Controversial Southern Baptist Pastor Wiley Drake has again urged his followers to pray for the deaths of staff members at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Last August, Americans United filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service about Drake’s use of church letterhead and a church-based radio program to endorse presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. Federal tax law forbids tax-exempt groups from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Read more
Efforts to repeal a provision in the Florida Constitution that bars government funding of religious institutions should be rejected, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is considering two proposed constitutional amendments that would allow Florida to use public funds to support religious schools and other faith-based ministries. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today commended the Internal Revenue Service for launching an investigation of a California pastor who used church resources to endorse Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.
On Aug. 11, Dr. Wiley S. Drake, pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of Buena Park, issued a press release on church letterhead endorsing Huckabee. Drake reiterated that endorsement on his church-affiliated radio show. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged the Florida State Board of Education to reject a Religious Right drive to weaken proposed new science standards.
The Board of Education is scheduled to vote Feb. 19 on “world-class” science standards that for the first time explicitly include evolution. Religious Right activists and their allies are intently lobbying the board to water down the standards in keeping with fundamentalist Christian theology. Read more
Tax dollars should not be used to support prison ministry programs that coerce inmates into participation, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
At a panel discussion this morning on religious liberty rights of prisoners before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Americans United Senior Litigation Counsel Alex Luchenitser warned that government officials must ensure that prison ministry programs are operated in accordance with the First Amendment principle of the separation of church and state. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to reject a federal court nominee who holds extreme views on religious liberty in America.
On Feb. 12, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider the nomination of Richard H. Honaker to the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. The Rock Springs, Wyo., attorney promotes the idea that the U.S. Constitution creates a Christian nation and that government need not remain neutral on religion. Read more
The Internal Revenue Service should investigate two prominent tax-exempt Religious Right groups that produced biased voter guides for the presidential election, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more
President George W. Bush’s renewed push for his controversial “faith-based” initiative is unlikely to succeed, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Bush, in his State of the Union address yesterday and in a public appearance in Baltimore today, called on Congress to make his faith-based proposals permanent. Congress has refused to adopt key parts of the plan because it would roll back civil rights laws barring religion-based hiring discrimination and open the door to publicly funded preaching. Read more
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has cautioned the top official of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) that using his denominational news agency to oppose Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani raises federal tax law issues.
In a Jan. 24 letter, Americans United advised SBC President Frank Page that the Internal Revenue Code prohibits the use of tax-exempt resources to support or oppose candidates for public office. Read more