President Bush Names New Head Of Faith-based Office

Beleaguered Initiative is 'Stilled on the Track, Will Need More Thank a New Conductor,' Says AU's Lynn

In an effort to get his beleaguered "faith-based" initiative moving again, President George W. Bush has picked Jim Towey as the new director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Towey, who has headed the Florida-based Aging With Dignity since 1996, was named today at a White House ceremony. Towey replaces John J. DiIulio, who left the office in August. Read more

New Report Finds Common Ground On Community Help For Those In Need

Document Outlines Ways To Provide Assistance Without Violating The Constitution, Says AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced today that it supports a consensus report designed to outline appropriate ways to provide assistance to those in need through faith-based and other community organizations. Read more

Tv Preacher Resumes Political Crusade

Pat Robertson Pushes House Bill Allowing Churches To Endorse Political Candidates

Only a month after Pat Robertson resigned from the Christian Coalition and promised to devote his time to religious ministry, the TV preacher has returned to hardball politics.            Read more

AU, Allied Groups Urge Supreme Court To Reject Voucher Aid To Religious Schools In Ohio

Don't Tax Americans To Support Religion, Says AU's Lynn

Religious intervention in statewide elections in New Jersey and Virginia failed yesterday, when voters rejected candidates supported by the Religious Right and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

In Virginia, two Religious Right organizations produced "voter guides" on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Earley and other GOP nominees. TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition claimed it distributed over a million guides, while American Renewal (the political arm of the Family Research Council) claimed to have distributed almost a million guides as well. Read more

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Louisiana School Prayer Statute

Unanimous Decision Says 1999 Law Violates Church-State Separation

The U.S. Supreme Court should strike down a voucher plan that subsidizes religious schools in Cleveland because tax support for religion violates the First Amendment, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and allied organizations argue in a legal brief filed today.

Americans United and the other organizations asserted that the voucher program provides unrestricted government aid to religious schools that are free to use the money for religious purposes. Read more

Supreme Court Skips Graduation Prayer Case

Florida Scheme Allows Students To Vote For Classmate To Give Prayer Or Other 'Message' At Graduation Ceremony

A Louisiana law requiring public schools to set aside time each day for spoken prayer by students and teachers violates the constitutional separation of church and state, a federal appeals court ruled today.

In a 3-0 ruling, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans held that the law violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. The decision is a victory for Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, the two groups that brought the challenge to the law. Read more

Controversial Labor Board Hopeful Withdraws Name From Consideration

J. Robert Brame Had Played Leadership Role With Far-Right Groups That Seek To Impose 'Biblical Law' In America

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to review a case dealing with prayer at public school graduation ceremonies in Duval County, Fla. By refusing to intervene, the justices left in place a lower court ruling upholding a plan that allows graduating seniors to choose a classmate to give a prayer or other "message" at the graduation ceremony.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the action in the Adler v. Duval County School Board case is disappointing. Read more