New Report Analyzes Importance of Church-State Separation

New Report Analyzes Importance of Church-State Separation

April 28, 2005

April 28, 2005 -  New York – The American Jewish Committee has released a new publication exploring the relationship between the state and organized religion and the importance of religious freedom, central issues to AJC since it was founded nearly a hundred years ago.

Separation of Church and State: Protecting Religious Liberty in America Today explains the rationale and history of church-state separation in the United States, and emphasizes how important it is to maintain the wall of separation, especially in light of recent efforts to chip away at this fundamental principle of American democracy.

While many legal resources address these issues, this pamphlet strives to make the information accessible to the general public. "It is our hope that the publication will provide much needed guidance to various interested and involved members of the community on such current topics as creationism in the public schools, the public display of the Ten Commandments, and government funding of faith-based initiatives," said AJC Legal Director Jeffrey Sinensky.

Topics include: a brief history of religious persecution and the need for separation of church and state; religion in the public schools; government aid to religious schools; religious displays on public property; government funding of faith-based initiatives; and religious liberty and accommodations.

AJC believes that the First Amendment's twin guarantees of the free exercise of religion and the separation of church and state work together to ensure that Americans of all faiths and of no faith can live as their consciences dictate. Respecting these constitutional mandates is also the surest way of avoiding division in our pluralistic society.

The agency seeks to protect these cherished "first freedoms" in the courts and through legislative and grassroots advocacy. Since filing its first amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in 1923 supporting the rights of Catholic parents to send their children to parochial schools, AJC has been involved in most of the nation's landmark religious liberty and church-state debates.

Click here for the full report.

Contact: Kenneth Bandler (212) 891-6771
Lisa Fingeret Roth (212) 891-1385


Date: 4/28/2005 12:00:00 AM