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One of the best places to start is the national Americans United site. Click the logo to open their site in a new window.

Americans United contains a wealth of information and background as well as keeping you up-to-date with newsletters and e-mail bulletins.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State makes a number of materials and resources available for its membership, students, reporters, lawmakers and members of the public. If you have any questions about this material or specific requests, please send Americans United an e-mail.

If you would like to order copies of any of these brochures, please download this order form and return it to Americans United.

To view or print the The documents listed below you must have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. Adobe Reader is FREE and can be downloaded by clicking this button:

Science, Religion And Public Education

A well-organized and well-funded campaign is under way to undermine the separation of church and state in America’s public schools. Aggressive religious pressure groups are pushing school boards nationwide to change the curriculum to conform to their doctrines. Battles have erupted all over the nation, and your community may be next.

Prayer And The Public Schools: Religion, Education, and Your Rights

As battles over church-state separation have escalated in recent decades, so too have misconceptions about the role of religion in public schools. Had prayer been expelled from our schools, as some people claim? Has Bible reading been banned? Must teachers avoid all mention of religion? The answer to these questions is "no." Public schools are not permitted to sponsor worship, but that does not mean that they must be "religion-free zones." In order to clear up some of the misunderstandings about religion and the public schools, it is important for Americans to know the truth.

Should You Pay Taxes To Support Religious Schools?

Who should make the decision about how much money you contribute to religious groups--you or the government? Most Americans would have no trouble answering that question. All of us want the right to freely make our own choices about religion. Yet an increasingly influential coalition of religious and political leader is working to undercut that right by requiring taxpayer support for religious schools. The fate of church-state separation hangs in the balance.

Is America A 'Christian Nation'?: Religion, Government And Religious Freedom

Is the United States a "Christian Nation?" Some Americans think so. Religious Right activists and right-wing television preachers often claim that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation. Even some politicians agree. If the people who make this assertion are merely saying that most Americans are Christians, they might have a point. But those who argue that America is a Christian nation usually means something more, insisting that the country should be officially Christian. The very character of our country is at stake in the outcome of this debate.

Religion, Partisan Politics and Tax Exemption: What Federal Law Requires And Why

Every weekend, millions of Americans attend houses of worship to hear sermons, study scripture and participate in other religious activities. If some politicians and Religious Right activists have their way, however, people in the pews might soon be doing other thing during services--listening to partisan political political speeches, being solicited for campaign contributions and getting instructions about whom to vote for on Election Day.

The 'Faith-Based' Initiative: Churches, Social Services & Your Tax Dollars

With increasing frequency, opponents of church-state separation are working to pass laws granting tax dollars to churches and other houses of worship to perform government-sponsored social services. This proposed merger of government and religion represents a serious threat to religious liberty. Despite constitutional concerns, high-ranking political leaders, including President George W. Bush, have made these laws a major priority. In the process, the controversy has become one of the leading domestic policy debates in America. If proposals to force taxpayers to fund religious ministries are implemented, the consequences would be a sweeping assault on the First Amendment's separation of church and state.

America’s Legacy Of Religious Liberty

Unlike many countries around the world, the United States mandates full religious freedom in its Constitution. No government official or politician can tell you which faith to follow. That very personal decision is made by each individual. Without this right to worship as we see fit, Americans would not be truly a free people.

 

The following links are provided to a number of online sites that contain material relevant to the matter of Separation of Church & State. The opinions expressed on linked sites do not necessarily reflect the opinions and/or official positions of NSCAU or the National Americans United organization.

Each link will open in a new window. Close the new window to return to this page.

Interfaith Alliance.

Center For Inquiry.

1st Freedom First.

American Association for Advancement of Science.

Grassroots Leadership.

Secular Coalition for America.

Talk to Action.

Theocracy Watch.

Jews on First.

Institute for Democracy Studies.

Truth Wins Out.

Political Research Associates.

Defcon.

Faithful America.

ACLU.

American Library Association.

Church & State is the monthly magazine of Americans United. Read the January 2010 issue by clicking on the cover image or this LINK.

This month's cover story:  "Church, State & Obama" -  The President Has A Decidedly Mixed Record On Issues Of Religion And Government Experts Say.

Back issues of Church & State from 2002 - 2009 are available in the Archive.

The North Shore Chapter has produced a new "Advocacy Handbook" which sets forth guidelines for permitted and non-permitted advocacy activities by IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. This version incorporates commentary and examples from the latest IRS Revenue Ruling 2007-41, issued June 18, 2007.

The new Advocacy Handbook - Version 2.0 contains a discussion of legal and impermissible political activities for tax-exempt organizations, a comparison of different entities [501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 527], and the slides from two PowerPoint presentations: 1) DO's and DON'Ts for 501(c)(3) organizations, and 2) 14 Examples of permitted and not-permitted activities.

View or Download the full PowerPoint presentation HERE.
(56 Slides - 401 KB)

View or Download the "Advocacy" PowerPoint presentation HERE.   (24 Slides - 181 KB)

View or Download the "14 Examples" PowerPoint presentation HERE.  (32 Slides - 136 KB)

View or Download the full "Advocacy Handbook" HERE
(PDF - 55 pages - 274 KB)

View or Download the "Advocacy Handbook" (Without PPT Slides) HERE
(PDF - 27 pages - 195 KB)

View or Download the "14 Examples" (Text Version) HERE
(PDF - 8 pages - 53 KB)

View or Download the entire slide presentation (both sections) as a PDF HERE   (PDF - 56 pages - 98 KB)

At the February meeting, Matt Lowry gave a presentation on "Evolution, Creationism, and the First Amendment" which is summarized below:

Ever since Charles Darwin published his "Origin of Species" in 1859, there has been a backlash against the teaching of evolutionary science from various quarters of the religious community. In recent years there has been a concerted and organized effort to undermine the teaching of evolution while promoting a new variant of creationism, called "intelligent design", in public science classes.

From the infamous "Scopes Monkey Trial" in 1925 to last year's ruling in Dover vs. Kitzmiller, there has been a battle in the courts concerning the teaching of creationism vs. evolution.

The talk with visuals, addressed a brief history of this conflict and the summary of some major court decisions, with considerable attention paid to the recent Dover ruling that teaching "intelligent design" as science is unconstitutional. Also discussed was the Establishment Clause and why separation of church & state is so important in the defense of good science education in public schools.

View or Download the "Evolution, Creationism & the 1st Amendment" PowerPoint presentation HERE.   (35 Slides - 4.476 MB - be patient while it loads)

View or Download the slide presentation as a PDF (1 slide per page) HERE   (PDF - 35 pages - 436 KB)

View or Download the slide presentation as a PDF (2 slides per page) HERE   (PDF - 18 pages - 142 KB)



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