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

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

AU Joins 'March for Women's Lives' - Sunday, April 25

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is one of more than 1,000 organizations co-sponsoring the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 25. We encourage all AU activists to join us in marching behind our church-state separation banner. AU Executive Director Barry Lynn will be one of the featured speakers at the rally.

Here are some highlights of AU's participation in this historic event:

Over The Moon: Religion Troubles The Ky. GOP's Big Tent

Religion and politics can be a combustible mixture. In Kentucky, a battle for control of the local Republican party ended in fisticuffs last weekend when two delegates argued over religion. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, John Lawlor and Peter Hayes became embroiled in a heated exchange over who would attend the upcoming Republican National Convention. The gentlemen had "words" after the convention.

Pope Outpolls Robertson, Falwell Among Evangelicals

The media reflexively turn to TV preachers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to represent the voice of evangelicals. And they both have reliably provided reporters and broadcasters with colorful commentary on an array of topics. But maybe in the future, Pope John Paul II would be a better spokesman for evangelicals.

Don't Emulate JFK, Priest Tells Colorado Legislators

Controversy erupted on the floor of the Colorado House April 13 after a Catholic priest encouraged lawmakers to "be the antithesis of John Kennedy." According to the Associated Press, the Rev. Bill Carmody insisted that legislators should vote according to their religious convictions. His opening prayer before the assembly directly criticized President John F. Kennedy's legacy of defending both his Catholic identity and separation of church and state.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson

Today Mr. Jefferson (Thomas, not George) would be 261 years old. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell in Albermarle County, Va. Most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence while a member of the Continental Congress at the age of 33, Jefferson contributed greatly to the history of separation between church and state. Jefferson wrote the original draft of the 1786 Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom, which would later serve as inspiration for the Religion Clauses in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

Welcome to the AU.org Weblog

Almost every day it seems that the Religious Right finds a new way to chip away at the wall of separation between church and state. But Americans United is fighting back on many fronts. In the last month alone, I have testified before Congress, debated Religious Right leaders on television and sat in on arguments at the Supreme Court in the Pledge of Allegiance case. We are pressing lawsuits against "faith-based" funding and voucher aid to religious schools. And we are monitoring and challenging the use – and abuse - of religion in Campaign 2004.

Pages

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

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

AU Joins 'March for Women's Lives' - Sunday, April 25

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is one of more than 1,000 organizations co-sponsoring the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 25. We encourage all AU activists to join us in marching behind our church-state separation banner. AU Executive Director Barry Lynn will be one of the featured speakers at the rally.

Here are some highlights of AU's participation in this historic event:

Over The Moon: Religion Troubles The Ky. GOP's Big Tent

Religion and politics can be a combustible mixture. In Kentucky, a battle for control of the local Republican party ended in fisticuffs last weekend when two delegates argued over religion. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, John Lawlor and Peter Hayes became embroiled in a heated exchange over who would attend the upcoming Republican National Convention. The gentlemen had "words" after the convention.

Pope Outpolls Robertson, Falwell Among Evangelicals

The media reflexively turn to TV preachers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to represent the voice of evangelicals. And they both have reliably provided reporters and broadcasters with colorful commentary on an array of topics. But maybe in the future, Pope John Paul II would be a better spokesman for evangelicals.

Don't Emulate JFK, Priest Tells Colorado Legislators

Controversy erupted on the floor of the Colorado House April 13 after a Catholic priest encouraged lawmakers to "be the antithesis of John Kennedy." According to the Associated Press, the Rev. Bill Carmody insisted that legislators should vote according to their religious convictions. His opening prayer before the assembly directly criticized President John F. Kennedy's legacy of defending both his Catholic identity and separation of church and state.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson

Today Mr. Jefferson (Thomas, not George) would be 261 years old. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell in Albermarle County, Va. Most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence while a member of the Continental Congress at the age of 33, Jefferson contributed greatly to the history of separation between church and state. Jefferson wrote the original draft of the 1786 Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom, which would later serve as inspiration for the Religion Clauses in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

Welcome to the AU.org Weblog

Almost every day it seems that the Religious Right finds a new way to chip away at the wall of separation between church and state. But Americans United is fighting back on many fronts. In the last month alone, I have testified before Congress, debated Religious Right leaders on television and sat in on arguments at the Supreme Court in the Pledge of Allegiance case. We are pressing lawsuits against "faith-based" funding and voucher aid to religious schools. And we are monitoring and challenging the use – and abuse - of religion in Campaign 2004.

Pages

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

Memo To Rep. Hostettler: Thou Shalt Obey The Law

Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) has waged a long-time crusade to display the Ten Commandments in government buildings. He seems to want everyone to read the Decalogue and obey it. Apparently, however, he's not too keen on obeying U.S. law. Hostettler was detained at Louisville's International Airport April 20 after security screeners found a loaded handgun in his briefcase.

AU Joins 'March for Women's Lives' - Sunday, April 25

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is one of more than 1,000 organizations co-sponsoring the March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, April 25. We encourage all AU activists to join us in marching behind our church-state separation banner. AU Executive Director Barry Lynn will be one of the featured speakers at the rally.

Here are some highlights of AU's participation in this historic event:

Over The Moon: Religion Troubles The Ky. GOP's Big Tent

Religion and politics can be a combustible mixture. In Kentucky, a battle for control of the local Republican party ended in fisticuffs last weekend when two delegates argued over religion. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, John Lawlor and Peter Hayes became embroiled in a heated exchange over who would attend the upcoming Republican National Convention. The gentlemen had "words" after the convention.

Pope Outpolls Robertson, Falwell Among Evangelicals

The media reflexively turn to TV preachers Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to represent the voice of evangelicals. And they both have reliably provided reporters and broadcasters with colorful commentary on an array of topics. But maybe in the future, Pope John Paul II would be a better spokesman for evangelicals.

Don't Emulate JFK, Priest Tells Colorado Legislators

Controversy erupted on the floor of the Colorado House April 13 after a Catholic priest encouraged lawmakers to "be the antithesis of John Kennedy." According to the Associated Press, the Rev. Bill Carmody insisted that legislators should vote according to their religious convictions. His opening prayer before the assembly directly criticized President John F. Kennedy's legacy of defending both his Catholic identity and separation of church and state.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson

Today Mr. Jefferson (Thomas, not George) would be 261 years old. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743, at Shadwell in Albermarle County, Va. Most famous for writing the Declaration of Independence while a member of the Continental Congress at the age of 33, Jefferson contributed greatly to the history of separation between church and state. Jefferson wrote the original draft of the 1786 Virginia Statute For Religious Freedom, which would later serve as inspiration for the Religion Clauses in the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.

Welcome to the AU.org Weblog

Almost every day it seems that the Religious Right finds a new way to chip away at the wall of separation between church and state. But Americans United is fighting back on many fronts. In the last month alone, I have testified before Congress, debated Religious Right leaders on television and sat in on arguments at the Supreme Court in the Pledge of Allegiance case. We are pressing lawsuits against "faith-based" funding and voucher aid to religious schools. And we are monitoring and challenging the use – and abuse - of religion in Campaign 2004.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
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

February 2017 Church & State

Prayers Or Politics?

President Donald Trump Wants To Allow Houses Of Worship To Intervene In Partisan Elections Yet Remain Tax Exempt

January 2017 Church & State

Snake Oil Solution

Why Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is A Colossally Bad Idea