Jul 28, 1998
Two dozen of the nation's leading church-state scholars have signed a joint letter to the Library of Congress refuting a paper the Library issued June 1 that was highly critical of Thomas Jefferson's views on religion and government.
In 1802, then-President Jefferson wrote the Danbury, Conn., Baptist Association a letter noting that the American people through the First Amendment had built "a wall of separation between church and state." The letter has been cited by the Supreme Court and other federal courts as an important statement of the Framers' constitutional intentions.
Jul 15, 1998
Although TV preacher Pat Robertson continues to demand the defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts, new evidence released today by a church-state watchdog group shows that Robertson has asked for and received NEA grant money.
According to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Robertson's Regent University applied for a grant from the Virginia Council for the Arts during the Fall 1997 Project Grant round. Robertson's school was awarded $1,000 for "Pavel's Chariot," a film recently completed and shown in the annual Regent University Film Festival in Virginia Beach, Va.
Jul 08, 1998
A Texas preacher's threat to drive the "infidels" off the Wichita Falls City Council could bring Internal Revenue Service scrutiny and the loss of his congregation's federal tax-exempt status, a church-state watchdog group has charged.
In a recent message to his flock at the First Baptist Church, the Rev. Robert Jeffress said America is a Christian nation and congregants should defeat city council members at the polls if they refuse to ban two books with gay themes from the local public library. According to the June 29 Wichita Falls Times Record News, Jeffress challenged his congregation to "vote out the infidels who would deny God and his word."
Jun 24, 1998
Education officials in New York City took the right step when they fired a public school teacher who prayed with students in class and defiantly said she would do it again, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The church-state watchdog group says Mildred Rosario violated the Constitution and the rights of parents and students by preaching her personal religious views to elementary schoolchildren, praying with them and laying on hands.
"Parents, not teachers or school officials, should decide what religious views children are exposed to," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "Teachers must not foist their personal religious views on students."
Jun 24, 1998
The so-called "Ten Commandments Defense Act" introduced today by U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) is so obviously unconstitutional that Congress should not waste time considering it, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"Rep. Aderholt apparently wants to turn courthouses and public schools into churches," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. "That would violate the Constitution and common sense. Politicians should stop meddling in religious matters.