ACLU will sue over Trump’s “religious freedom” executive order

  • The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday that it plans to sue Trump over a recently signed executive order allowing religious organizations to endorse political candidates.
  • In the statement, ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero said the executive action served as a “broadside to our country’s longstanding commitment to the separation of church and state.”
  • “Whether by executive order or through backroom deals, it’s clear that the Trump administration and congressional leadership are using religion as a wedge to further divide the country and permit discrimination,” he said. "We intend to file suit today.“
  • In addition to giving religious leaders more political freedom, the executive order, called "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty,” also provides “regulatory relief” for religious organizations that object to an Affordable Care Act mandate that forces employers to provide health coverage, including contraception, according to CNN. Read more (5/4/17)

Trump wants to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment barring religious groups from politics

  • At the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday,  Trump vowed to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment – a tax provision designed to help maintain the separation of church and state.
  • The Johnson Amendment prohibits organizations like churches and charities from participating in campaigns for or against specific political candidates under threat of losing their tax-exempt status.
  • Trump has not said how he plans to scrap the Johnson Amendment, but doing so would allow religious leaders to endorse candidates from the pulpit and churches to pour money into campaigns. Read more

Kentucky just passed a law allowing Bible classes in public schools

  • A new Kentucky law will clear the way for Bible study courses to be implemented in the state’s public schools, but watchdog groups are concerned about its potential to infringe on religious liberties.
  • On Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, signed House Bill 128 into law, it’s also known as the “Bible Literacy law.” 
  • The law will require the Kentucky Board of Education to institute “an elective social studies course on the Hebrew Scriptures, Old Testament of the Bible, the New Testament or a combination of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament of the Bible” — among other mandates. Read more (6/29/17)
Official statement regarding the Alabama senate vote to allow churches to form their own police forces

While the Church of Satan supports clear separation of church and state, we are not an activist group and do not partake in protests or lobbying. We trust that sensible residents of Alabama share our desire for respectful, equitable, secular law and order and will move to defeat this blatant theistic overstep.

Separation of Church & State

1. Not in the Constitution. Originates from a letter by Jefferson.
2. Concept intended to protect the churches from state-influence, NOT to protect the state from church influence.
3. The 1st amendment only forbade an established church at the federal level. Many of the colonies had established churches.

Protestant (Congregational, Puritan Calvinists):
Massachusetts Bay
New Haven
New Hampshire 

Church of England:
New York
North Carolina
South Carolina

Maryland* (founded by a charter granted in 1632 to George Calvert, secretary of state to Charles I, and his son Cecil, both recent converts to Roman Catholicism)
*Under their leadership many English Catholic gentry families settled in Maryland. However, the colonial government was officially neutral in religious affairs, granting toleration to all Christian groups and enjoining them to avoid actions which antagonized the others.On several occasions, low-church dissenters led insurrections which temporarily overthrew the Calvert rule. In 1689, when William and Mary came to the English throne, they acceded to demands to revoke the original royal charter. In 1701, the Church of England was proclaimed, and in the course of the 18th century Maryland Catholics were first barred from public office, then disenfranchised, although not all of the laws passed against them (notably laws restricting property rights and imposing penalties for sending children to be educated in foreign Catholic institutions) were enforced, and some Catholics even continued to hold public office.

No established church:
Pennsylvania (founded by Quakers)
New Jersey (significant Quaker lobby + presence of various Calvinists types)
Delaware (contested between Catholics and Quakers)
Rhode Island & Providence Plantations** (founded by religious dissenters forced to flee the Massachusetts Bay colony)
**Widely regarded as the first polity to grant religious freedom to all its citizens, although Catholics were barred intermittently. Baptists, Seekers/Quakers and Jews made this colony their home.