Jan 28, 2009
A proposed Berkeley, Calif., ordinance that would only allow religious organizations to inter cremated ashes, while deny the same right to nonreligious organizations, violates the Constitution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Current Berkeley law prohibits graveyards within city limits due to health and odor concerns. A proposed city ordinance would change zoning laws to allow columbarium construction on property used for religious assemblies. (Columbaria are structures that house the ashes of the deceased.)
Jan 16, 2009
A public school in Louisiana would violate the U.S. Constitution if it allows a school-sponsored field trip to a Christian event called “Just for Jesus,” according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
At its next meeting on Jan. 27, the Ouachita Parish School Board will discuss whether the district should allow students to take this field trip and provide transportation to the event.
“Just for Jesus” is described by local media as a “prayer and praise crusade for students in grades 4-12” and is clearly proselytizing in nature. In the past, the event featured Christian music, skits dramatizing the effect of being saved and sermons from local preachers.
Jan 15, 2009
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has joined a legal brief asking the California Supreme Court to nullify Proposition 8, a November ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in the state.
The friend-of-the-court brief, filed today by Americans United, the Anti-Defamation League and 30 other civil rights and civil liberties groups, argues that a bare majority of voters should not be permitted to remove fundamental rights from a minority group.
Jan 14, 2009
The Christian cross is not an appropriate symbol to memorialize deceased veterans of many different faith perspectives and should not be displayed on government property, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a federal appeals court.
Americans United and other religious and civil liberties groups today asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court’s ruling holding that the Mt. Soledad cross in San Diego is a secular war memorial.
Jan 12, 2009
Today’s White House report on President George W. Bush’s “faith-based” initiative seeks to mask the shortcomings of a badly failed policy, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
“The Bush initiative played crass politics with social service funding and jeopardized civil rights and civil liberties,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “All the PR spin in the world can’t turn this monumental Bush failure into a success.
“President Bush should have gotten the Golden Globe,” Lynn continued, “for playing a ‘compassionate conservative’ while doing precious little to actually help disadvantaged Americans.”