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.
Even late on Christmas Eve, President Donald Trump couldn’t pass up an opportunity to boast about a made-up accomplishment.
Just before 10 p.m. Sunday, instead of the president being snug in his bed in Mar-A-Lago dreaming of sugar plums and fake news, he took to Twitter to declare his victory against the “War on Christmas.”
“People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!” Trump tweeted.
Editor’s Note: Today we are reposting an item that first appeared (in a slightly different form) in 2007. Happy Holidays!
People sometimes ask me why I got so interested in defending separation of church and state. The answer is simple: As a kid, I was sent to a Catholic school for eight years.
I did a radio show yesterday with a conservative host on the topic of religious holiday displays. Although we didn’t see eye to eye on the issue, he was polite, and we had a good discussion.
During debates over this issue, it quickly becomes apparent that some misperceptions exist about Americans United’s work in this area. Let’s take a look at a few: