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Public school officials such as teachers, principals and others may not sponsor prayer, devotional Bible reading or other religious activities. They may not compel or pressure young people to take part in religious activities. The Supreme Court ruled correctly when it struck down mandatory school prayer in 1962 and ’63. However, this does not mean there can be no religion in schools. Public school students have the right to pray voluntarily in a non-disruptive fashion during the school day and read religious texts during free time. A short rule of thumb: Individual, voluntary religious activity by students is permitted; school-sponsored religious worship is not.

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

The Supreme Court Took Three Important Actions Today. Here’s What They Mean For Church-State Separation.

The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.

Here’s a rundown on what happened:

Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions In Religious Freedom Cases Are Imminent

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on several crucial religious freedom cases, all of which Americans United is involved in.

As soon as Monday and certainly by the end of next week, the court is expected to issue a ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to blur the lines between church and state.

For Focus On The Family, The Focus Remains On Far-Right Politics

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colorado Springs this Friday speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family (FOF), the fundamentalist Christian family ministry and Religious Right group founded by Dr. James C. Dobson, a child psychologist.

Controversial Wisc. Sheriff David Clarke Jr. Won’t Be Joining Trump Administration After All

The Trump Administration apparently will include one less person dragging the baggage of legal entanglements and concerning views on religious freedom: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. over the weekend announced he won’t join President Donald J. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security after all.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Sound Science In Public Schools

This Monday marks the 30th anniversary of Edwards v. Aguillard, a milestone U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the separation of church and state in public schools. As we mark the anniversary, it’s a good time to examine the history of the efforts to undermine instruction about evolution in public schools – and understand that the threat remains with us. 

A New Study Underscores The Dangers Of Partisanship In America’s Pulpits

A new study of more than 130,000 American clergy finds that faith leaders tend to be more partisan than the congregations they’re leading.

That finding should give pause to those who seek to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Changing the law could divide congregations – especially if a pastor endorses a candidate congregants don’t support.

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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

The Supreme Court Took Three Important Actions Today. Here’s What They Mean For Church-State Separation.

The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.

Here’s a rundown on what happened:

Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions In Religious Freedom Cases Are Imminent

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on several crucial religious freedom cases, all of which Americans United is involved in.

As soon as Monday and certainly by the end of next week, the court is expected to issue a ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to blur the lines between church and state.

For Focus On The Family, The Focus Remains On Far-Right Politics

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colorado Springs this Friday speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family (FOF), the fundamentalist Christian family ministry and Religious Right group founded by Dr. James C. Dobson, a child psychologist.

Controversial Wisc. Sheriff David Clarke Jr. Won’t Be Joining Trump Administration After All

The Trump Administration apparently will include one less person dragging the baggage of legal entanglements and concerning views on religious freedom: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. over the weekend announced he won’t join President Donald J. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security after all.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Sound Science In Public Schools

This Monday marks the 30th anniversary of Edwards v. Aguillard, a milestone U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the separation of church and state in public schools. As we mark the anniversary, it’s a good time to examine the history of the efforts to undermine instruction about evolution in public schools – and understand that the threat remains with us. 

A New Study Underscores The Dangers Of Partisanship In America’s Pulpits

A new study of more than 130,000 American clergy finds that faith leaders tend to be more partisan than the congregations they’re leading.

That finding should give pause to those who seek to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Changing the law could divide congregations – especially if a pastor endorses a candidate congregants don’t support.

Pages

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

The Supreme Court Took Three Important Actions Today. Here’s What They Mean For Church-State Separation.

The U.S. Supreme Court went out of session this morning and did so with a bang. The high court took three actions that affect church-state separation.

Here’s a rundown on what happened:

Trinity Lutheran v. Comer: Americans United has been warning for more than a year that it could erode the church-state wall. The ruling is harmful – but not as bad as it might have been.

U.S. Supreme Court Decisions In Religious Freedom Cases Are Imminent

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to act on several crucial religious freedom cases, all of which Americans United is involved in.

As soon as Monday and certainly by the end of next week, the court is expected to issue a ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, a case that threatens to blur the lines between church and state.

For Focus On The Family, The Focus Remains On Far-Right Politics

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colorado Springs this Friday speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family (FOF), the fundamentalist Christian family ministry and Religious Right group founded by Dr. James C. Dobson, a child psychologist.

Controversial Wisc. Sheriff David Clarke Jr. Won’t Be Joining Trump Administration After All

The Trump Administration apparently will include one less person dragging the baggage of legal entanglements and concerning views on religious freedom: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. over the weekend announced he won’t join President Donald J. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security after all.

Celebrating 30 Years Of Sound Science In Public Schools

This Monday marks the 30th anniversary of Edwards v. Aguillard, a milestone U.S. Supreme Court decision affirming the separation of church and state in public schools. As we mark the anniversary, it’s a good time to examine the history of the efforts to undermine instruction about evolution in public schools – and understand that the threat remains with us. 

A New Study Underscores The Dangers Of Partisanship In America’s Pulpits

A new study of more than 130,000 American clergy finds that faith leaders tend to be more partisan than the congregations they’re leading.

That finding should give pause to those who seek to weaken or repeal the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the tax code that protects the integrity of our tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates. Changing the law could divide congregations – especially if a pastor endorses a candidate congregants don’t support.

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Press Releases
Church & State
March 2017 Church & State

States Of Emergency

Legislation That Threatens Church-State Separation Is Pending In Half The Country

November 2016 Church & State

Offside And Out Of Bounds

The Supreme Court Struck Down Coercive Forms Of Public School Prayer 54 Years Ago, But Some Coaches Are Playing By Their Own Rules

September 2016 Church & State

Required Worship

Recalling The Bad Old Days Of Mandatory Religion In Public Schools

April 2016 Church & State

Choice, Not Coercion

There's Plenty Of Room For Voluntary Religion In America's Public High Schools - With One Notable Catch

November 2015 Church & State

Teaching, Not Preaching

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