Even though it’s been a challenging year of deflecting the Trump-Pence administration’s attacks on church-state separation, we at Americans United have much to be grateful for as we reflect on 2017 and look ahead to the months to come.
President Donald Trump’s nominees to serve as assistants to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may have more experience in education than her, but they didn’t seem any more prepared than she did at their Senate confirmation hearing this week.
On Dec. 8, Americans United and our allies will go before the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia to urge the court to continue blocking President Donald Trump’s un-American and unconstitutional Muslim ban.
Secularists, non-Christians and progressive Christians have long been critics of Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell Jr. But lately Falwell has had to deal with flak from an unexpected source: fellow evangelicals who are angry over his support for President Donald J. Trump and his blend of nationalist and fundamentalist rhetoric.
A year ago, when Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices in the land, Americans United warned of the many threats this administration posed to church-state separation. We promised that if any of those threats came to fruition, we would be ready to fight back and defend religious freedom.
The leadership of the House of Representatives today released a tax-reform package that includes language greatly weakening the Johnson Amendment – the provision in the tax code that ensures tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, do not endorse or oppose political candidates.
Today’s tax-reform proposal would change the law so that churches – but not other nonprofits – could endorse candidates seeking office.
Maggie Garrett, legislative director of Americans United, released this statement in response:
Americans United is following through on a promise we made when the Trump administration announced an attack on women’s health care last month: We’ve filed a federal lawsuit challenging the administration’s new regulations that allow employers and universities to use religion as an excuse to deny their staff and students health insurance coverage for birth control.
Much ado was made on Oct. 13 when President Donald Trump became the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit, the annual gathering of the Religious Right sponsored by the Family Research Council.
It was a repeat appearance for Trump, who spoke at the confab about a month before he was elected president in November 2016. His encore this year received an enthusiastic welcome in the crowded Washington, D.C., hotel ballroom that was brimming with far-right fundamentalist Christians – a bloc that overwhelmingly voted for Trump last year.
Americans United and allies are working to ensure that the third time is not the charm for President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban.
AU joined Muslim Advocates and the law firm Covington and Burling LLP in early October to file Iranian Alliances Across Borders v. Trump – the first lawsuit to challenge Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0. As this issue of Church & State went to press, a federal court in Maryland ruled in favor of Americans United and its allies and issued an order blocking implementation of Trump’s latest Muslim ban.