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.
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…

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

Supreme Court Takes a Pass on Mt. Soledad Cross Case

By Heather L. Weaver, ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief at 5:36pm

Today, we were pleased to learn that the Supreme Court declined to review our challenge to the federal government’s display of a 43-foot-tall Latin cross atop Mt. Soledad in San Diego, California.  The ACLU and the ACLU of San Diego and…

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,…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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