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American courts have recognized the importance of church-state separation. In a body of law that has evolved over more than two centuries, our courts have interpreted the First Amendment to ban compelled support for religion while protecting the right to worship as every American sees fit. This section examines the legal underpinnings of church-state separation and court interpretations of this principle.

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Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Anti-Sharia Bills: Another Harmful Consequence of Anti-Muslim Sentiment

During his campaign for office, President Donald J. Trump laced many of his speeches with anti-Muslim rhetoric and vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. And just a few days into office, he signed an order imposing a Muslim ban.

But there are more harmful consequences that have come from the anti-Muslim sentiment he stoked. We’ve seen an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And now state legislatures across the country are pushing harmful bills.

Ten Commandments Monument Removed From Pittsburgh-Area Public High School

I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Anti-Sharia Bills: Another Harmful Consequence of Anti-Muslim Sentiment

During his campaign for office, President Donald J. Trump laced many of his speeches with anti-Muslim rhetoric and vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. And just a few days into office, he signed an order imposing a Muslim ban.

But there are more harmful consequences that have come from the anti-Muslim sentiment he stoked. We’ve seen an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And now state legislatures across the country are pushing harmful bills.

Ten Commandments Monument Removed From Pittsburgh-Area Public High School

I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Anti-Sharia Bills: Another Harmful Consequence of Anti-Muslim Sentiment

During his campaign for office, President Donald J. Trump laced many of his speeches with anti-Muslim rhetoric and vowed to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants. And just a few days into office, he signed an order imposing a Muslim ban.

But there are more harmful consequences that have come from the anti-Muslim sentiment he stoked. We’ve seen an uptick in anti-Muslim hate crimes. And now state legislatures across the country are pushing harmful bills.

Ten Commandments Monument Removed From Pittsburgh-Area Public High School

I recently heard some interesting news from my hometown in suburban Pittsburgh: A Ten Commandments monument that was the subject of a federal court battle has been removed from the grounds of a public high school.

Fla. Legislators Push To Turn Public Schools Into Mission Fields

Another year, another attempt to encourage proselytizing in public-school classrooms.

Last Thursday, the Florida Senate passed SB 436 by a vote of 23-13, almost entirely along party lines. A revised version in the House – HB 303 – will likely receive a floor vote in the House this week. Then the two chambers will duel it out over the two versions, or better yet, pass neither.

It’s Time For The Religious Right To Embrace The ‘Mind-Your-Own-Business’ Option

Every few years, someone in the far-right fundamentalist Christian community puts forth the argument that modern American culture has become so nasty and hostile to “traditional” Christians that it’s time to withdraw.

They don’t plan to go to a forgotten island somewhere. Rather, they would create a kind of community in internal exile. As much as possible, they’d form parallel structures, such as fundamentalist-oriented educational institutions and media channels, and tend to their own gardens.

Should Religiously Affiliated Hospitals Be Allowed To Ignore A Federal Law That Protects Employee Pensions?

Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a trio of cases that will decide whether religiously affiliated hospital systems must comply with federal pension protections. The large health systems don’t want to; they argue they should get a narrow exemption to the law carved out for houses of worship. But these health systems, with nearly 100,000 employees, are not churches.

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

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Press Releases
Church & State
March 2017 Church & State

Supreme Mistake

Americans United Says Judge Neil Gorsuch Shouldn't Be Elevated To The Nation's Highest Court

July/August 2016 Church & State

Sooner State Showdown

Oklahoma Voters Set To Decide Fate Of State Constitution's Religious Freedom Clause

May 2016 Church & State

Innocence Abused

How A Reckless Combination Of Church And State Harmed Pennsylvania's Children

April 2016 Church & State

The Wall Banger

Justice Antonin Scalia Spent 30 Years Assailing The Separation Of Church And State

March 2016 Church & State

Shredding The First Amendment?

Religious Right Groups Hope A Dispute Over Recycled Tires In Missouri Will Blow A Hole In The Wall Of Separation Between Church And State

November 2015 Church & State

Teaching, Not Preaching

Can Public Schools Instruct About Religion Without Violating The Separation Of Church And State

October 2015 Church & State

Pugnacious Plaintiff

An Interview With Southern Baptist Minister Bruce Prescott, Who Successfully Challenged Government Display Of The Ten Commandments In Oklahoma