Americans United Blasts House Passage Of 'pledge Protection Act'

'Court-Stripping' Measure Jeopardizes The Constitutional Rights Of Religious Minorities, Says Americans United's Lynn

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a bill that would severely limit the rights of religious minorities, charges Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

By a vote of 260 to 167, the House approved the so-called “Pledge Protection Act of 2005.” H.R. 2389 would strip the Supreme Court and other federal courts of the authority to hear legal challenges dealing with the Pledge of Allegiance. Read more

Irs Should Investigate Texas Church That Gave Donations To Gop, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Files IRS Complaint Against Calvary Temple Church In Kerrville

A nondenominational church in Texas that has donated $1,500 to the local Republican Party should be investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a July 19 letter to IRS officials, Americans United asked the federal tax agency to examine the activities of Calvary Temple Church in Kerrville. Records held by the Texas Ethics Commission show that the congregation donated $1,000 to the Kerr County Republican Party on May 12, 2005, and $250 in 2003 and 2004. Read more

House Pushes Social Issues Agenda To Curry Favor With Religious Right

'Court-Stripping,' Cross Votes Are Shameless Political Posturing, Says AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today decried impending politically motivated action in the U.S. House of Representatives on bills that threaten basic constitutional rights.

The House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on a “court-stripping” bill that would bar federal courts from hearing challenges involving the Pledge of Allegiance and a bill that would intervene in an ongoing legal battle over a towering Christian cross on public property in California. Read more

Americans United Applauds Defeat Of Federal Marriage Amendment

House Marriage Vote Was 'Political Theater,' Says AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State lauded today’s defeat of a federal marriage amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House voted 236 to 187 in favor of H.J.Res. 88, falling short of the two-thirds necessary to advance a constitutional amendment. Read more

Ohio School Board Members Are Considering New Assault On Teaching Of Evolution, Charges Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Files Public Records Request Regarding Proposed Changes To State Science Standards

Some members of the Ohio Board of Education appear to be preparing for another assault on the teaching of evolution in public schools, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Last month, board member Colleen Grady reportedly urged the Board of Education’s Achievement Committee to consider giving 10th-grade science teachers guidance on teaching evolution and other “controversial” issues such as global warming, cloning and stem-cell research. Read more

West Virginia School District Sued Over Religious Display

Civil Liberties Groups Say Portrait Of Jesus Outside Principal's Office Is An Unconstitutional Government Endorsement Of Religion

A federal lawsuit has been lodged against a public school district in West Virginia over a portrait of Jesus displayed outside the principal’s office at Bridgeport High School.

Two civil liberties organizations, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the ACLU of West Virginia, filed the lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia after Harrison County school officials refused to remove the religious picture. Read more

Americans United Welcomes Defeat Of 'pledge Protection Act'

Dangerous 'Court-Stripping' Measure Fails In Committee On Tie Vote

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today hailed the House Judiciary Committee’s defeat of a bill that would have stripped the federal courts of their ability to hear cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance.

The so-called “Pledge Protection Act” (H.R. 2389) failed on a 15-15 vote this morning. One Republican, U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina, voted with 14 Democrats to scuttle the measure.

The bill was heavily backed by Religious Right groups, which seek to undercut the authority of the federal courts to rule on church-state issues. Read more

Senate Must Defeat Flag Desecration Amendment, Says Americans United

Watchdog Group Criticizes Election-Year Vote As Effort To Inflame 'Culture Wars'

The U.S. Senate should vote down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban desecration of the American flag, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“This is election-year politics at its worst,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Senate leaders are pushing this amendment merely to inflame passions and create another ‘culture war’ issue in advance of the November elections.”

Added Lynn, “It’s deplorable to see the Senate playing politics with the freedoms guaranteed us in the Bill of Rights.” Read more

Americans United Urges House Panel To Defeat Bill Cutting Off Attorneys' Fees In Church-state Cases

Measure Decried As An Effort To Discourage Americans From Asserting Their Fundamental Rights In Court

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution to reject a bill that would cut off reasonable attorneys’ fees in church-state cases.

The measure, known as the “Public Expression of Religion Act” (H.R. 2679), would deny attorneys who get involved in church-state cases the ability to recover any of the legal fees and out-of-pocket expenses incurred in such litigation. Read more

Americans United Lawsuit Challenges Baltimore City Funding Of Baptist Outreach Program

Taxpayer Money For Distribution Of 'Bags Of Love' That Include Bibles And Salvation Tracts Violates Constitution, AU Tells Federal Court

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the City of Baltimore from using public funds to pay for a Baptist group’s religious outreach program.

On June 2, Mayor Martin O’Malley approved the Baltimore City Council’s special appropriation of $297,500 for the National Baptist Convention. The funding is earmarked for the Baptist group’s “Bags of Love Outreach,” a program that distributes bags filled with food, a Bible and “salvation tracts” to people at Maryland homeless shelters and missions. Read more

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