Tag: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

August 7, 2015
May 18, 2015
Cleveland Plain Dealer logo

It’s not very often when news media inserts itself in a contentious local issue, but the Cleveland Plain Dealer decided that the separation of church and state was a bridge too far. It took a side in a resolved issue over a public school musical performance of an opera with religious concepts.

August 11, 2013
photo of people praying before a meeting
Praying before a meeting

Town of Greece v. Galloway is a US Supreme Court case to heard in the fall that might set the boundaries for prayers before town council meetings so they aren’t a violation of the separation of church and state. One interesting thing to come out of the pre-hearing filings is that the Obama administration is supporting the prayers. I really never knew why it was so important for an elected body to pray before working since prayers don’t make elected officials do a better job nor do the prayers improve living in a certain town or county. As one church state group put it, a town council meeting ‘isn’t a church service and it shouldn’t seem like one.’

We found out this week that President Obama’s administration weighed in on the case in an amicus brief and took the side of the town council.

March 22, 2013
image of Melissa Rogers
Melissa Rogers: New director of Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

The White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was started by President Bush in 2001 in order give taxpayer money to religious groups to provide social services. Even though the office spits at the spirit of the separation of church and state, President Obama kept the office and expanded it. Recently it was announced that the President would be appointing Melissa Rogers as the office’s new director. The general consensus of the various free thought groups is the appointment of Rogers is a good move and you know what means – trouble for the religious right. Hopefully.

March 22, 2013
image of a map version of state of Kentucky

Last week, two church & state cases from Kentucky were resolved. One concerning a state law that said “security was unattainable without reliance on ‘Almighty God'” lost in the US Supreme Court. Another case involving religious coercion at state-funded baptist children’s home was settled out of court as a victory for support of separation of church and state. We can’t always win these court cases but we need to fight as much as possible to protect the wall between church & state.

February 2, 2013
image of a month's supply of Birth Control pills

On Friday (02/01), President Obama’s administration announced a further watering down of the new health care rule that would require birth control coverage to be offered through an employee health plan. Previously churches were exempt but now religiously owned and operated non-profit groups and organizations will be able to gain an exemption if they request it. All exemptions would then shift the cost and provision of coverage to the insurance company. Of course the more vocal religious right groups say it’s not enough saying even private companies owned and operated by people who might have religious objections must be allowed to be exempt. They need to worry more about the people they serve rather than being so selfish.