Pa., residents seeking to have a Ten Commandments plaque removed from the county courthouse.

The legal action, Modrovich v. Allegheny County, challenges display of a four-foot tall bronze tablet on the side of the public building containing a Protestant version of the Ten Commandments as well as the "Great Commandment" of Jesus from the New Testament. Read more

Celebrating Madison At 250: Father Of The Constitution Opposed Tax Funding Of Religion

Fourth President Would Oppose Bush 'Faith-Based' Initiative, Insists Americans United

"The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State."

That's the view of James Madison, the nation's fourth president and the man widely acknowledged as the "Father of the Constitution," who wrote those words in an 1819 letter to Robert Walsh. Read more

Senate Advocates Of Bush 'faith-based' Plan Say Action May Be Delayed Up To A Year

Bush Team 'Staggering To Their Corner After A Tough Opening Round,' Says Americans United

Supporters of President Bush's "faith-based" initiative in the U.S. Senate are prepared to delay legislative action for up to a year, the latest sign of serious trouble for the controversial plan to give government funding to religion.

Read more

Christian Coalition Beset By Discrimination Lawsuits And Dwindling Influence, Media Reports Assert

AU's Lynn: 'If This The End Of The Coalition, I Say Good Riddance'

The Washington Post reported today that Senate supporters of the Bush plan, including Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), have decided to "wait several months to a year" to introduce legislation allowing government grants to churches and other houses of worship for social programs.

While the White House tries to fix the proposal's flaws, Santorum and allies will focus on less divisive issues such as tax incentives to encourage charitable giving. Thus, the centerpiece of the Bush plan will be put on hold. Read more

Bush 'faith-based' Plan Meets With Media Skepticism At White House Press Conference

Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Reminds President Bush He Is A 'Secular Official...Not A Missionary'

Helen Thomas, the seasoned White House correspondent whose career has spanned nine presidential administrations, has joined the plethora of prominent Americans to express doubts about President George W. Bush's "faith-based" initiative.

Thomas, often referred to as the "Dean of the White House Press Corps," grilled Bush about the plan during the president's first press conference yesterday. The Hearst Newspapers columnist suggested Bush has little appreciation for church-state separation. Read more

Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments In Religion-and-public-schools Case Feb. 28

N.Y. Dispute Tests Whether Religious Groups Can Evangelize Children On Campus After School Hours

The always controversial topic of religion and schools will again go before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 28. The justices are scheduled to hear oral arguments in The Good News Club v. Milford Central School, the high court's sole church-state case this term. Read more

Bush Ally Pat Robertson Blasts President's 'faith-based' Initiative

TV Preacher Calls Funding Of Minority Faiths 'Appalling,' Says Plan Opens 'Pandora's Box'

TV preacher Pat Robertson, one of President George W. Bush's most reliable political allies, blasted the president's "faith-based" initiative yesterday, describing the administration's plan to provide public funding of minority religions as "appalling."

The public criticism, aired nationally on Robertson's "700 Club" television program, was startling to many considering Robertson's unwavering partisan support for the Bush administration. It also indicated the fragile coalition of groups supporting Bush's faith-based plan may already be showing signs of fraying. Read more

Pages