The House of Representatives, just back from its August recess, is poised to pass a major spending bill. Tucked within that bill is Section 116, a provision that would make it nearly impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate tax-exempt houses of worship that have endorsed or opposed political candidates in violation of the Johnson Amendment. The fate of that provision could be decided today.
We’ve watched from afar the devastation and tragedy brought by Hurricane Harvey to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Our hearts are with those who are just beginning the recovery process. As difficult as the past week has been, there is some comfort in watching, as we often do, Americans coming together to aid those in the area through donations and volunteering.
We at Americans United were sad to say goodbye to Legal Fellows Bradley Girard and Carmen Green at the beginning of August when their two-year fellowship with AU came to an end. Both brought a wealth of legal knowledge and enthusiasm for church-state separation to our Legal Department.
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program for a BREAKING NEWS flash! Apparently, right-wing Christians gathered in Nashville recently to craft a statement saying they don’t want gay people to marry!
Last year, Amanda Abramovich and Samantha Brookover were harassed by a West Virginia county clerk who ranted at them as they applied for a wedding license. The clerk called them an “abomination” and declared her belief that the same-sex couple shouldn’t be allowed to marry.
Yesterday, some of my colleagues and I joined allies outside the White House to protest dangerous Trump-era policies that restrict immigration based on color, ethnicity and religion.
“No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here. No hate! No fear! Muslims are welcome here. No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here.” These are chants that could be heard loud and clear during the event, which was organized by New York Immigration Coalition.
Last week, a federal appeals court ruled that a public-high-school football coach in Bremerton, Wash., doesn’t have the right to lead players in prayer. An Americans United legal fellow, Andrew Nellis, argued before the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals in the case, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, so we’re quite familiar with it.
Saturday is Women’s Equality Day, when Americans mark the anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote. It’s a welcome opportunity to reflect on how far our nation has advanced in the fight for equal rights. And it’s a stark reminder of just how far we have left to go.
On May 4, President Donald Trump signed a “religious liberty” executive order that, he boasted, would free up houses of worship to endorse political candidates.
It makes sense that President Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser is Paula White, whose garish TV ministry promotes the controversial “prosperity Gospel,” the idea that Jesus, who in much of the Gospels sounds like a socialist, really wants you to become filthy rich (and the best way to do that is to donate – surprise! – to someone like Paula White).