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No Tax Aid For Religion!: Why We Oppose Compelled Support For Faith In Mass.

The Massachusetts Constitution is very clear on the question of tax funding of religious institutions: It isn’t permitted.

The state charter holds that no “grant, appropriation or use of public money” shall be made to any “religious undertaking.” It also bars the use of tax aid “for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any church, religious denomination or society.”

Nowhere in that document is there an asterisk stating that these rules don’t apply in the case of a house of worship that happens to be old.

Mass. Court Says OK To Program Of Tax Aid For Churches

A Massachusetts court in Sep­tember declined to freeze taxpayer funds intended for the repair of two old churches in Acton.

Americans United in July filed a lawsuit 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. AU argues that while historic preservation is a worthy goal, the program goes too far by directing taxpayer support to religion.

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.

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.

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