Church and State

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Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

By Bear Atwood, ACLU at 4:57pm
Today, in a letter to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the ACLU and United Sikhs called on state officials to investigate the harassment of a Sikh commercial truck driver pulled over early this year for a flat tire.  After detaining Mr. Jagjeet Singh in January as he passed through Mississippi, the officers called him a "terrorist" and harassed and humiliated him because of his appearance and religious beliefs.  As a devout Sikh, Mr. Singh wears a turban and carries a kirpan.  A kirpan is a small, spiritual sword that is sheathed and sewn to the waistband. It is designed and worn as an article of faith, much as a cross is worn by devout Christians.
Sorry Mr. Mayor, But Atheists Have Rights, Too

Sorry Mr. Mayor, But Atheists Have Rights, Too

By Carrie Ellen Sager, PFRB Legal Fellow, ACLU at 12:18pm

They say you can't fight city hall, but sometimes there's no other choice.

The residents of Warren, Michigan, visit their city hall on a regular basis to pay taxes, to vote, and to visit the library branch and the farmers market that are located…

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

Sorry Officer, You Have a Duty to Protect and Serve, Not Proselytize

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 2:09pm

Imagine a police officer refusing to guard a Sikh temple, give a presentation on safety and crime prevention at a Catholic elementary school, conduct foot patrols in a neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population, or come to the aid of an injured…

No Playing Favorites with Prayer

No Playing Favorites with Prayer

By Aleksandr Sverdlik, Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 12:24pm

“We can’t be defeated, we can’t be destroyed, and we can’t be denied because we are going to live forever with you through the salvation of Jesus Christ.” Usually, these are the words a churchgoer might hear on a Sunday morning. Instead,…

Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

Religious Rites, Students’ Rights, and Rites of Passage

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 1:04pm

For several years, the public high schools of Enfield, Connecticut held their graduation ceremony in the First Cathedral Church in nearby Bloomfield. Students, friends, and family entered the building under a large cross, passed through a lobby decorated…

Symposium: Prayer and the machinery of the state

Symposium: Prayer and the machinery of the state

By Daniel Mach at 3:03pm

This was originally posted on SCOTUSBlog.

In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court will address the contentious practice of legislative prayer for the first time in three decades. The Court first tackled the issue in Marsh v. Chambers,…

This Week in Civil Liberties (9/2/2011)

This Week in Civil Liberties (9/2/2011)

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 5:03pm

What major telecom company participated in warrantless wiretapping?

Which former leader has no regrets about Bush Administration torture policies?

What supposedly quick fix to public education deficiencies endangers the separation between…

The Supreme Court Revisits Official Government Prayer

The Supreme Court Revisits Official Government Prayer

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:52pm

It's hard to believe that, in 2013, any question remains regarding the constitutionality of official government prayers, but the Supreme Court will revisit the issue for the first time in more than a decade when it hears oral arguments this November…

Court Rules Cross Must Come Down

Court Rules Cross Must Come Down

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 10:48am

Yesterday, a district court ruled that the federal government may no longer display a 43-foot Latin cross on Mt. Soledad in San Diego, California. The Court's order, which prohibits the government from "displaying or continuing to allow the display…

No Laughing Matter: Government Prayer and Second-Class Citizenship

No Laughing Matter: Government Prayer and Second-Class Citizenship

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:40pm

This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a First Amendment challenge to a New York town's practice of solemnizing its local board meetings with Christian prayer. The argument revealed the weak constitutional…

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