Americans United Responds to Wiccan Army Chaplain

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State picked up on the story of the Army Chaplain who wanted to switch from Christianity to Wicca, claiming that the Army’s treatment of him was “so obviously a case of religious discrimination.”  As noted in the public comments on the article, there are questions as to why the AU hasn’t made the same appeal about Chaplain Klingenschmitt, who the Navy attempted to discharge when he switched endorsers.  The basic circumstances are nearly identical; in fact, Klingenschmitt’s is arguably harder to justify.

Americans United Responds to First Freedom Project

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State posted an article deriding the “First Freedom Project” as a means to undermine church/state separation and placate “the religious right.”  The AU was particularly put off by the DOJ’s support of the Salvation Army’s right to hire people that observed its beliefs even if it contracted work with the government, saying  “…thanks to the Justice Department, the Salvation Army” could now discriminate.  While the DOJ did file a brief in support of the Salvation Army, the AU fails to note that it was actually the judicial branch of the government that made the ruling and is therefore the one “to thank.”

DOJ Announces “First Freedom Project”

A Department of Justice press release announced the “First Freedom Project,” which is billed as an effort “to strengthen and preserve religious liberty throughout the nation.”  Included in the initiative is a “Report on Enforcement of Laws Protecting Religious Freedom” over the last five years as well as a new website,  A public initiative to support the freedom of religion is a welcome sight in modern times that seem to prefer a separation of religion and public life.  (With credit to The Religion Clause blog for the point out.)

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