May 04, 1998
In 1952 Congress enacted a federal law establishing an annual National Day of Prayer. In 1988, the law was amended to set the date as the first Thursday of each May. The observance, originally intended as a unifying event for the nation, has taken on a decidedly sectarian character in recent years.
Some observers charge that the National Day of Prayer (NDP) has been effectively taken over by Religious Right groups and is being used to oppose church-state separation and promote a narrow political agenda. This year's event, on Thursday, May 7, seems to follow that pattern.
Americans United's View
May 03, 1998
James Dobson, president of the multi-million dollar Focus on the Family empire, seeks to create a fundamentalist theocracy in America through his radical ultra-conservative agenda, according to a new report released by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Apr 29, 1998
Washington, D.C. -- A private school voucher plan for the District of Columbia approved by the U.S. House of Representatives today violates the constitutional separation of church and state and is certain to face a court challenge if it becomes law, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"House members haven't done their homework," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "The U.S. Constitution forbids the use of tax dollars to pay for private religious schools. Unless President Clinton vetoes this legislation, a court challenge is certain.
Apr 15, 1998
Parents and taxpayers in a Pennsylvania public school district today filed a lawsuit challenging a local voucher program paying for tuition at religious and other private schools.
The legal challenge, filed in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, charges that a voucher program approved in March by the Southeast Delco School Board violates state law and the Pennsylvania Constitution. The suburban Philadelphia school board, which is dominated by parochial school advocates, adopted the scheme by a 7-0 vote, despite complaints that the plan runs afoul of church-state separation and the state public school code.
Apr 03, 1998
Washington, D.C. — A Senate resolution endorsing the display of the Ten Commandments at courthouses and other government buildings is grossly irresponsible and a violation of church-state separation, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) sponsored a resolution encouraging the display of the Ten Commandments at government facilities, especially courthouses. The measure, offered as Amendment 2252 to the congressional budget bill, is tentatively scheduled for debate and a vote today.