|AMERICANS UNITED (FOR SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE)|
Americans United (AU) is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization whose mission is to defend the first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” AU interprets this to mean that “religion and government must stay separate for the benefit of both,” a meaning that bears little resemblance to the actual wording of the First Amendment.
…its attention is focused almost entirely on the alleged transgressions of conservative religious groups; liberal and leftist groups can operate without hindrance from Americans United.
“We … oppose efforts by the Religious Right to impose its theological views on the public by governmental action,” says AU….One AU ad likens Christian conservatives in the U.S. to fundamentalist Muslims in Iran. (snip)
Opposition to school vouchers remains a high priority for AU, which declares:
(AU made no mention of the fact that those same taxpayers, by funding teacher’s unions like the National Education Association with their tax dollars, are required, regardless of their preferences, to subsidize such things as sex education, gay and lesbian “sensitivity” programs, busing and other forced integration measures, educational services for illegal aliens, bilingual education, multicultural education, “global warming” curricula, and “peace studies.”)(snip)
AU officially opposes the use of churches for the promotion of political candidates:
In AU’s estimation, conservative congregations are the primary offenders who violate the prohibition against electioneering in the sanctuary:
Similarly, AU has condemned the Christian Coalition “Voter’s Guides” that are distributed to churches during election seasons… lest they lose their tax-exempt status like the aforementioned New York church.
AU responds very differently…when restrictions against church electioneering are violated by leftists…the organization chose not to file a complaint with the IRS after presidential candidate Barack Obama had given a speech at the United Church of Christ’s (UCC) 2007 national convention…
AU opposes government spending for social programs (“faith-based initiatives”) that are established or administered by religious groups. Thus the organization rejected a 2002 legislative proposal titled the “CARE Act of 2002” (which was agreed to by the White House and bipartisan leadership in the Senate) whereby the government would offer some support to faith-based groups whose mission is to help poor people access welfare benefits, job training, emergency shelter, food, clothing, and other basic necessities. AU said the bill was unconstitutional because it gave “special treatment to religious groups.”
In June 2006, AU won a lawsuit in federal court challenging the Iowa Corrections Department’s support for Charles Colson’s InnerChange, a prison program that trains inmates in evangelical Christianity. Said AU:
AU identifies itself as a non-sectarian and non-partisan organization that “refrain[s] from making any statements supporting or opposing any candidate or party, including publishing voter guides about candidate stances on church-state issues.”
Based on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the AU staff consists of more than 40 employees. The organization has more than 75,000 members distributed across all 50 states. It is funded by donations from members and others who support its objectives, and by grants from such entities as the Deer Creek Foundation, the Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund. AU receives no government funding.
Email :AmericansUnited@au.org *** Phone : 202-466-3234
518 C Street NE Washington, DC 20002
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