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

Politicizing the Communion Line

Almost 50 years ago, candidate John F. Kennedy assured a skeptical America that the Catholic Church would not influence his decisions as President. Kennedy believed "in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." An increasingly aggressive Catholic hierarchy is undermining this historic principle by attempting to control the votes of Catholic politicians on important social issues.

Rove, Falwell Back Off On Politicking At Graduation

When TV preacher Jerry Falwell announced that White House political strategist Karl Rove would deliver the commencement address at Liberty University May 8, Americans United quickly swung into action.

AU, noting that Liberty is a tax-exempt education institution, had some advice for Falwell and Rove in a press statement: Don't even think about turning the graduation ceremony into a Bush-for-president rally. (The IRS Code flatly bars churches and other tax-exempt entities from patisan electioneering.)

Blessing Bush: Partisan Day of Prayer?

Is the National Day of Prayer Task Force using its non-profit status to broadcast a partisan message in this heated election season? President Bush hosted a National Day of Prayer event with religious leaders at the White House today, and the event will be broadcast in prime-time tonight on evangelical Christian cable and satellite TV outlets as well as on  the Internet.

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

Pages

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

Politicizing the Communion Line

Almost 50 years ago, candidate John F. Kennedy assured a skeptical America that the Catholic Church would not influence his decisions as President. Kennedy believed "in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." An increasingly aggressive Catholic hierarchy is undermining this historic principle by attempting to control the votes of Catholic politicians on important social issues.

Rove, Falwell Back Off On Politicking At Graduation

When TV preacher Jerry Falwell announced that White House political strategist Karl Rove would deliver the commencement address at Liberty University May 8, Americans United quickly swung into action.

AU, noting that Liberty is a tax-exempt education institution, had some advice for Falwell and Rove in a press statement: Don't even think about turning the graduation ceremony into a Bush-for-president rally. (The IRS Code flatly bars churches and other tax-exempt entities from patisan electioneering.)

Blessing Bush: Partisan Day of Prayer?

Is the National Day of Prayer Task Force using its non-profit status to broadcast a partisan message in this heated election season? President Bush hosted a National Day of Prayer event with religious leaders at the White House today, and the event will be broadcast in prime-time tonight on evangelical Christian cable and satellite TV outlets as well as on  the Internet.

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

Pages

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

Politicizing the Communion Line

Almost 50 years ago, candidate John F. Kennedy assured a skeptical America that the Catholic Church would not influence his decisions as President. Kennedy believed "in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute." An increasingly aggressive Catholic hierarchy is undermining this historic principle by attempting to control the votes of Catholic politicians on important social issues.

Rove, Falwell Back Off On Politicking At Graduation

When TV preacher Jerry Falwell announced that White House political strategist Karl Rove would deliver the commencement address at Liberty University May 8, Americans United quickly swung into action.

AU, noting that Liberty is a tax-exempt education institution, had some advice for Falwell and Rove in a press statement: Don't even think about turning the graduation ceremony into a Bush-for-president rally. (The IRS Code flatly bars churches and other tax-exempt entities from patisan electioneering.)

Blessing Bush: Partisan Day of Prayer?

Is the National Day of Prayer Task Force using its non-profit status to broadcast a partisan message in this heated election season? President Bush hosted a National Day of Prayer event with religious leaders at the White House today, and the event will be broadcast in prime-time tonight on evangelical Christian cable and satellite TV outlets as well as on  the Internet.

Darby, Mont., Voters Get An 'A' In Science

Residents of Darby, Mont., have just put a stop to an attempt to teach religion in science classes.

On Tuesday night, voters in the small town overwhelmingly chose two school board candidates who support teaching evolution. They rejected one board incumbent and another candidate supported by a local minister who proposed teaching "intelligent design." (One of the defeated candidates was Gina Schallenberger, the board chair and a vocal supporter of creationism.)

"Promise Keepers" Find Politics -- Realize They Had It All Along

The mid-'90s evangelical men's group Promise Keepers is attempting to come back from its downward slide by transforming itself from a movement to a mission, according to the April 29 Denver Post. Dr. Tom Fortson, the new PK president, expressed concern about what he sees as "society's decaying moral values," as evidenced by the increasing acceptance of abortion, same-sex relationships and pornography.

Juvenile Injustice: Florida Promotes Day Of Christian-Only Prayer

With Religious Right forces poised to use this week's National Day of Prayer to push their radical agenda, many local communities are swept up in the fervor. In Florida, an enterprising staff member of the state Department of Juvenile Justice decided to post a link about the event to the Department's home page. The link led readers to the home page of the Florida Prayer Network, an organization that uses its site to encourage people to be baptized, to profess their faith in Jesus and to allow the Holy Spirit to control their lives.

IRS Reminds Churches To Avoid Politics

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding churches and other charities to avoid partisan political actions. Because churches and charities are exempt from income tax, they are prohibited from endorsing candidates, donating to campaigns, raising funds or distributing campaign materials. While houses of worship may address political and social issues, federal tax law bars tax-exempt organizations from electioneering.

Sore Loser: 'Commandments Judge' Seeks Help From Congress

Roy Moore isn't Moses, and Capitol Hill sure isn't Mt. Sinai. But the theocracy-minded former Alabama chief justice wandered in from the political wilderness yesterday to lobby Congress for his Ten Commandments bill. Ever since being ordered by federal courts to move his two-and-half-ton Commandments monument from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, Moore has found it easy to keep his Religious Right crusade alive.

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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