Voter guides prepared by TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition for the Nov. 6 Virginia elections are skewed toward Republican candidates and are therefore inappropriate for church distribution, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more
The horrific terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11 have led to an increase in what many scholars call "civil religion"-- endorsements (usually fairly generic) of God and faith by political leaders and government officials. It is important to remember that our civil liberties are at great risk in times of crisis, and that we should therefore be more, rather than less, vigilant about protecting them from erosion in the coming weeks and months.
During these challenging times, Americans United would like to stress the following points: Read more
Although TV preacher Jerry Falwell claims to have apologized for his infamous remarks about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, his ministry has sent a fund-raising letter to donors recasting his statements in a positive light and depicting him as a victim of the news media "wolf pack" and "liberal lies." Read more
Americans United has warned a Cleveland mayoral candidate that his plan to distribute campaign literature in churches violates the law and could jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the houses of worship.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Oct. 17 that the campaign of Democratic mayoral hopeful Raymond Pierce hopes to use churches to distribute Pierce campaign literature. Arnold Pinkney, director of the Pierce campaign, told a gathering of pastors he wants the literature in church bulletins or handed out by ushers. Read more
The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to endorse a resolution expressing support for the display of the words "God Bless America" in the nation's public schools. The final vote was 404 to 0.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State questioned lawmakers' priorities. Read more
Religious groups should be able to spread their faith without having to apply for permission from the government, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
The Supreme Court announced today that it will hear a case from Stratton, Ohio, challenging a village ordinance that requires anyone wishing to engage in door-to-door solicitation or religious proselytizing to register with the city government and fill out a form giving detailed information about their activities.
Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said the ordinance is too broad. Read more
An Alabama congressman is preparing to unveil federal legislation that would allow government posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings and bar federal courts from hearing cases challenging the religious displays.
Rep. Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.) says he will reintroduce the legislation, which he has labeled the "Ten Commandments Defense Act," shortly after Labor Day.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said Aderholt's legislation represents an assault on constitutional principles. Read more
The United States Supreme Court announced today that it will hear arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of a religious school voucher program in Cleveland.
The justices have agreed to hear Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, which deals with a controversial program created six years ago that provides tax dollars to finance tuition at religious and other private schools. Read more
A Louisiana law allowing daily spoken prayer by students and teachers in public schools violates the constitutional separation of church and state and would violate the rights of students.
That's the message that two civil liberties groups will deliver on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. Read more
A renewed White House push to secure Senate passage of "charitable choice" funding for churches would be "deeply divisive," Americans United for Separation of Church and State has warned.
The Washington Post reported today that Bush administration officials are considering an aggressive drive on behalf of the "faith-based initiative," a package of proposals that would subsidize churches and other ministries that operate social services. Read more