'Tis The Season To Be Controversial?

Fights Over Government Holiday Displays Are Dividing Communities Nationwide, According To AU Report

Controversies surrounding government endorsement of religious displays are increasingly prevalent during this year's holiday season, dividing communities and raising contentious legal questions, according to a new report prepared by Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Federal Court Of Appeals Rejects School Vouchers

Decision Is An 'Early Christmas Present For Public Schools And Constitutional Principles,' Says AU

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Cleveland's private religious school voucher program, holding that tax aid to religious schools violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which helped bring the lawsuit challenging the program, described the decision as a monumental victory for religious freedom, public schools and church-state separation.

Americans United Advises Pennsylvania Board Of Education To Reject Creationist Science Standards

Standards Could Lead Local School Districts Into Lawsuits, Watchdog Group Warns

New science standards under consideration in Pennsylvania open the door to religious indoctrination in public schools and could lead to lawsuits, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has charged.

In a Dec. 4 letter to Pennsylvania Board of Education President James P. Gallagher, Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn warned that the proposed standards "raise grave constitutional and public policy concerns." Added Lynn, "I'm writing today to urge you to revise these new standards to reflect sound constitutional law and appropriate science education."

Voters In California, Michigan Overwhelmingly Reject School Vouchers

Latest Referenda Should Deliver Death Blow To Voucher Movement, Says AU's Lynn

The decisive defeat of school voucher schemes on the ballot in California and Michigan should deliver a death blow to the school voucher movement, according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

California's Proposition 38 and Michigan's Proposal 1 failed by margins of more than 2-1. The results are the latest in a long string of defeats at the ballot box for vouchers or other plans to use public funds for private education.

Religious Right Role In Election Should Not Be Exaggerated, Says Americans United

Movement Won Some Races, But Also Suffered Major Defeats, Church-State Watchdog Group Notes In Report

The results from Tuesday's election show a mixed performance by the Religious Right, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

An Americans United report on the election results shows that the Religious Right played a part in Republican candidate George W. Bush's vote total. However, given the narrow difference between Bush and Democratic candidate Al Gore, it will probably never be determined whether the movement played a definitive role.

Virginia Supreme Court Allows Government Aid For TV Preacher Pat Robertson's Regent University

Ruling Permits Handout To Multi-Millionaire Religious Broadcaster

The Virginia Supreme Court today ruled that Virginia state government may issue $55 million in bonds to finance new construction at TV preacher Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the group that brought the lawsuit, criticized the 5-2 ruling, calling it a blow to church-state separation.

Clinton, Gore Church Appearances Spark IRS Complaint From Church-state Watchdog Group

Pulpit Politicking Prohibited Under Federal Tax Law, Says Americans United

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate two churches for possible violations of the federal tax law's ban on church politicking.

Americans United asserted that the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va., and the Greater Grace Temple of the Apostolic Faith in Detroit, Mich., engaged in partisan politicking during yesterday's church services by encouraging support for Democratic candidates.