Yesterday, Arizona state Rep. Athena Salman stood before her colleagues and offered an invocation. At first, it appeared to be just like any other day in the statehouse, where the House always opens its session with a prayer. But then Rep. Mark Finchem stood up, alleged that the prayer violated House rules and asked to give a substitute prayer. Finchem’s objection: Salman is an atheist and her prayer did not speak to what he understood to be a higher power.
Saturday is the March for Science in Washington, D.C., and Americans United is proud to be an official partner.
We encourage our members, supporters and activists to take part in the March for Science this Saturday, or to join one of the satellite marches around the country. You can download and print an AU sign in support of sound science here.
When I was in seminary in Wilmore, Ky., I served as a part-time missions pastor at a United Methodist church in town. The church was going through some transitions and was trying to figure out a vision for the coming months and years. The church had long been focused on caring for its own members through discipleship and preaching, but the members wanted to be more connected with the community, particularly with those who had yet to venture inside our doors.
Americans United today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer – a church-state separation case scheduled to be heard by the high court tomorrow.
Editor’s note: This post was written by Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich of West Virginia, the two plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit Americans United and our allies filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. On their wedding day in February 2016, the high-school sweethearts were harassed and disparaged by a Gilmer County clerk who cited her religion-based opposition to marriage for same-sex couples.
The American Family Association (AFA), a band of fundamentalist Christians in Tupelo, Miss., is all worked up over a new children’s book called Promised Land, a fairy tale about a prince who marries a male farmhand.
Neil Gorsuch was sworn in this past Monday as the U.S. Supreme Court’s 113th justice, and his impact on pending religious freedom cases could be felt as early as next week.
On Monday, the court could announce whether it will grant review of the case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. For months, court watchers have been waiting to see whether the high court will take this case involving a Colorado baker who cited his religious beliefs as justification to discriminate against a same-sex couple by refusing to bake them a wedding cake.
Less than a week before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the church-state separation case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens yesterday announced that churches are now eligible for the type of grant that was denied to Trinity.
Editor’s Note: On April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.
There are people who support separation of church and state in the South – plenty of them. It has been my privilege over the years to meet with some.
They even exist in Alabama. But there’s no denying that many of the residents of that state – and the Deep South generally – are enamored of very conservative forms of Christianity and see government as a vehicle for promoting that faith. They call this region the Bible Belt for a reason.