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Here Are The Top Ten Church-State Stories From 2016

In late December, you start seeing “Top Ten” lists for the year that was. So without further ado, here are the Top Ten Church-State Stories from 2016 (in my humble opinion, at least):

Congress Rejected Russell: Let’s Celebrate, But There Are More Fights Ahead

Today, the Senate voted to adopt a final negotiated version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The House approved the same bill last week. Notably, the bill does not include the Russell Amendment, a sweeping provision that would have sanctioned taxpayer-funded employment discrimination. This is a clear win for fairness, equality and the freedom of religion and belief.

Going On The Offense Over Defense

The 2016 presidential election dominated the headlines for months. But even as that struggle played out, a political showdown was taking place in the U.S. Congress that could end with religious discrimination being enshrined in our nation’s laws.

The drama centered on the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, which funds the Department of Defense and its military operations, is considered must-pass legislation. Thus, it often attracts amendments that promote socially conservative views on military issues.

AU Opposes Religious Discrimination In Federal Grants

Americans United and 91 organizations sent congressional leaders a letter to express strong opposition to a House of Representatives bill provision that would authorize taxpayer-funded discrimination in federal contracts and grants.

“The government should not fund discrimination and no taxpayer should be disqualified from a job under a federal contract or grant because he or she is the ‘wrong’ religion,” the Aug. 25 letter asserted.

Vouchers Vanquished!: Senate Committee Votes Down Massive ‘School Choice’ Scheme

After quite a bit of bad news on school vouchers on the state level of late, we can finally report a positive development thanks to a U.S. Senate Committee: A federal voucher ploy has been defeated!