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.
Mar 20, 1998
Washington, D.C. -- The Internal Revenue Service crackdown on TV preacher Pat Robertson sends a strong warning to other tax-exempt religious groups that do politicking, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
In an agreement just made public, the IRS has revoked the tax exemption of the Christian Broadcasting Network for the years 1986 and '87 and permanently revoked the exemption of three other now-defunct Robertson organizations. CBN was also required to make an undisclosed "significant payment" to the IRS, add outside persons to the board of directors and agree "not to engage in campaign activities."
Mar 09, 1998
A national church-state watchdog group has urged the South Carolina State School Board to reject Henry Jordan's proposal on posting the Ten Commandments in public schools, charging the plan would be a violation of the First Amendment. The effort is scheduled for consideration when the board meets in Columbia on Wednesday, March 11.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said that Jordan's plan to post the religious text raises serious constitutional concerns.
Mar 04, 1998
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today denounced the House Judiciary Committee's vote in favor of a so-called "Religious Freedom Amendment" that removes the separation of church and state from the Bill of Rights.
"This amendment is a disaster of titanic proportions," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. "The Religious Right may have steered this constitutional garbage scow through the Judiciary Committee, but I'm confident there's an iceberg looming on the House floor."
Constitutional amendments require a two-thirds vote for passage. Lynn said he is optimistic that amendment supporters do not have the necessary votes in the House.