Religious Right “Christian nation” advocate and pseudo-historian David Barton has a special offer for teachers: From March 15-17, he’ll be offering a conference at his home base in Aledo, Texas, “designed to equip teachers from both public and private schools with the principles and techniques that were used in early American education and thereafter for decades.”
After receiving a letter from Americans United about a church-state violation in November, officials at a Massachusetts public high school have decided to cancel a planned Easter Mass performance by the school choir at a church in Italy.
The Massachusetts Constitution is very clear on the question of tax funding of religious institutions: It isn’t permitted.
The state charter holds that no “grant, appropriation or use of public money” shall be made to any “religious undertaking.” It also bars the use of tax aid “for the purpose of founding, maintaining or aiding any church, religious denomination or society.”
Nowhere in that document is there an asterisk stating that these rules don’t apply in the case of a house of worship that happens to be old.
A Massachusetts court in September declined to freeze taxpayer funds intended for the repair of two old churches in Acton.
Americans United in July filed a lawsuit challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep. These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. AU argues that while historic preservation is a worthy goal, the program goes too far by directing taxpayer support to religion.
Americans United in July filed a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court challenging three awards of taxpayer money to houses of worship to pay for renovations and upkeep.
These awards were made under the state Community Preservation Act (CPA). The idea behind the CPA is to ensure that historic properties are maintained. That is certainly a laudable goal, but in this case, we believe the state has gone too far.
When Ronal Madnick passes by some older churches in Massachusetts, he’s keenly aware that a violation of the state’s constitution may lurk behind the bricks and mortar.
The Massachusetts Constitution contains very strong language barring tax aid to religion. The state also has a law that allows old buildings to receive public funds for upkeep, and over the years, many houses of worship have dipped into that fund.
During my time as executive director of Americans United, I’ve always looked for opportunities to advance the cause of church-state separation by reaching new audiences. That’s why I am pleased to share that thanks to the online streaming service Concert Window, a fabulous show benefitting Americans United will be available August 3 to anyone who wants to watch it – regardless of where you live.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has filed a lawsuit to stop the town of Acton, Mass., from spending taxpayer funds to support two local churches.
In legal action filed today on behalf of 13 Acton taxpayers, Americans United says officials in Acton violated the Massachusetts Constitution when they approved Community Preservation Act grants for Acton Congregational Church and South Acton Congregational Church.
A federal court recently decided that “Pastafarianism,” also known as the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), is satire rather than a real religion that must be accorded First Amendment protections.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska in an April decision asserted that no one would seriously believe that the church was real. To believe such a thing, the court ruled, a person would have to have failed in “basic reading comprehension.”
Americans United has expressed concern over a Massachusetts town’s decision to spend thousands of taxpayer dollars to repair a historic church.