Freedom Without Favor, Equality Without Exception

The separation between church and state protects us all. It makes our country more fair, more equal and more inclusive.

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What is Religious Freedom?

Religious freedom protects every American’s right to practice the religion of their choice or no religion at all, as long as they don’t harm others.

Religious freedom is for everyone, from the most devout believer to the committed atheist and everybody in between. It’s a fundamental human right that no government should violate and that must not be misused to discriminate or exclude.

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Why Does Religious Freedom Matter?

At its core, the separation of church and state is about equality. It ensures that all people, whether they practice a specific religion or not, are treated the same. And it allows all of us to live as ourselves and believe as we choose.

The U.S. was the first nation to be founded on separation of church and state, the bedrock of religious freedom. Keeping government completely out of religion safeguards every American’s right to practice or not practice according to their beliefs.

Read more about the history of church-state separation here.

The Threat to Religious Freedom

From attempts to deny reproductive and LGBTQ rights in the name of religion, to attacks on religious minorities, the threat to separation of church and state is real. Right now, religious extremists and their lawmaker allies are using the law to force everyone to live according to their beliefs and widen inequality in our communities and country.

Those who oppose the separation of church and state would like to re-define religious freedom as a sword to harm others, rather than a shield to protect us. They prefer a nation where the beliefs of a narrow minority of Christian nationalists suppress our freedoms and threaten us all, in the name of religion.

But supporting the separation of church and state does not make you anti-religion. It is about ensuring the law does not favor any particular religion or religion in general, not about interfering with anyone’s private beliefs.

That’s why Americans United for Separation of Church and State brings together people of all faiths or no religion to fight in the courts, legislatures, and the public square for freedom without favor and equality without exception.

Shielding our shared laws from any one religion’s influence frees us to come together as equals and build a stronger democracy.

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Unite in the fight for religious freedom. Make a gift to AU today.


Holy Bible Lying on a School Desk

Americans United Demands Louisiana School District Stop Including Religious Content In School-Sponsored Events

No parent should be tricked into signing a permission slip that results in their child attending a religious event.

Read our statement