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Religious groups have the right to speak out on political and social issues. Federal law, however, prohibits most tax-exempt bodies, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Churches are not political action committees and should not act like them. Religious leaders should abide by the law and refrain from turning their congregations into cogs in a political machine.

Project Fairplay

In 1996, Americans United launched Project Fair Play to educate religious leaders and other Americans about tax exemption and political activity. We send informational letters to clergy, and we file complaints with the IRS when there are egregious violations.

Please visit Project Fair Play to learn more.
 


 

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Blogs
Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Christmas Calumny: School District Challenges Liberty Counsel's Bogus 'Christmas War'

Fox News Network has moved beyond its nightly carping about a so-called "war on Christmas," and the holiday season is fast fading into memory. But one skirmish remains from the recent Christmas conflict.

A Wisconsin public school district is boldly fighting back against a Jerry Falwell-affiliated Religious Right group that spread lies about the school's holiday policies and programs.

Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

Today, Jan. 17, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin was never known for taking up the cause of separation of church and state as strongly as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, he did produce at least one great passage that rings down through the ages. It is especially relevant in this day of "faith-based" initiatives.

Writing to his friend Richard Price on Oct. 9, 1780, Franklin expressed his dismay with government-imposed religion.

Speaking Truth To Power: Martin Luther King On Church And State

Monday marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues.

'When Thou Prayest': Indiana Legislators Defy Jesus On Prayers

State legislators in Indiana are vowing to challenge a federal court ruling striking down the practice of sectarian prayers before the state House of Representatives.

In November, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton concluded that Indiana lawmakers violated the Constitution by using "systematically sectarian" prayers to open meetings. The prayers were almost always Christian in nature, Hamilton noted, and he ordered members to use nonsectarian benedictions.

Poorly Designed Case: Fallout From The Dover Decision

Fallout continues from U.S District Judge John E. Jones' Dec. 20 ruling striking down the teaching of "intelligent design" in Dover, Pa.

First off, a local newspaper, the York Daily Record, has suggested that some of the former school board members who voted to implement the policy may have lied on the witness stand and may be open to prosecution for perjury.

'Excellerated' Learning: Milwaukee's Voucher Scandal

Friends of public schools and church-state separation have long warned that voucher schemes will spell disaster. The evidence is growing that the prediction is right.

Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an investigative series that found alarming deficiencies in many of the religious and other private schools founded to take advantage of the state's voucher program. While some of the well-established private schools are doing a good job, a significant number of the new ones are outrageously inadequate.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Christmas Calumny: School District Challenges Liberty Counsel's Bogus 'Christmas War'

Fox News Network has moved beyond its nightly carping about a so-called "war on Christmas," and the holiday season is fast fading into memory. But one skirmish remains from the recent Christmas conflict.

A Wisconsin public school district is boldly fighting back against a Jerry Falwell-affiliated Religious Right group that spread lies about the school's holiday policies and programs.

Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

Today, Jan. 17, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin was never known for taking up the cause of separation of church and state as strongly as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, he did produce at least one great passage that rings down through the ages. It is especially relevant in this day of "faith-based" initiatives.

Writing to his friend Richard Price on Oct. 9, 1780, Franklin expressed his dismay with government-imposed religion.

Speaking Truth To Power: Martin Luther King On Church And State

Monday marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues.

'When Thou Prayest': Indiana Legislators Defy Jesus On Prayers

State legislators in Indiana are vowing to challenge a federal court ruling striking down the practice of sectarian prayers before the state House of Representatives.

In November, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton concluded that Indiana lawmakers violated the Constitution by using "systematically sectarian" prayers to open meetings. The prayers were almost always Christian in nature, Hamilton noted, and he ordered members to use nonsectarian benedictions.

Poorly Designed Case: Fallout From The Dover Decision

Fallout continues from U.S District Judge John E. Jones' Dec. 20 ruling striking down the teaching of "intelligent design" in Dover, Pa.

First off, a local newspaper, the York Daily Record, has suggested that some of the former school board members who voted to implement the policy may have lied on the witness stand and may be open to prosecution for perjury.

'Excellerated' Learning: Milwaukee's Voucher Scandal

Friends of public schools and church-state separation have long warned that voucher schemes will spell disaster. The evidence is growing that the prediction is right.

Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an investigative series that found alarming deficiencies in many of the religious and other private schools founded to take advantage of the state's voucher program. While some of the well-established private schools are doing a good job, a significant number of the new ones are outrageously inadequate.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Christmas Calumny: School District Challenges Liberty Counsel's Bogus 'Christmas War'

Fox News Network has moved beyond its nightly carping about a so-called "war on Christmas," and the holiday season is fast fading into memory. But one skirmish remains from the recent Christmas conflict.

A Wisconsin public school district is boldly fighting back against a Jerry Falwell-affiliated Religious Right group that spread lies about the school's holiday policies and programs.

Happy Birthday, Ben Franklin!

Today, Jan. 17, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. Although Franklin was never known for taking up the cause of separation of church and state as strongly as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, he did produce at least one great passage that rings down through the ages. It is especially relevant in this day of "faith-based" initiatives.

Writing to his friend Richard Price on Oct. 9, 1780, Franklin expressed his dismay with government-imposed religion.

Speaking Truth To Power: Martin Luther King On Church And State

Monday marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.

As the nation pauses to remember civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American leader really thought about church-state issues.

'When Thou Prayest': Indiana Legislators Defy Jesus On Prayers

State legislators in Indiana are vowing to challenge a federal court ruling striking down the practice of sectarian prayers before the state House of Representatives.

In November, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton concluded that Indiana lawmakers violated the Constitution by using "systematically sectarian" prayers to open meetings. The prayers were almost always Christian in nature, Hamilton noted, and he ordered members to use nonsectarian benedictions.

Poorly Designed Case: Fallout From The Dover Decision

Fallout continues from U.S District Judge John E. Jones' Dec. 20 ruling striking down the teaching of "intelligent design" in Dover, Pa.

First off, a local newspaper, the York Daily Record, has suggested that some of the former school board members who voted to implement the policy may have lied on the witness stand and may be open to prosecution for perjury.

'Excellerated' Learning: Milwaukee's Voucher Scandal

Friends of public schools and church-state separation have long warned that voucher schemes will spell disaster. The evidence is growing that the prediction is right.

Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an investigative series that found alarming deficiencies in many of the religious and other private schools founded to take advantage of the state's voucher program. While some of the well-established private schools are doing a good job, a significant number of the new ones are outrageously inadequate.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
January 2018 Church & State

365 Days Later

President Donald Trump Has Spent A Year Relentlessly Attacking Religious Freedom – But Opponents Are Fighting Back

October 2017 Church & State

Singing From A Different Hymnal

Trump’s Church-State Policies Are Spurring Dissenting Religious Groups To Stand Up To The Extremism Of The Religious Right

June 2017 Church & State

Out Of Order

Trump’s New ‘Religious Freedom’ Directives Set The Stage For Attacks On Real Liberty, Says Americans United