Oppose SB 375, which permits state-funded adoption & foster-care agencies to discriminate based on religion

SB 375, introduced by Georgia Senator William Ligon, would allow taxpayer-funded adoption or foster care providers to cite religion to justify discriminating against the kids in their care and the parents who want to provide them homes. — learn more —-

Use this online action tool to send a message to your Georgia senator!

Consider attending the next Georgia Equality lobby day, Thu, March 1, 8:30 AM, in Atlanta.

Here’s an example of a letter you might send to your state senator:

As your constituent, I am writing to urge you to oppose SB 375. Religious freedom gives us the right to believe or not as we see fit, but it does not give us the right to harm or discriminate against others. This bill would allow taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to use their religious beliefs as an excuse to discriminate against the children and families they serve.

SB 375 would allow these agencies to refuse to serve any child or family if doing so is contrary to the agency’s sincerely held religious belief. Under this bill, agencies could cite their religious beliefs to refuse to place a child with a qualified same-sex couple, refuse to place a child with her grandparents because of their religion, or refuse to serve a teen and his family because one of his parents had been divorced.

This bill allows agencies to put their religious beliefs over the best interest of children in need. And that’s just wrong. All children in Georgia deserve a safe and loving home. Please vote NO on SB 375.

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What Can You Do to Protect the Johnson Amendment?

The American tax code grants houses of worship and other nonprofits special tax-free status specifically because they work for the common good. The Johnson Amendment, which has been in the tax code for more than 60 years, protects the integrity of these tax-exempt organizations by ensuring they do not endorse or oppose political candidates.

 

1. Learn more about the Johnson Amendment and the ongoing attempt to weaken it by making it nearly impossible for the Internal Revenue Service to enforce it.

2. Contact your members of Congress and discourage them from weakening it.

3. Join a delegation in visiting the local office(s) of your representative(s). The Central Savannah River Area Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is attempting to meet with staffers at the local offices of the representatives of GA-12 (Rick Allen, Augusta), GA-10 (Jody Hice, Thomson), SC-2 (Joe Wilson, Aiken) and GA-2 (Sanford Bishop, Macon). If you would consider being part of a delegation, call or text Ayman Fadel at (706) 284-3002.

Establishment Clause Book Club, 2015-6

From August 2015 to June 2016, Augustans met and discussed the following books at the Establishment Clause Book Club. We enjoyed them so much, we’ve chosen another 6 books for August 2016 through June 2017. Read the ones below, and join us to discuss more books in the future!

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M. Kruse

The New Religious Intolerance: Overcoming the Politics of Fear in an Anxious Age by Martha C. Nussbaum

Christian Nation by Frederic C. Rich

Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church and State by Robert Boston

Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine by Paul Offit

The Right vs. the Right to Die: Lessons from the Terri Schiavo Case and How to Stop It from Happening Again by Jon Eisenberg

Establishment Clause Book Club, 2016-7

From August 2016 to June 2017, Augustans met and discussed the following books at the Establishment Clause Book Club. We’ve chosen another 6 books for August 2017 through June 2018. Read the ones below, and join us to discuss more books in the future!

Aug 3    God and Government: Twenty-Five Years of Fighting for Equality, Secularism, and Freedom of Conscience by Barry Lynn

Oct 5      The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America by Ray Suarez

Dec 7    Strange Gods: A Secular History Of Conversion by Susan Jacoby

Feb 1     God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It by Jim Willis

Apr 12   The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma V. Darwin in Small-town America by Lauri Lebo

Jun 7  Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance by Linda K. Wertheimer