Congressional Prayer Caucus Off Base With Attack On Obama, Says AU

Church-State Watchdog Group Urges President To Ignore Missive Whining About National Motto

Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have criticized President Barack Obama for telling an audience in Indonesia last month that the phrase “E Pluribus Unum” is a good summary of the American experience.

The Prayer Caucus, led by U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), wrote to Obama today complaining that he called “E Pluribus Unum” the national motto during a Nov. 10 speech at a university in Jakarta. The national motto, the caucus insists, is actually “In God We Trust.” Read more

AU Criticizes Smithsonian For Caving In To Religious Right Pressure On Art Exhibit

Removal Of Video At National Portrait Gallery Is Religiously Based Censorship, Church-State Watchdog Group Says

A video that was part of an art exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., should not have been pulled at the behest of government officials and aggressive religious groups, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United criticized U.S. Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.) – who will likely be speaker of the House and majority leader next year – for demanding that the Smithsonian Institution remove the video. Read more

Obama Administration Should Take Action To Fix ‘Faith-Based’ Initiative, AU Tells Congress

Bush-Era Rules That Allow Publicly Funded Religious Charities To Discriminate In Hiring Should Be Overturned, Says AU’s Lynn

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today told Congress that Bush-era rules governing the “faith-based” initiative are unacceptable and should be promptly overturned.

In testimony to a U.S. House subcommittee, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, noted that President Barack Obama promised to fix the constitutional problems but so far has taken only modest steps in that direction. Read more

Obama Executive Order On ‘Faith-Based’ Initiative Is Disappointing

Church-State Watchdog Group Says Order Does Some Good Things, But Ignores Religion-Based Job Bias In Federally Funded Programs

Today’s White House executive order on “faith-based” funding fails to correct significant constitutional problems and leaves important civil rights issues unresolved, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Election Turned On Economic Issues, But Constitution May Suffer Collateral Damage

Religious Right Forces Are Certain To Demand Action In Congress On Divisive Culture-War Concerns, Says AU’s Lynn

Voters want Congress to focus on fixing the economy, but Religious Right groups are sure to demand that attention be paid to their divisive agenda, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Exit polls show that more than 60 percent of voters cited the economy as their top concern in yesterday’s voting. The figure was even higher in states hard hit by the financial setbacks.

But the changes in Congress, says Americans United, will empower Religious Right leaders who will insist on action on controversial social issues. Read more

Taxpayers Should Have Right To Challenge Aid To Religious Schools, AU Tells High Court

Church-State Watchdog Group Expresses Disappointment With Obama Stance In Arizona Tuition Tax-Credit Case

The right of taxpayers to challenge public funding of religious education must be preserved, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court tomorrow will hear Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, a case that challenges an Arizona scheme that allows taxpayers to take a 100 percent credit for donations to school tuition organizations that fund religious and other private schools. Read more

AU Asks IRS To Investigate Florida Church Whose Pastor Endorsed Slate Of Candidates

Sun City Christian Center Violated Federal Law, Says Watchdog Organization

The Internal Revenue Service should investigate a Wimauma, Fla., church whose pastor endorsed a slate of Republican candidates during Sunday services, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Read more

Proposition 8 Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Has No Legitimate Basis, AU Tells Appeals Court

Like Historic Opposition To Interracial Marriage, California Measure Is Based On Intolerance, Psuedo-Science And Religious Dogma, Says AU Brief

California’s ban on civil marriage for same-sex couples is based on intolerance, pseudo-science and religious dogma, not legitimate public policy concerns, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a federal appeals court. Read more

IRS Should Investigate Minnesota Church For Electioneering, Says AU

Watchdog Group Says Berean Bible Baptist Church Violated Federal Law

A Minnesota church whose pastor endorsed several political candidates during an Oct. 17 sermon should be investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United today filed a formal complaint with the IRS over the action of Berean Bible Baptist Church in Hastings. Church pastor Brad Brandon endorsed Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer and several other candidates from the pulpit yesterday. Read more

Appeals Court Should Strike Down the National Day of Prayer

Congress Has No Authority To Tell Americans When And How They Should Pray, Watchdog Group Says

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has asked a federal appeals court to find the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Americans United urged the panel of judges to affirm a lower court decision that held the National Day of Prayer statute unconstitutional. Read more

Pages