Christian Coalition Wins 'hollow Victory' In Lawsuit Against Irs, According To Americans United

$169 Award Won't Pay For 'Tank Of Fuel For Pat Robertson's Jet,' Says AU's Lynn

Recent claims by the Christian Coalition that it has won a great victory against the Internal Revenue Service over the issue of the group's tax-exempt status are greatly inflated and inaccurate, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Last February the Christian Coalition, a group founded by TV preacher Pat Robertson, sued the IRS in federal court, claiming that the federal tax agency discriminated against the organization by denying it a 501(c)(4) tax exemption in 1999. Read more

House Votes For Display Of 'in God We Trust' Motto In Public Buildings

Americans United Says Congress' 'Nod To God' Is Yet Another Election-Year Stunt

Today's vote in the House of Representatives encouraging display of the "In God We Trust" motto in public buildings is the latest in the painfully habitual trend of Congress manipulating religion for political gain, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Southern Baptist Agency Ponders Legally Dubious Partisan Politicking

Broadcast Of Falwell Attack On Gore Could Jeopardize SBC Tax Exemption, Americans United Warns

If an agency of the Southern Baptist Convention broadcasts a Jerry Falwell attack on presidential candidate Al Gore, the denomination's tax exemption could be in jeopardy, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has warned.

In a letter to the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), Americans United said distribution of Falwell's partisan message through the agency's national radio program would violate the federal ban on electioneering by tax-exempt groups. Read more

Priests For Life Political Campaign Raises 'serious Legal Questions,' Says Church-state Watchdog Group

Americans United Criticizes Tax-Exempt Group's Efforts To Intervene In November Elections

The election-year campaign announced today by Priests for Life, a New York-based religious group, may violate federal tax law, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a national church-state watchdog group.

Priests for Life has developed a project to use "issue ads" before the November elections to pressure candidates to accept the anti-abortion position of the Roman Catholic bishops. At the press conference, group leaders said they would spend up to $1 million on the campaign. Read more

75 Years After 'scopes Trial,' Religious Right Activists Try New Tactics To Expel Evolution From Public Schools

On July 10, 1925, exactly 75 years ago today, the trial of John T. Scopes began in Dayton, Tenn. His c

On July 10, 1925, exactly 75 years ago today, the trial of John T. Scopes began in Dayton, Tenn. His crime was teaching evolutionary biology in the local high school, in violation of state law that required no lesson be taught "that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible." Read more

Colorado Schools That Post Religious Motto Risk Lawsuit, Says Americans United

The Colorado State Board of Education voted 5-1 today to urge public schools to post the phrase "In God We Trust." Any school that follows that advice runs the risk of getting sued for violating the First Amendment, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Clair Orr, chairman of the state board, told The New York Times recently that "In God We Trust" does not necessarily have religious connotations. Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn, a Christian minister, labeled that assertion "nonsense." Read more

IRS Issues Forceful Warning About Churches And Politics

Tax Agency Reminds Churches, Tax-Exempt Groups About Legal Prohibition On Partisan Politicking

The Internal Revenue Service issued a forceful warning today, reminding churches and other tax-exempt charities that partisan political activities are strictly forbidden under federal tax law.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which has an ongoing educational campaign on this issue, welcomed the IRS advisory as a timely reminder in this election year. AU also noted that the agency's statement is bad news for Religious Right groups such as the Christian Coalition that expect to use houses of worship to influence the outcome of November elections. Read more

Voucher Referenda Threaten Religious Freedom In Michigan And California, Says Americans United

Voters To Go To The Polls In November To Consider Changes To State Constitutions

In November, voters in Michigan and California will vote on referenda on whether to implement private religious school voucher programs. If the voucher plans succeed, the religious freedom of taxpayers in both states will be seriously undermined, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Supreme Court Upholds Publicly Funded Equipment For Private Religious Schools

Americans United Criticizes Mitchell V. Helms Ruling For Taking 'Sledgehammer' To Church-State Wall

A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court voted today to permit public funds to go to private religious schools to pay for computers and other materials. Americans United for Separation of Church and State criticized the Mitchell v. Helms ruling as a major setback in defense of religious liberty. Read more

House Vote On Ohio Motto Is 'shameless Political Grandstanding'

Americans United Criticizes Resolution In Support Of 'With God, All Things Are Possible' Motto

Today's House of Representatives vote on a resolution in support of Ohio's motto, "With God, all things are possible," is an election-year stunt, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"This is shameless political grandstanding," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "God should not be used as a political football by politicians in Congress." Read more

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