Subscribe to RSS - Churches and Politics

Religious groups have the right to speak out on political and social issues. Federal law, however, prohibits most tax-exempt bodies, including houses of worship, from intervening in elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Churches are not political action committees and should not act like them. Religious leaders should abide by the law and refrain from turning their congregations into cogs in a political machine.

Project Fairplay

In 1996, Americans United launched Project Fair Play to educate religious leaders and other Americans about tax exemption and political activity. We send informational letters to clergy, and we file complaints with the IRS when there are egregious violations.

Please visit Project Fair Play to learn more.
 


 

Horizontal Tabs

Most Recent
Blogs
Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

In Alabama, Another ‘Family Values’ Politician Falls

There are people who support separation of church and state in the South – plenty of them. It has been my privilege over the years to meet with some.  

They even exist in Alabama. But there’s no denying that many of the residents of that state – and the Deep South generally – are enamored of very conservative forms of Christianity and see government as a vehicle for promoting that faith. They call this region the Bible Belt for a reason.

Supreme Court Next Week To Consider Case With Major Church-State Separation Implications

Editor’s Note: A week from today on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.

Sean Spicer’s Comments About Hitler Show Appalling Ignorance Of Basic Historical Facts

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dug himself into quite a hole when he made a terrible analogy about dictators Adolf Hitler and Bashar Al Assad.

“You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer told reporters in a failed attempt to highlight how brutal the Assad regime’s most recent chemical attack on Syrians was. “He [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

Florida Fundamentalist Group Spams Federal Judges Hearing Muslim Ban Case

A fundamentalist, Florida-based organization is using an unusual tactic to support President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban: spamming federal judges with thousands of emails.

The Florida Family Association has launched a campaign to have supporters flood the inboxes of the judges on the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, asking them to re-instate Trump’s second executive order that barred immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries.

A Big Loss For Vouchers In The Lone Star State

Texas is one of the more conservative states in the country. Over the years, Lone Star State legislators have cooked up some pretty bad church-state legislation.

Voucher legislation is common in the Texas legislature, but even in this redder than red state, the bills usually fail to gain traction. This year’s session has given us a new twist: the lieutenant governor’s hard push for vouchers prompted the House to pass a proposal to bar the funding of private school vouchers.

In A Suburban Chicago School Board Race, Transgender Rights Won

A suburban Chicago school board race this spring was seen as a referendum on transgender rights. According to Tuesday’s unofficial election results, transgender rights won.

Over a year ago, the school board for Township High School District 211 in the Palatine-Schaumburg area northwest of Chicago approved a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment

This morning, 99 religious and denominational organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting the Johnson Amendment, which is the law that protects tax-exempt houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates. The letter also urged members of the House and Senate to reject calls from President Donald Trump to repeal or weaken the law.

Voters Across Party Lines Agree: Leave The Johnson Amendment Alone

As Congress and President Donald Trump gear up to tackle tax reform, they’d be wise to pay attention to the majority of Americans who don’t want tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, to endorse or oppose political candidates.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

In Alabama, Another ‘Family Values’ Politician Falls

There are people who support separation of church and state in the South – plenty of them. It has been my privilege over the years to meet with some.  

They even exist in Alabama. But there’s no denying that many of the residents of that state – and the Deep South generally – are enamored of very conservative forms of Christianity and see government as a vehicle for promoting that faith. They call this region the Bible Belt for a reason.

Supreme Court Next Week To Consider Case With Major Church-State Separation Implications

Editor’s Note: A week from today on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.

Sean Spicer’s Comments About Hitler Show Appalling Ignorance Of Basic Historical Facts

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dug himself into quite a hole when he made a terrible analogy about dictators Adolf Hitler and Bashar Al Assad.

“You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer told reporters in a failed attempt to highlight how brutal the Assad regime’s most recent chemical attack on Syrians was. “He [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

Florida Fundamentalist Group Spams Federal Judges Hearing Muslim Ban Case

A fundamentalist, Florida-based organization is using an unusual tactic to support President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban: spamming federal judges with thousands of emails.

The Florida Family Association has launched a campaign to have supporters flood the inboxes of the judges on the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, asking them to re-instate Trump’s second executive order that barred immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries.

A Big Loss For Vouchers In The Lone Star State

Texas is one of the more conservative states in the country. Over the years, Lone Star State legislators have cooked up some pretty bad church-state legislation.

Voucher legislation is common in the Texas legislature, but even in this redder than red state, the bills usually fail to gain traction. This year’s session has given us a new twist: the lieutenant governor’s hard push for vouchers prompted the House to pass a proposal to bar the funding of private school vouchers.

In A Suburban Chicago School Board Race, Transgender Rights Won

A suburban Chicago school board race this spring was seen as a referendum on transgender rights. According to Tuesday’s unofficial election results, transgender rights won.

Over a year ago, the school board for Township High School District 211 in the Palatine-Schaumburg area northwest of Chicago approved a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment

This morning, 99 religious and denominational organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting the Johnson Amendment, which is the law that protects tax-exempt houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates. The letter also urged members of the House and Senate to reject calls from President Donald Trump to repeal or weaken the law.

Voters Across Party Lines Agree: Leave The Johnson Amendment Alone

As Congress and President Donald Trump gear up to tackle tax reform, they’d be wise to pay attention to the majority of Americans who don’t want tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, to endorse or oppose political candidates.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

In Alabama, Another ‘Family Values’ Politician Falls

There are people who support separation of church and state in the South – plenty of them. It has been my privilege over the years to meet with some.  

They even exist in Alabama. But there’s no denying that many of the residents of that state – and the Deep South generally – are enamored of very conservative forms of Christianity and see government as a vehicle for promoting that faith. They call this region the Bible Belt for a reason.

Supreme Court Next Week To Consider Case With Major Church-State Separation Implications

Editor’s Note: A week from today on April 19, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, which threatens to disturb the healthy distance between religion and government. Because of the importance of this lawsuit, we’re reposting a two-part blog by Carmen Green, a Madison fellow in AU’s Legal Department, explaining the case and its church-state separation implications.

Sean Spicer’s Comments About Hitler Show Appalling Ignorance Of Basic Historical Facts

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dug himself into quite a hole when he made a terrible analogy about dictators Adolf Hitler and Bashar Al Assad.

“You had someone who was as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer told reporters in a failed attempt to highlight how brutal the Assad regime’s most recent chemical attack on Syrians was. “He [Hitler] was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

Florida Fundamentalist Group Spams Federal Judges Hearing Muslim Ban Case

A fundamentalist, Florida-based organization is using an unusual tactic to support President Donald J. Trump’s Muslim ban: spamming federal judges with thousands of emails.

The Florida Family Association has launched a campaign to have supporters flood the inboxes of the judges on the 4th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals, asking them to re-instate Trump’s second executive order that barred immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries.

A Big Loss For Vouchers In The Lone Star State

Texas is one of the more conservative states in the country. Over the years, Lone Star State legislators have cooked up some pretty bad church-state legislation.

Voucher legislation is common in the Texas legislature, but even in this redder than red state, the bills usually fail to gain traction. This year’s session has given us a new twist: the lieutenant governor’s hard push for vouchers prompted the House to pass a proposal to bar the funding of private school vouchers.

In A Suburban Chicago School Board Race, Transgender Rights Won

A suburban Chicago school board race this spring was seen as a referendum on transgender rights. According to Tuesday’s unofficial election results, transgender rights won.

Over a year ago, the school board for Township High School District 211 in the Palatine-Schaumburg area northwest of Chicago approved a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to allow transgender students to use the restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Faith Groups Urge Congress To Protect The Integrity Of Houses Of Worship By Maintaining Johnson Amendment

This morning, 99 religious and denominational organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting the Johnson Amendment, which is the law that protects tax-exempt houses of worship by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose candidates. The letter also urged members of the House and Senate to reject calls from President Donald Trump to repeal or weaken the law.

Voters Across Party Lines Agree: Leave The Johnson Amendment Alone

As Congress and President Donald Trump gear up to tackle tax reform, they’d be wise to pay attention to the majority of Americans who don’t want tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, to endorse or oppose political candidates.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
February 2017 Church & State

Prayers Or Politics?

President Donald Trump Wants To Allow Houses Of Worship To Intervene In Partisan Elections Yet Remain Tax Exempt

January 2017 Church & State

Snake Oil Solution

Why Repealing The Ban On Pulpit Politicking Is A Colossally Bad Idea

December 2016 Church & State

Payback Time

Donald Trump Won the White House With Strong Support From Religious Right Groups. What Will They Get In Return?

November 2016 Church & State

Pulpit Politicking Panned

Americans United Reminds Faith Leaders To Focus On Issues, Not Candidates