Supreme Court Ducks Controversy Over Pledge Of Allegiance

Issue Sure To Resurface At High Court, Says Americans United

Today's Supreme Court decision dismissing on technical grounds a legal challenge to the use of "under God" in public school recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance is disappointing, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

California physician Michael Newdow brought the suit on behalf of his daughter, a public school student. But Newdow has only partial custody of the girl, and the court today ruled he has does not have the right to sue on her behalf.

Americans United Criticizes Senate Panel For Showcasing Renegade Alabama Judge

Senate Should Not Give Platform To State Jurist Who Ignored Federal Court Order, Asserts AU's Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today criticized a Senate subcommittee for inviting Alabama "Commandments Judge" Roy Moore to give testimony at a hearing on alleged hostility toward religion in America.

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, noted that Moore defied an order from a federal court in his effort to keep a two-and-a-half-ton Ten Commandments monument on display at the Judicial Building in Montgomery, Ala.

Americans United Blasts Back-door Congressional Scheme To Recruit Churches Into Partisan Politics

Proposed Change In Federal Tax Law Comes At Same Time As Bush-Cheney Campaign's Outreach To 'Friendly Congregations'

Republican members of the House of Representatives are attempting to clear the way for partisan politicking by houses of worship by slipping an important change to the nation's tax laws into a job-creation bill, Americans United for Separation of Church and State revealed today.

Bush Campaign Attempting To Forge Church-based Political Machine

Effort Jeopardizes Tax Exemption Of Houses Of Worship, Charges Americans United

A plan by the George W. Bush reelection campaign to enlist 1,600 "friendly" houses of worship in Pennsylvania is a misguided attempt to build a church-based political machine that should be dropped immediately, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Americans United asserts that the plan jeopardizes the tax-exempt status of churches and could divide congregations with partisan politics.

Irs Should Investigate Electioneering By Colorado Springs Catholic Diocese, Says Americans United

Bishop Michael Sheridan's Pastoral Letter Designed To Endorse Bush And Other Republican Candidates, Watchdog Group Asserts

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today called on the Internal Revenue Service to investigate electioneering by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, saying a recent pronouncement by Bishop Michael J. Sheridan may have crossed the line into unlawful partisan politicking.

Sheridan on May 1 issued a pastoral letter to church members in the diocesan newspaper, insisting that they not vote for candidates who support legal abortion, stem-cell research or euthanasia. Catholics who do so, he said, put their very salvation at risk.

Tennessee Governor Should Veto 'faith-based' Bill, Says Watchdog Group

Law Would Allow Publicly Funded Religious Groups To Discriminate In Hiring, Says Americans United

The Tennessee legislature has sent the governor a "faith-based" bill that raises serious constitutional and civil rights concerns, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United urged Gov. Phil Bredesen in a May 26 letter to veto the bill, SB2594. Modeled after the Bush administration's regulations to allow for more government funding of religiously run social services, the Tennessee measure would allow religious groups to operate an array of state services in pervasively sectarian settings.

Calif. Mission Funding Headed For Senate Committee Vote

AU's Lynn Criticizes Agreement Allowing Justice Department To Review Measure's Constitutionality

A bill that would allocate $10 million in taxpayer funds to mission churches in California will face a vote before a Senate committee tomorrow, after senators reportedly reached a deal on the measure's constitutional problems.

The bill, the California Missions Preservation Act (S. 1306), is being pushed by U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

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Religious Right Leaders Blame Iraqi Prison Abuse Scandal On Mtv

Colson Comments 'One Of The Stupidest Things Said About The Abu Ghraib Scandal To Date,' Observes AU's Lynn

Two leaders of the Religious Right have blamed the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal on a remarkable source: watching too much MTV. 

Chuck Colson spoke this week at a pastors' briefing in Washington sponsored by the Family Research Council. In a May 12 e-mail to supporters, FRC President Tony Perkins observed, "As Chuck Colson pointed out at yesterday's Pastors' Briefing, when you mix young people who grew up on a steady diet of MTV and pornography with a prison environment, you get the abuse at Abu Ghraib."

Marriage Amendment Violates Separation Of Church And State, Says Americans United

Religious Right Scheme Would Give Government Blessing To Marriage Rites Of Majority Faiths, But Make Others Illegal

A proposed "marriage amendment" to the U.S. Constitution would undercut religious liberty in America and write the Religious Right's views into law for everyone to follow, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United Warns Wisconsin City Not To Fund Salvation Army Shelter

Government Cannot Pay For Building Where Religious Activities Take Place, Watchdog Group Tells Janesville Council

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has urged officials in Janesville, Wisc., not to allocate $250,000 in federal money for a Salvation Army shelter where religious programs will take place.

The Janesville City Council had earlier voted to help purchase a building for the Salvation Army but mandated that the group not conduct religious activities at the site. Army officials have refused to meet that condition. Council members are weighing whether they are willing to meet the Salvation Army's demands.