Subscribe to RSS - Wall of Separation

The official blog of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Christian Harry Potter?

After years of trying to ban the Harry Potter books, the Religious Right is now pushing their own "Christian" alternative to the best-selling series.

TV preachers and the Religious Right have tried to undermine Harry Potter since the books first appeared on American shelves in 1998. In addition to being national best-sellers, the Harry Potter books hold the dubious distinction of being the most censored books in America, according to the American Library Association. Public schools and libraries have been under siege as the far-right demands that the books be struck from shelves.

Church Electioneering: What Is Illegal?

On a campaign swing through Ohio yesterday, John Kerry attended services at the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. The Democratic presidential candidate was introduced by the pastor and given an opportunity to speak to the overflow crowd. In light of so many recent controversies over church electioneering, isn't this another example of illegal activity?

Probably not, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Depending on the circumstances, the federal tax agency says, politicians may be invited without jeopardizing the tax-exempt status of the religious organization.

Stars And Stripes And Crosses?: Florida's Clashing Symbols

All citizens who need to do business with Gov. Jeb Bush's top lawyer must walk past a small American flag that is a little different than the one you might be used to seeing. Superimposed over the stars is a white cross.

An aide to the governor claims that the card has been posted in the reception area of General Counsel Raquel Rodriguez's office for some time and was intended as "a tribute to those brave souls who were lost in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11."

Jewish Groups Stand Up For Church-State Separation

In the debates over school vouchers and President George W. Bush's so-called "faith-based" initiative, there is a constant dilemma for religious organizations: stand for the founding principles of our republic or accept government money. The suffering economy has hurt the coffers of many congregations and the promise of government dollars can be difficult to resist.

Senator Booked Moon's Room, But He Didn't Know For Whom...

The mystery has been solved. We now know who arranged for the Rev. Sun Myung Moon to get space in the Dirksen Senate Office Building March 23 for the self-proclaimed messiah's coronation. U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) admitted yesterday that he got the room for the controversial Korean evangelist – but he says he did so unknowingly.

Republican Revival?: David Barton's Partisan Pulpit Tour

For years, a self-proclaimed historian named David Barton has traveled the nation, offering fundamentalist Christian audiences a cut-and-paste version of American history that intends to prove that separation of church and state is a myth and that America's founders intended for the United States to be a "Christian nation."

Roy Moore's Ten Commandments Road Show

Three years ago this month, Roy Moore, then chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, waited until the end of the day and then arranged to have a two-and-a-half ton Ten Commandments monument placed in the lobby of the state Judicial Building.

The action sparked a lawsuit. Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and the Southern Poverty Law Center joined forces to challenge Moore's religious display on behalf of state residents. Moore lost at every level, and when he refused to remove the monument anyway, was removed from the court.