President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Betsy DeVos as his nominee for Secretary of Education, despite the fact that she has no experience with public education. Instead, DeVos has led the crusade to create taxpayer-funded private school voucher programs, which undermine our public schools. What’s more, vouchers don’t improve educational outcomes, they lack accountability and oversight, they fund schools that discriminate and violate religious freedom.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has been fighting for church-state separation for 70 years. A vital part of our work has always involved listening to the voices of young people who find new and effective ways to speak out for religious freedom and stand up to those who use religion to harm others.
Each year, Americans United recognizes a young person under the age of 25 who has advocated for religious freedom and church-state separation in their community with the David Norr Youth Activist Award.
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.
Many people around the country are focused on the next president and Congress and preparing to fight back against the dangerous policy proposals we expect to see in the months ahead.
We have our work cut out for us, but can’t overlook the fact that the current Congress still has work to do. Lawmakers returned to Washington yesterday and, in the remaining days of 2016, will be considering some dangerous policy proposals of their own. In other words, the fight is now.
We have spoken out about Islamophobia a lot during this election season, but there’s another bad trend under way that shouldn’t be overlooked: a rising tide of anti-Semitism.
The phenomenon has manifested itself in a variety of ways – whether it’s through anti-Semitic graphics or attacks on reporters who are Jewish or perceived to be Jewish.
On Friday, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Department of Education will begin collecting data this year to track religiously motivated discrimination or bullying allegations from students.
“Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation’s schools,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in an announcement.
An Indiana state police trooper has been fired for repeatedly proselytizing citizens during traffic stops.
According to KDSK 5, a local NBC affiliate, Senior Trooper Brian Hamilton was fired after a two-month internal investigation into his behavior.
A new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll reports that Americans overwhelmingly prioritize the religious freedom rights of Christians over other faith groups.
The results, released early this morning, suggest that 82 percent of Americans believe that it’s important for the U.S. government to protect Christians. Seventy percent said the same for Jews.