Ralph Reed Is Betting Evangelical Voters Will Forget His Casino-Lobbyist Past, Says AU

Former Christian Coalition Director Seeks To Regain Religious Right Leadership Role With D.C. ‘Strategy Briefing’

Hoping to reemerge as a leader of the Religious Right, former Christian Coalition Executive Director Ralph Reed will hold a national meeting in Washington, D.C., Sept. 10-11 under the auspices of his new Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Reed will be successful only if evangelical Christians engage in a case of collective amnesia, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Lazarus Rising: Is The Religious Right Ready To Be ‘Born Again’ In The 2010 Elections?

An Americans United Special Report

The past two years have been difficult for the Religious Right. President Barack Obama opposes the agenda of the religious-political movement, and congressional leaders have generally turned a deaf ear. Some commentators even pronounced the Religious Right dead.

But claims of the Religious Right’s demise are often premature. Like Frankenstein’s monster, the Religious Right has proven hard to kill. Read more

Beck Rallies In Washington Undercut Church-State Separation

Fox Pundit And His Religious Right Allies Are Pushing A Divisive Message Of Extremism, Intolerance, Says AU’s Lynn

Fox News Channel personality Glenn Beck’s rallies in Washington, D.C., are an attack on religious liberty and our nation’s rich religious diversity, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Tonight’s event at the Kennedy Center, “Divine Destiny,” is billed by Beck as a way to “reunite” Americans, “heal your soul” and take a “look at the role faith played in the founding of America and the role it will play again in its destiny.” Read more

Congress Should Reject Conservative Religious Groups’ Call For Taxpayer-Funded Job Bias

If ‘Faith-Based’ Charities Want To Discriminate In Hiring On Religious Grounds, They Shouldn’t Get Public Funds, Says AU’s Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged Congress to reject an appeal for public funding of “faith-based” charities that discriminate in hiring on religious grounds.

In a letter to every member of Congress today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, World Vision and other conservative religious organizations demanded that faith-based charities get government subsidies even if they hire only job applicants who meet certain religious criteria. Read more

Va. Attorney General’s Advisory On Religious Displays May Lead To Lawsuits

If Cuccinelli Wants To See A Nativity Scene, Let Him Put One In His Own Yard, Says AU’s Lynn

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s advisory on Christmas Nativity scenes and other religious displays on public property is deeply misguided, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Cuccinelli, in an official opinion issued Aug. 20, said local governments and government employees may erect religious displays under certain circumstances. The opinion downplayed church-state separation and emphasized government accommodation of religion. Read more

Use of Government Property to Relocate NYC Mosque Raises Serious Legal Questions

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Government Can’t Subsidize Religion Or Give It Preferential Treatment

New York Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to offer public property to relocate the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” raises serious constitutional issues and could spark litigation, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

AU, Allies Commend House Resolution On Texas School Board’s Biased Social Studies Standards

Public School Curriculum Standards Should Not Be Politicized, Says AU’s Lynn

Public school curriculum standards should never be politicized, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and allied organizations said today.

In a joint letter, Americans United and 22 other religious, educational and advocacy groups commended U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson for introducing a House resolution supporting academically sound curriculum development and criticizing the Texas State Board of Education for politicizing the state’s social studies standards. Read more

AU Applauds Court Ruling Against Proposition 8

Minority Civil Rights Should Never Be Taken Away By Referendum, Watchdog Group Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today applauded a federal district court decision striking down California’s Proposition 8, a measure that withdrew the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples in the state.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the state constitutional amendment imposes a private moral viewpoint without a legitimate governmental interest and tramples on the equal rights of gay and lesbian couples. Read more

California Teacher Has No Right To Push Religion in the Classroom

School Officials Were Correct To Remove Math Teacher’s Religious Banners, Watchdog Group Says

Public school officials did not violate a California teacher’s rights when they asked him to remove two religious banners from his classroom, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a federal appeals court.

Bradley Johnson, a math teacher at Westview High School in San Diego, filed a lawsuit against school officials in 2007, claiming his free speech rights were infringed when he was ordered to take down his religious signs.

A U.S. district court in March ruled in favor of Johnson and ordered school officials to pay nominal damages. Read more

IRS Should Investigate Okla. Religious Group That Promoted Candidate

‘Reclaiming Oklahoma For Christ’ Illegally Urged Support For Incumbent Legislator Sally Kern, Watchdog Group Charges

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, charging that the organization violated federal law by promoting a candidate’s campaign rally.

Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ operates as a tax-exempt group and solicits tax-deductible donations on its Web site, but last month it distributed an e-mail in support of Rep. Sally Kern, a candidate seeking reelection to the state House of Representatives. Read more