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Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer: A Serious Threat To Church-State Separation

Editor’s Note: On April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.

Supreme Court Next Week To Consider Case With Major Church-State Separation Implications

Editor’s Note: A week from today on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.

On Religious Freedom Day, Vow To Defend That Principle

Today the nation marks two significant holidays: We observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Religious Freedom Day.

We’ll have more to say about King's important -- and often overlooked -- views on separation of church and state later today on this blog. For now we'll look at Religious Freedom Day and why it’s important.

Thomas Jefferson, A ‘Mammoth Cheese’ And The Church-State Wall: A New Year’s Day Tale

Yesterday, the country marked an important anniversary dealing with religious freedom that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Jan. 1, 1802, was a busy day at the White House for President Thomas Jefferson, who had a special visitor. His friend John Leland arrived from Massachusetts with a gift: a 1,200-pound wheel of cheese.

Known as the “mammoth cheese,” the wheel was a present from Jefferson’s Baptist admirers in New England. It was accompanied by a card reading, “The Greatest Cheese in America for the Greatest Man in America!”

Mass. Court Says It’s All Right To Force Taxpayers To Foot The Bill For Church Renovations

Americans United in July filed a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep.

These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. That is certainly a laudable goal, but in this case, we believe the state has gone too far.

A Taxing Case: Pending Supreme Court Controversy Could Lead To More Public Financial Support For Religion

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part blog post by Carmen Green, a Madison Fellow in AU’s Legal Department. Read the second part here.

Back in January, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that has the potential to change church-state law dramatically – and not for the better.

Fireworks For The Fourth: No, The United States Was Not Founded To Be A ‘Christian Nation’

Note: Today’s blog post originally ran last year to mark Independence Day. For more information about the “Christian nation” myth, see this Americans United brochure.

Today is Independence Day, and many of us will be meeting up with family for cook-outs, picnics, reunions and other events.

Happy Birthday, John Leland!: Remembering An Overlooked Hero Of Church-State Separation

Tomorrow is the birthday of an unsung hero of church-state separation: the Rev. John Leland.

Leland, born in Grafton, Mass., on May 14, 1754, became a nomadic Baptist preacher after abandoning the Congregationalism of his early years. He eventually moved to Virginia in 1775, where he quickly became a prominent religious and political figure.

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