Thomas Jefferson

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” -- Thomas Jefferson, as President, in a letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802

While the First Amendment to the Constitution offers us a wonderful guarantee of freedom to believe as we wish, it is, as with all guarantees, only as good a protection for our liberty as the strength of our demand that it be honored. If we are not vigilant, these protections can be eroded over time, and eventually, will no longer exist.

Join The Atlanta Georgia Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State in our struggle to preserve one of the most important principles established by our founding fathers, the "wall of separation" between church and state.

Jeff Selman, our current chapter president, was a lead plaintiff in the "evolution sticker" suit against the Cobb County Board of Education, and he continues to be an advocate for all who are victims of religious discrimination or policies that violate the doctrine of church-state separation.

Christian Flag Should Not Fly at Georgia City Hall and County Courthouse, Americans United Says

UPDATED:  City of Cochran will cease display of flag.  Click here for more information.

Georgia officials must refrain from displaying the Christian flag at city and county buildings, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.

In letters sent today to officials in both the city of Cochran and Bleckley County, Americans United explains that flying the Christian flag on public property violates the First Amendment.
“When government buildings fly a Christian flag, especially with the intention of promoting Bible reading, it sends a crystal clear message that one religion is favored above all others,” said The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United. “This is among the most blatant violations of the Constitution that I have seen.”

Read more at:  https://au.org/media/press-releases/christian-flag-should-not-fly-at-georgia-city-hall-and-county-courthouse

AJC: Ga. Teacher 'Corrected' After Questioning President's Religion in Classroom

"The teacher allegedly stated that President Barack Obama is not a Christian and that any parent who supports Obama is not a Christian, either.

...in a parent-teacher conference soon after the comments were made, the teacher "presented to the parents a packet of several pages from a website that expressed her views on religion and politics" instead of adequately addressing their concerns."

Read more at:  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/georgia-school-corrects-teacher-after-she-brings-p/nkmS5/?ecmp=ajc_social_facebook_2014_sfp

UPDATE:  NAACP calls for teacher's resignation.  Read more at:  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/ncaap-dublin-school-nancy-perry-bill-obama-comment/nksz7/?hc_location=ufi

UPDATE 2:  Teacher removed from classroom:  http://politics.blog.ajc.com/2015/04/28/middle-school-teacher-who-questioned-obamas-religion-yanked-from-dublin-classroom/?ecmp=ajc_social_facebook_2014_politics_sfp

AU Files Amicus Brief in Same-Sex Marriage Case

Millions of gay and lesbian Americans should not be denied the right to marry because of false arguments raised about religious liberty, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Americans United today is filing a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court in a group of cases challenging the constitutionality of state bans on same-sex marriage. Opponents of marriage equality have argued that legalization of these unions will spawn conflicts with religious liberty.

Americans United’s brief in Obergefell v. Hodges rejects this argument.

“That some people have religious objections to others’ exercise of a fundamental right or entitlement to equal treatment under the law has never been thought a valid reason for wholly denying any recognition of constitutional protections,” asserts the brief. “Moreover, many of the feared conflicts between religious liberty and recognition of a same-sex marriage right are chimerical.”

Read more at AU:  https://au.org/media/press-releases/freedom-of-religion-and-same-sex-marriage-can-co-exist-americans-united-tells

The Guardian: RFRA-How a Legislative 'Miracle' Got Discriminatory

"When the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law by former president Bill Clinton on 16 November 1993, it did so with rare bipartisan support...

Critics say that the RFRA gives businesses and other groups defined as persons under the law a way to discriminate against LGBT people, who are not a protected class in the state.

So, how did a law that brought diverse religious groups and divided political parties together in 1993 become a polarizing issue 22 years later?"

Read more:  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/02/religious-freedom-restoration-history