A new book by a former staffer in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives details how the much-ballyhooed Bush “faith-based” initiative was cynically manipulated by Republican operatives to help GOP candidates locked in close races. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today lauded a West Virginia public school board for agreeing not to display a portrait of Jesus or other unconstitutional devotional art at its high school.
This morning, the Harrison County School Board voted 4-1 to settle a lawsuit brought by Americans United and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of West Virginia over the long-time display of Warner Sallman’s famous “Head of Christ” portrait at Bridgeport High School. Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives in full political mode approved a seriously flawed bill aimed at stopping citizens from challenging in court government-sponsored religious activities, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today warned the Department of Veterans Affairs that litigation will become unavoidable if it continues to discriminate against Wiccans by denying the right to include the Pentacle, the Wiccan emblem of belief, on government-furnished headstones, plaques, and other memorials for fallen veterans. In a letter issued today, Americans United gave the VA fourteen days to approve the Pentacle or face litigation. Read more
A speaker at this past weekend’s “Values Voter Summit” in Washington, D.C., outlined a plan to organize churches on behalf of political candidates that relies heavily on deception and even outright lies.
Long-time far-right activist Connie Marshner ran a session titled “Getting Church Voters to the Polls.” She distributed an 18-page document that she said was originally prepared for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s 2000 reelection effort but that can be used for others. Read more
A Religious Right-sponsored “Values Voter Summit” this week is nothing but an attempt to drum up evangelical support for Republican candidates before the November elections, charges Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The supposedly non-partisan event, which takes place in Washington Sept. 22-24, is sponsored jointly by political affiliates of Focus on the Family (FOF), the Family Research Council (FRC) and other Religious Right groups. It features a line-up of GOP officeholders and presidential aspirants. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today announced a national campaign to inform churches about federal tax law forbidding partisan politicking by tax-exempt groups.
The Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group said it will mail a special election-year alert to all houses of worship in 11 states, reminding them that intervention in partisan political campaigns is a violation of the Internal Revenue Service Code. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today applauded Nevada Gov. Kenny C. Guinn and other state officials for ordering that the symbol of the Wiccan faith be affixed to a memorial plaque of a soldier who died in combat in Afghanistan. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that seeks to block taxpayer funding of a Vancouver, Wash., program that offers "Bible-based" marriage education.
The Northwest Marriage Institute, a fundamentalist Christian organization, received two federal grants worth $97,750 in 2005. A $50,000 Compassion Capital Fund grant came from HHS and a $47,750 sub-grant came from the Institute for Youth Development, an intermediary organization that distributes "faith-based" funds for HHS. Read more