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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.

Taxing Case: Pending Supreme Court Controversy Could Lead To More Public 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.

On Your Knees!: Cruz Insists That Good Leaders Need God

When most people consider the qualities they want in a president, things like the ability to manage the economy, forge political compromises and tend to foreign policy come to mind.

But U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has an additional qualification: He believes it’s absolutely essential that the president be a believer who prays regularly.

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

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

While I’m certainly not recommending that you get into an argument with your Uncle Lou who watches too much Fox News, I acknowledge that it might happen. If it does and the topic of America as a “Christian nation” comes up, here is some information you might find useful.

Remembering The Memorial: Happy Birthday To A Classic Of Religious Liberty

Let’s say a legislator in your state came up with the bright idea to force everyone to pay a special tax to support “teachers of the Christian religion.” What would you do?

You’d probably fire up your computer and use social media and Twitter to mobilize opposition. You might start an online petition or lobby the legislature directly.

But if it were 1785, and you didn’t have any of those tools, you might just have to do what James Madison did – reach for a quill pen and write a broadside so powerful it would sink the idea.

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