Today we celebrate Religious Freedom Day. After nearly a year of the Trump-Pence administration’s unwavering attacks on the freedom of religion and belief, some might wonder what there is to celebrate. But today, we can be thankful for the fact that Americans United has been successful in fighting many of the administration’s reckless assaults on this core freedom.
Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Since his tragic assassination on April 4, 1968, King's memory has been pressed into service in highly unusual ways that King himself would not have supported.
As the nation pauses to remember the civil rights leader this year, it's a good time to take a look at what this great American figure thought about church-state issues.
We’ve said goodbye to 2017, a year I suspect few of us will miss.
It’s easy to get discouraged in these difficult times. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, often aided and abetted by their allies in the Religious Right, continue to besiege the church-state wall. But as we look ahead to 2018, I want to remind all of you that there is cause for optimism. Yes, we still face many challenges, and we can’t afford to let our guard down for even a minute. But when it comes to separation of church and state, the picture is not as bleak as some may believe.
A new survey yet again demonstrates the vast public support for the Johnson Amendment, a provision in federal law that protects the integrity of our elections and of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring that nonprofits don’t endorse or oppose political candidates.
The Program for Public Consultation (PPC) at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy in November released the findings of its survey that show the majority of respondents support the Johnson Amendment.
Senate Democrats were able to block a provision in Congress’ tax overhaul bill that would have gutted the Johnson Amendment, which protects the integrity of elections and of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, by ensuring that nonprofits don’t endorse or oppose political candidates.
The House version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included language, inserted by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), that would have essentially repealed the Johnson Amendment.
Editor’s Note: Attempts by Congress to repeal or modify the Johnson Amendment – the provision in federal law that bars houses of worship and other non-profit entities from intervening in politics by endorsing or opposing candidates – are being met with growing resistance. Here are some editorials and columns criticizing the idea.
Politicized Churches And Dark Money
Depending on whether you like to look at the glass as half-full or half-empty, on Jan. 20 Americans will mark one year of Donald Trump’s presidency behind them or see at least three more to go.
Similarly, as the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration as the United States’ 45th president nears, advocates for church-state separation can lament the attacks Trump and his administration have launched – or they can take heart in the way the president’s actions have rallied the resistance and united those who are standing up for religious freedom.
There’s no denying that 2017 was a tough year for advocates of religious freedom and church-state separation. Yet despite the barrage of assaults from the Donald Trump-Mike Pence administration, Americans United saw important victories in and out of court.
As we look ahead to 2018, here’s a list of what are, in our opinion, the top 10 church-state stories from 2017:
After a months-long fight, we have good news: The final tax bill that the House and Senate will vote on next week will NOT contain language to repeal the Johnson Amendment. A big thank you to all of you who emailed and called your members of Congress and educated your friends and family about this issue. You are the ones who won this fight.