Subscribe to RSS - History and Origins of Church-State Separation

America’s founders crafted a constitution that separated church and state. They believed this was the best mechanism for protecting the rights of all. Their efforts have paid off handsomely. The United States enjoys unprecedented levels of religious liberty, expanding pluralism and a high degree of inter-faith harmony. None of this would have been possible without the wisdom of our founders. Despite this record of success, opponents of church-state separation are trying to rewrite American history to promote their ideas of an officially “Christian nation.” This section debunks these discredited claims and provides sound historical materials.

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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

AU Urges New Jersey Supreme Court To Prevent Morris County Tax Dollars From Funding Houses Of Worship

Americans United this week urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to stop Morris County officials from awarding taxpayer-funded grants to houses of worship.

Since 2012, Morris County has distributed more than $4.5 million in tax revenue to a dozen active churches through an historical preservation program. These grants are in direct conflict with the Religious Aid Clause in New Jersey’s state constitution, which proclaims that no resident can be compelled to pay taxes for “building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship.”

The Texas Legislature Is Meeting For A Special Session And Has A Second Chance To Pass Bad Legislation

The Texas legislature’s regular session ended just weeks ago, but lawmakers are already back in Austin for a special session. Governor Greg Abbott (R) was forced to call the special session after the state legislature failed to adopt must-pass legislation during the regular session: in a dramatic stand-off, the Senate had refused to pass key bills as retaliation for the House refusing to pass legislation that would discriminate against transgender people.

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Rejected Trump’s Cruel ‘Grandma Ban,’ But Refugees Remain In Limbo

The U.S. Supreme Court offered a mixed bag of good and bad news Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

The good news: The high court left in place a federal court’s decision last week that the U.S. must grant entry to grandparents and other extended family members from the six Muslim-majority countries targeted in Trump’s ban. That lifts the so-called “grandma ban” and will prevent the cruel separation of many Muslim families.

After Raking In Various Government Subsidies For His ‘Ark Park,’ Ken Ham Refuses To Pay A Modest Safety Tax

When Australian evangelist and creationist Ken Ham decided he wanted to open Ark Encounter, a theme park centered on a rendition of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he was quick to point out that the facility would be a for-profit enterprise.

Two New Trump Administration Attorneys Have Worked To Undermine Women’s Health Care

As new federal regulations reportedly are imminent that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives, two Trump administration attorneys who fought for employers to be able to cite religious beliefs as justification to deny women access to vital health care have been in the news recently.

The Trump Administration Had A Busy Week of Cozying Up To Religious Right Leaders

President Donald J. Trump had quite a week as more scandals involving Russia, his family and his campaign unfolded. But that didn’t stop him from finding time to talk to Religious Right leaders and do a news interview with Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. All the while, his administration and friends in Congress were taking steps to implement the campaign promises he made to allow churches to endorse candidates and to allow religious freedom laws to be used to discriminate.

Proposed Provision To Weaken The Johnson Amendment Heads To House Floor

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cripple the IRS’ ability to enforce the Johnson Amendment – the law that ensures tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, cannot endorse or oppose candidates.

AU Supports Mississippians Challenging Discriminatory HB 1523, A So-called “Religious Freedom” Law

Because our laws should be a shield used to protect religious freedom and not a sword used to harm others, Americans United has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Mississippians challenging the state’s discriminatory House Bill 1523.

Congress Should Not Undermine The Johnson Amendment

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will vote on a bill that could cripple enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. Americans United has joined with 108 other organizations to urge the committee to strip the troubling provision.

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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

AU Urges New Jersey Supreme Court To Prevent Morris County Tax Dollars From Funding Houses Of Worship

Americans United this week urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to stop Morris County officials from awarding taxpayer-funded grants to houses of worship.

Since 2012, Morris County has distributed more than $4.5 million in tax revenue to a dozen active churches through an historical preservation program. These grants are in direct conflict with the Religious Aid Clause in New Jersey’s state constitution, which proclaims that no resident can be compelled to pay taxes for “building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship.”

The Texas Legislature Is Meeting For A Special Session And Has A Second Chance To Pass Bad Legislation

The Texas legislature’s regular session ended just weeks ago, but lawmakers are already back in Austin for a special session. Governor Greg Abbott (R) was forced to call the special session after the state legislature failed to adopt must-pass legislation during the regular session: in a dramatic stand-off, the Senate had refused to pass key bills as retaliation for the House refusing to pass legislation that would discriminate against transgender people.

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Rejected Trump’s Cruel ‘Grandma Ban,’ But Refugees Remain In Limbo

The U.S. Supreme Court offered a mixed bag of good and bad news Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

The good news: The high court left in place a federal court’s decision last week that the U.S. must grant entry to grandparents and other extended family members from the six Muslim-majority countries targeted in Trump’s ban. That lifts the so-called “grandma ban” and will prevent the cruel separation of many Muslim families.

After Raking In Various Government Subsidies For His ‘Ark Park,’ Ken Ham Refuses To Pay A Modest Safety Tax

When Australian evangelist and creationist Ken Ham decided he wanted to open Ark Encounter, a theme park centered on a rendition of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he was quick to point out that the facility would be a for-profit enterprise.

Two New Trump Administration Attorneys Have Worked To Undermine Women’s Health Care

As new federal regulations reportedly are imminent that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives, two Trump administration attorneys who fought for employers to be able to cite religious beliefs as justification to deny women access to vital health care have been in the news recently.

The Trump Administration Had A Busy Week of Cozying Up To Religious Right Leaders

President Donald J. Trump had quite a week as more scandals involving Russia, his family and his campaign unfolded. But that didn’t stop him from finding time to talk to Religious Right leaders and do a news interview with Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. All the while, his administration and friends in Congress were taking steps to implement the campaign promises he made to allow churches to endorse candidates and to allow religious freedom laws to be used to discriminate.

Proposed Provision To Weaken The Johnson Amendment Heads To House Floor

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cripple the IRS’ ability to enforce the Johnson Amendment – the law that ensures tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, cannot endorse or oppose candidates.

AU Supports Mississippians Challenging Discriminatory HB 1523, A So-called “Religious Freedom” Law

Because our laws should be a shield used to protect religious freedom and not a sword used to harm others, Americans United has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Mississippians challenging the state’s discriminatory House Bill 1523.

Congress Should Not Undermine The Johnson Amendment

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will vote on a bill that could cripple enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. Americans United has joined with 108 other organizations to urge the committee to strip the troubling provision.

Pages

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

AU Urges New Jersey Supreme Court To Prevent Morris County Tax Dollars From Funding Houses Of Worship

Americans United this week urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to stop Morris County officials from awarding taxpayer-funded grants to houses of worship.

Since 2012, Morris County has distributed more than $4.5 million in tax revenue to a dozen active churches through an historical preservation program. These grants are in direct conflict with the Religious Aid Clause in New Jersey’s state constitution, which proclaims that no resident can be compelled to pay taxes for “building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship.”

The Texas Legislature Is Meeting For A Special Session And Has A Second Chance To Pass Bad Legislation

The Texas legislature’s regular session ended just weeks ago, but lawmakers are already back in Austin for a special session. Governor Greg Abbott (R) was forced to call the special session after the state legislature failed to adopt must-pass legislation during the regular session: in a dramatic stand-off, the Senate had refused to pass key bills as retaliation for the House refusing to pass legislation that would discriminate against transgender people.

The U.S. Supreme Court Has Rejected Trump’s Cruel ‘Grandma Ban,’ But Refugees Remain In Limbo

The U.S. Supreme Court offered a mixed bag of good and bad news Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.

The good news: The high court left in place a federal court’s decision last week that the U.S. must grant entry to grandparents and other extended family members from the six Muslim-majority countries targeted in Trump’s ban. That lifts the so-called “grandma ban” and will prevent the cruel separation of many Muslim families.

After Raking In Various Government Subsidies For His ‘Ark Park,’ Ken Ham Refuses To Pay A Modest Safety Tax

When Australian evangelist and creationist Ken Ham decided he wanted to open Ark Encounter, a theme park centered on a rendition of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, he was quick to point out that the facility would be a for-profit enterprise.

Two New Trump Administration Attorneys Have Worked To Undermine Women’s Health Care

As new federal regulations reportedly are imminent that would gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that most health insurance plans cover contraceptives, two Trump administration attorneys who fought for employers to be able to cite religious beliefs as justification to deny women access to vital health care have been in the news recently.

The Trump Administration Had A Busy Week of Cozying Up To Religious Right Leaders

President Donald J. Trump had quite a week as more scandals involving Russia, his family and his campaign unfolded. But that didn’t stop him from finding time to talk to Religious Right leaders and do a news interview with Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network. All the while, his administration and friends in Congress were taking steps to implement the campaign promises he made to allow churches to endorse candidates and to allow religious freedom laws to be used to discriminate.

Proposed Provision To Weaken The Johnson Amendment Heads To House Floor

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to cripple the IRS’ ability to enforce the Johnson Amendment – the law that ensures tax-exempt nonprofits, including houses of worship, cannot endorse or oppose candidates.

AU Supports Mississippians Challenging Discriminatory HB 1523, A So-called “Religious Freedom” Law

Because our laws should be a shield used to protect religious freedom and not a sword used to harm others, Americans United has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the Mississippians challenging the state’s discriminatory House Bill 1523.

Congress Should Not Undermine The Johnson Amendment

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee will vote on a bill that could cripple enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. Americans United has joined with 108 other organizations to urge the committee to strip the troubling provision.

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Press Releases
Church & State
December 2016 Church & State

Pickney's Promise

Two Hundred and Thirty Years Ago, An Obscure Founding Father Put Something Very Important Into The U.S. Constitution

March 2016 Church & State

Debunker Of Lies

Chris Rodda Refutes 'Christian Nation' Pseudo-Historian David Barton In New Book

February 2016 Church & State

A Wall For All

Church-State Separation Protects Everyone, But Non-Religious Americans Have Special Reasons For Supporting It

February 2016 Church & State

Presidential Proclamations

U.S. Chief Executives Have Said Some Wonderful Things About Separation Of Church And State Over The Years. Here Are Ten Great Ones.

February 2016 Church & State

The Last Political Taboo?

The U.S. Constitution Forbids 'Religious Tests' For Public Office, But When It Comes To Non-Believers, Many Voters Have Decided To Impose One Anyway

January 2016 Church & State

Holy Hysteria

A New Look At The Salem Witch Trials