Georgia governor Sonny Perdue has signed into law two bills that critics say may blur the line between church and state. But First Amendment watchdog groups indicated they will wait to see how the laws are put into effect before filing challenges.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has agreed to stop funding an abstinence program that included religious elements.
The American Civil Liberties Union announced February 23 that the settlement had been reached between its lawyers and federal officials in a case involving the Silver Ring Thing abstinence education group in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.
The U.S. Air Force has issued revised guidelines on religious expression, reiterating its official neutrality on matters of belief but making subtle changes in language that have drawn both criticism and praise from disparate groups.
The Florida Supreme Court has overturned that state’s school-voucher program, saying it violates the Florida Constitution. But the court’s decision January 5 did not address whether state money for parochial schools violates Florida’s religious freedom laws.
Christmas 2005 may be remembered as the year arguments were revived over whether in the public square one should say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Target and Wal-Mart stores were boycotted by some evangelical Christians for their practice of referring to the “holiday.” Some Christians even criticized President and Laura Bush for sending out a greeting card that said “With best wishes for
The First Amendment protects religious freedom in two ways: by prohibiting the government from interfering with citizens’ religious exercise and by barring the state from promoting faith. Judging from his record, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito seems apt to uphold the first safeguard but inclined to erode the second.
A speaker is talking to staff members about leadership and character. “The academy has been isolated and has drifted away from standard air force practice," he says. "If you see anything that doesn’t jibe with standard practice, please question it.” He is no doubt referring to indecent behavior by drunken cadets or incidents of sexual assault. The most recent controversy, however, has nothing to do with violence or drunkenness among cadets. It's about religion.
Though the Supreme Court reached different results in two cases challenging government displays of the Ten Commandments, the court’s message was quite clear: in deciding such issues, context is everything.