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 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…

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…

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

What Constitution? Anti-Muslim Rep. in North Carolina Pushes for Christian Prayer in Government Meetings

By Daniel Bullard-Bates, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:17pm

Should local officials be able to start their meetings with prayers that endorse a particular faith? North Carolina State Rep. Michele Presnell thinks so, with one tiny caveat: the faith endorsed must be her own. When asked by one of her constituents…

Supreme Court Turns Blind Eye to Exclusionary Prayers at Government Meetings

Supreme Court Turns Blind Eye to Exclusionary Prayers at Government Meetings

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 2:57pm

This morning, the Supreme Court issued a disappointing and troubling decision upholding a town board's practice of opening its meetings with Christian prayers.

For more than a decade, the town board of Greece, New York, has started meetings…

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,…

March Madness: Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Shot at Undermining Evolution Education

March Madness: Tennessee Legislature Takes Another Shot at Undermining Evolution Education

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 4:32pm

March may mean only one thing — the NCAA tournament — for basketball fans, but for Tennessee legislators, March means the revival of a state tradition that is not so worthy of celebration: attacking the teaching of evolution in public…

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…

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…

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

A School Voucher by Any Other Name

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 11:25am

Thirty million. That’s the amount of tax dollars that could be diverted annually from New Hampshire’s coffers to private schools by the year 2022 if the state is allowed to implement its new Education Tax Credit Program. Under the tax credit…

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