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Public school officials such as teachers, principals and others may not sponsor prayer, devotional Bible reading or other religious activities. They may not compel or pressure young people to take part in religious activities. The Supreme Court ruled correctly when it struck down mandatory school prayer in 1962 and ’63. However, this does not mean there can be no religion in schools. Public school students have the right to pray voluntarily in a non-disruptive fashion during the school day and read religious texts during free time. A short rule of thumb: Individual, voluntary religious activity by students is permitted; school-sponsored religious worship is not.

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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

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Pat Robertson Unleashes A Raft Of Thoughtless Comments

Americans were horrified by the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. It’s still unclear what motivated Stephen Paddock to unleash such carnage, and that’s leading some people to engage in speculation.

Some ideas we can easily discount. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, has blamed the incident on a lack of respect for President Donald Trump, a thoughtless move that does little more than shift the blame away from the killer.

With New Birth Control Rule, Trump Administration Ramps Up Attack On Women’s Health Care

Ask women about birth control, and they’ll tell you they use it to protect their health and to plan their families. They are also likely to explain that it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it’s critical to their health and equality.

New regulations issued by the Trump administration today, however, could threaten all of that. Under the regulations, bosses and universities can use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.

Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

Today, Americans United and our allies will ask a federal court to block President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 from taking effect until the case we filed challenging the latest ban is decided.

We are filing a request for a preliminary injunction that would stop the Muslim ban from taking effect on Oct. 18. The Trump administration wants to indefinitely bar nationals from the predominantly Muslim countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States.

We Don’t Need To Bring Back School Prayer Because We Already Have It

Jeff Landry, the attorney general of Louisiana, told a Religious Right group recently that he plans to work to bring prayer back to public schools.

“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry told attendees of an event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum last month.

Federal Court Ruling Supports Religious Freedom, Strikes Down Florida County’s Prayer Practice

Over the weekend, a federal court struck down a Florida county’s practice of denying atheists, humanists and other non-theists the opportunity to offer invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled the policy of Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – namely by the government showing favoritism for certain faiths.

Forced Patriotism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.

As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.  

Pages

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

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Pat Robertson Unleashes A Raft Of Thoughtless Comments

Americans were horrified by the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. It’s still unclear what motivated Stephen Paddock to unleash such carnage, and that’s leading some people to engage in speculation.

Some ideas we can easily discount. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, has blamed the incident on a lack of respect for President Donald Trump, a thoughtless move that does little more than shift the blame away from the killer.

With New Birth Control Rule, Trump Administration Ramps Up Attack On Women’s Health Care

Ask women about birth control, and they’ll tell you they use it to protect their health and to plan their families. They are also likely to explain that it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it’s critical to their health and equality.

New regulations issued by the Trump administration today, however, could threaten all of that. Under the regulations, bosses and universities can use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.

Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

Today, Americans United and our allies will ask a federal court to block President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 from taking effect until the case we filed challenging the latest ban is decided.

We are filing a request for a preliminary injunction that would stop the Muslim ban from taking effect on Oct. 18. The Trump administration wants to indefinitely bar nationals from the predominantly Muslim countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States.

We Don’t Need To Bring Back School Prayer Because We Already Have It

Jeff Landry, the attorney general of Louisiana, told a Religious Right group recently that he plans to work to bring prayer back to public schools.

“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry told attendees of an event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum last month.

Federal Court Ruling Supports Religious Freedom, Strikes Down Florida County’s Prayer Practice

Over the weekend, a federal court struck down a Florida county’s practice of denying atheists, humanists and other non-theists the opportunity to offer invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled the policy of Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – namely by the government showing favoritism for certain faiths.

Forced Patriotism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.

As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.  

Pages

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

In The Wake Of Tragedy, Pat Robertson Unleashes A Raft Of Thoughtless Comments

Americans were horrified by the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. It’s still unclear what motivated Stephen Paddock to unleash such carnage, and that’s leading some people to engage in speculation.

Some ideas we can easily discount. TV preacher Pat Robertson, for example, has blamed the incident on a lack of respect for President Donald Trump, a thoughtless move that does little more than shift the blame away from the killer.

With New Birth Control Rule, Trump Administration Ramps Up Attack On Women’s Health Care

Ask women about birth control, and they’ll tell you they use it to protect their health and to plan their families. They are also likely to explain that it allows them to participate in the workforce and pursue their education. In other words, it’s critical to their health and equality.

New regulations issued by the Trump administration today, however, could threaten all of that. Under the regulations, bosses and universities can use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.

Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0

Today, Americans United and our allies will ask a federal court to block President Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0 from taking effect until the case we filed challenging the latest ban is decided.

We are filing a request for a preliminary injunction that would stop the Muslim ban from taking effect on Oct. 18. The Trump administration wants to indefinitely bar nationals from the predominantly Muslim countries of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States.

We Don’t Need To Bring Back School Prayer Because We Already Have It

Jeff Landry, the attorney general of Louisiana, told a Religious Right group recently that he plans to work to bring prayer back to public schools.

“With your prayers, and an offense, we will get prayer back in public schools,” Landry told attendees of an event sponsored by the Louisiana Family Forum last month.

Federal Court Ruling Supports Religious Freedom, Strikes Down Florida County’s Prayer Practice

Over the weekend, a federal court struck down a Florida county’s practice of denying atheists, humanists and other non-theists the opportunity to offer invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled the policy of Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – namely by the government showing favoritism for certain faiths.

Forced Patriotism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.

As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.  

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
October 2017 Church & State

Penalty Flag

A Wash. Public School Football Coach Has No Right To Pray With Students, A Federal Appeals Court Says

March 2017 Church & State

States Of Emergency

Legislation That Threatens Church-State Separation Is Pending In Half The Country

November 2016 Church & State

Offside And Out Of Bounds

The Supreme Court Struck Down Coercive Forms Of Public School Prayer 54 Years Ago, But Some Coaches Are Playing By Their Own Rules

September 2016 Church & State

Required Worship

Recalling The Bad Old Days Of Mandatory Religion In Public Schools

April 2016 Church & State

Choice, Not Coercion

There's Plenty Of Room For Voluntary Religion In America's Public High Schools - With One Notable Catch