There’s no doubt that religious freedom was under attack in 2017 and religious minorities especially faced many threats to their religious freedom. That’s why in 2018, Americans United has partnered with allies to resolve to get to know our neighbors in the Know Your Neighbor New Year’s resolution campaign. We’re inviting you to join us.
It’s January, and that means state legislatures around the country are coming back in session. As of today, legislatures in 27 states and two territories have gaveled in. Another six start tomorrow. We’ll be working to defend religious freedom in each one of them.
In fact, just a few days into January, we are already monitoring more than 160 bills that would affect religious freedom. These bills would create private school voucher programs, allow people and organizations to use religion to discriminate and unconstitutionally allow religion in public school curricula.
For days, Iranians have been protesting in large numbers against a variety of oppressive economic, social and religious policies – marking the largest protests in the country since the Green Movement in 2009. This has sparked hypocritical response from the far-right, President Donald J. Trump and his administration.
Yesterday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it is changing longstanding policy in order to allow the government to use taxpayer money to rebuild houses of worship damaged in disasters. This is a change that should concern us all.
History likely will remember a lot of things about the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, and one of those things will be his use of Twitter.
We’ve said goodbye to 2017, a year I suspect few of us will miss.
It’s easy to get discouraged in these difficult times. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, often aided and abetted by their allies in the Religious Right, continue to besiege the church-state wall. But as we look ahead to 2018, I want to remind all of you that there is cause for optimism. Yes, we still face many challenges, and we can’t afford to let our guard down for even a minute. But when it comes to separation of church and state, the picture is not as bleak as some may believe.
There’s no denying that 2017 was a tough year for advocates of religious freedom and church-state separation. Yet despite the barrage of assaults from the Donald Trump-Mike Pence administration, Americans United saw important victories in and out of court.
As we look ahead to 2018, here’s a list of what are, in our opinion, the top 10 church-state stories from 2017:
I am incredibly honored and privileged to join AU’s legislative team as state legislative counsel. I first became interested in working at Americans United while in law school after I learned about AU’s work, and it looks like there will be a lot of work to be done when the state legislatures return in January. Already, there are pre-filed bills that would create voucher programs, undermine women’s health care decisions and permit discrimination against LGBTQ people.