Oct 26, 1998
Religious groups that intervene in partisan political campaigns are risking their tax-exempt status, according to a national church-state watchdog group.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the United Baptist Missionary Convention, a Baltimore church group that promised to aid the reelection effort of Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) in return for taxpayer funding of various church-sponsored projects.
Oct 14, 1998
A Delaware County, Pa., judge ruled yesterday that the Southeast Delco School Board cannot create its own voucher plan. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the groups that sponsored the lawsuit against the voucher program, applauded the decision as a victory for church-state separation, individual freedom and common sense.
"We now have yet another court ruling rejecting vouchers in this country," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "The Delco case was another in a long line of attempts to undermine public education and force taxpayers to finance religious education, whether they agree with the faith or not. The court rightly said no."
Sep 22, 1998
Churches can lose their federal tax exemption if they distribute partisan voter guides, according to an "urgent memorandum" prepared by two of the nation's leading nonprofit tax law authorities.
In the memo and a supporting legal analysis released this week, Washington, D.C., attorneys Milton Cerny and Albert G. Lauber Jr. explain that churches and other religious ministries face serious penalties if found to be engaging in partisan political activity by the Internal Revenue Service.
Aug 13, 1998
A federal district court decision barring voucher-style aid to religious schools protects taxpayers and constitutional principles, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
"This decision sends a strong message that taxpayers should never be forced to support private religious education," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, a watchdog group that provided legal assistance in the case. "The Maine case was one more attempt to tear down public education and introduce a voucher program subsidizing private religious schools. The court rightly said no."
Aug 10, 1998
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged education officials in South Carolina to ignore an attorney general's opinion saying that the Ten Commandments may be displayed in public schools.
In an Aug. 11 letter to the South Carolina State Board of Education, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn charged that Attorney General Charles M. Condon's analysis is "flawed and misleading."
In the non-binding opinion, Condon asserts that public schools may display the Ten Commandments as part of an effort to teach students about law, history or culture. In fact, says Lynn, the U.S. Supreme Court has never upheld such displays.