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Massachusetts Mistake

When Ronal Madnick passes by some older churches in Massachu­setts, he’s keenly aware that a violation of the state’s constitution may lurk behind the bricks and mortar.

The Massachusetts Constitution contains very strong language barring tax aid to religion. The state also has a law that allows old buildings to receive public funds for upkeep, and over the years, many houses of worship have dipped into that fund.

Concert For A Cause: 'Transparent' Co-Creator To Headline Special Americans United Benefit Aug. 3

During my time as executive director of Americans United, I’ve always looked for opportunities to advance the cause of church-state separation by reaching new audiences. That’s why I am pleased to share that thanks to the online streaming service Concert Window, a fabulous show benefitting Americans United will be available August 3 to anyone who wants to watch it – regardless of where you live.

Mass. Town Should Not Use Public Funds to Support Its Churches, Americans United Says In Lawsuit

Historic Status Of Buildings Is Not An Excuse To Subsidize Religion With Taxpayer Funds, Group Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a lawsuit to stop the town of Acton, Mass., from spending taxpayer funds to support two local churches.

In legal action filed today on behalf of 13 Acton taxpayers, Americans United says officials in Acton violated the Massachusetts Constitution when they approved Community Preservation Act grants for Acton Congregational Church and South Acton Congregational Church.

Federal Court Rules That ‘Pastafarianism’ Is Not A Real Religion

A federal court recently decided that “Pastafarianism,” also known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), is satire rather than a real religion that must be accorded First Amendment protections.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska in an April decision asserted that no one would seriously believe that the church was real. To believe such a thing, the court ruled, a person would have to have failed in “basic reading comprehension.”

Mass. Catholic School Discriminated Against Gay Man, Court Rules

A Massachusetts Catholic school discriminated against a gay man when it rescinded a job offer because of his sexual orientation, a court ruled recently.

Matthew Barrett was hired as director of food services for Fontbonne Academy, an all-girls school in Milton, in 2013. But Barrett’s job offer was cancelled soon after he accepted because he listed his husband as an emergency contact.

Then-Fontbonne head Mary Ellen Barnes told Barrett that his same-sex relationship was “inconsistent” with Catholic doctrine. Barrett sued, calling the move discriminatory.

The Bold And The Brave: Saluting Those Who Stand Up For The Church-State Wall

On Tuesday I flew to New England to speak to a humanist group in Worcester, Mass. It was a great event, and I pleased to see so many people venture out on a cold night to hear what I had to say.

As I surveyed the crowd from the podium, I spotted an old friend in the third row: Ellery Schempp.

Bogus Bill In Boston: Religious Right Targets Mass. Public Schools

It's not often that Massachusetts falls under Americans United's microscope. But this week, the Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) has brought the New England state to our attention.

The group, a state affiliate of James Dobson's Focus on the Family, has succeeded in finding bipartisan   sponsors for legislation that will "ensure the existing free speech rights of religious students" while they are in school.