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Government should treat all of its citizens equally. No American should be made to feel like a second-class citizen on the basis of what he or she believes (or does not believe) about God or religion. When government sponsors prayer, erects religious symbols or includes worship in official activities, it sends a message that some faiths are preferred over others or that faith is preferred over non-faith. Government should be neutral on theological questions and should never send a message like this.

After the Supreme Court Ruling in Town of Greece v. Galloway, we launched Operation Inclusion, our campaign to encourage inclusive ceremonies and meeting invocations at local government meetings.

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

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.

Preferential Prayers: Federal Judge Halts Indiana Legislature's Sectarian Invocations

Indiana's House of Representatives is a forum for creating law, not for proselytizing.

It took a federal judge to remind that chamber's 100 members that their duties do not include advancing one religion over another.

On Nov. 30, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton ruled that in 2005, the Indiana House had opened its sessions with prayers devoted almost exclusively to Christianity. The judge's 60-page opinion was based on federal court precedent that holds state legislatures can include prayer in their proceedings, as long as they are nonsectarian.

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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

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.

Preferential Prayers: Federal Judge Halts Indiana Legislature's Sectarian Invocations

Indiana's House of Representatives is a forum for creating law, not for proselytizing.

It took a federal judge to remind that chamber's 100 members that their duties do not include advancing one religion over another.

On Nov. 30, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton ruled that in 2005, the Indiana House had opened its sessions with prayers devoted almost exclusively to Christianity. The judge's 60-page opinion was based on federal court precedent that holds state legislatures can include prayer in their proceedings, as long as they are nonsectarian.

Pages

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

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.

Preferential Prayers: Federal Judge Halts Indiana Legislature's Sectarian Invocations

Indiana's House of Representatives is a forum for creating law, not for proselytizing.

It took a federal judge to remind that chamber's 100 members that their duties do not include advancing one religion over another.

On Nov. 30, U.S. District Judge David F. Hamilton ruled that in 2005, the Indiana House had opened its sessions with prayers devoted almost exclusively to Christianity. The judge's 60-page opinion was based on federal court precedent that holds state legislatures can include prayer in their proceedings, as long as they are nonsectarian.

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