Americans United Deplores Federal Court Ruling On High School Graduation Prayer

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today condemned a federal appeals court ruling that allows prayer at high school graduation ceremonies as long as students make the decision.

In its Adler v. Duval County School Board ruling released yesterday, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 1993 Florida school district policy that permits students to elect a classmate to deliver a two-minute "message" during commencement ceremonies. Read more

Florida Court Strikes Down Private School Voucher Program

Florida's private school voucher program, the first statewide voucher plan passed in the United States, has been ruled unconstitutional by a state court.

State Judge L. Ralph Smith Jr. issued his ruling today, concluding that the voucher plan violates Article IX, Sec.1 of the Florida Constitution. Read more

Virginia Supreme Court Will Hear Case Involving Bond Issue For Pat Robertson's Regent University

The Virginia Supreme Court has announced that it will hear a legal controversy centering on the legality of the state issuing $55 million in bonds to finance new construction at TV preacher Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Robertson is seeking the bonds to underwrite new construction at Regent's Virginia Beach campus and the building of a satellite campus in Alexandria, Va. On July 30, 1999, Richmond Circuit Judge Randall G. Johnson ruled against the bond issue, noting that the Virginia Constitution forbids government support of sectarian institutions. Read more

California Churches May Face IRS Penalty For Cooperating With Christian Coalition, Americans United Charges

Coalition Voter Guides Are Political Propaganda Stacked To Favor Bush, Oppose Mccain, Watchdog Group Says

TV preacher and Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson is engaged in an aggressive attempt to get conservative California churches to distribute the Coalition's slanted voter guides before the state's March 7 primary. But churches that partake in Robertson's plan are violating federal tax law and running the risk of being punished by the Internal Revenue Service, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Statement Of Au's Barry Lynn On Mccain Speech Blasting Robertson And Falwell

"Republican presidential candidate John McCain's blistering comments on Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell mark a major development in American politics. This is the first time that a viable Republican presidential candidate has insisted that Robertson and Falwell should be excommunicated from the party. In particular, Robertson has clearly gone from being an asset to George W. Bush to being an albatross.

"It is a great benefit for American politics when persons of stature stand up to the extremist views of Robertson and Falwell, and all the demagoguery and bigotry they represent." Read more

Christian Coalition Lawsuit Against IRS Is Sure To Fail, Says Americans United

Tammany Hall-Style Political Machine Doesn't Deserve Tax Exemption, Charges Watchdog Group

The Christian Coalition's lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service is a desperation move that is certain to fail, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

On Feb. 25 the Coalition filed suit against the IRS in U.S. district court in Norfolk, charging that the federal tax agency unfairly denied the group tax exemption. Read more

IRS Should Investigate Detroit Church For Intervening In Michigan Presidential Primary, Says Americans United

Church-State Watchdog Group Files Complaint With Federal Tax Agency

The Internal Revenue Service should investigate the Third New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit for violating federal tax law by urging members to vote against Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush in Michigan's GOP primary, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a letter to the IRS sent Feb. 22, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn noted that on Feb. 20 the Rev. E.L. Branch, Third New Hope's pastor, encouraged congregants to vote against Bush in today's primary. Read more

Americans United Urges IRS To Investigate New York Church For Endorsing Presidential Candidate Al Gore

Pastor Floyd Flake Knowingly Violated Tax Law, Watchdog Group Charges In Formal Complaint To Federal Tax Agency

The Internal Revenue Service should investigate a New York City church for violating federal tax law by endorsing Democratic candidate Al Gore for president, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

In a formal complaint filed with the IRS today, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn charged that the Rev. Floyd Flake knowingly violated the Internal Revenue Code by inviting Gore to address his congregation on Feb. 13 and then endorsing the candidate during Sunday morning worship services at Allen African Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City. Read more

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