American Center

Painting The Church-State Line

Left, right and a range of faiths join for statement clarifying where the law stands on religious expression.

01/22/2010
JTA

Washington — The Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Baptist Convention may butt heads over where the line ultimately should be drawn on the separation of church and state, but representatives of both organizations say they agree on where the law now stands — and with more than two dozen other experts they have come together to help explain it to the rest of the country.

After nearly four years of work, the organizational representatives have issued a 32-page document titled “Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law.”

Written in a question-and-answer format and including extensive endnotes, the document explains the state of the law on religious expression, answering queries such as “Are individuals and groups permitted to use government property for religious activities and events?” “May employees express and exercise their faith within secular nongovernmental workplaces?” and “Does the First Amendment place restrictions on the political activities of religious organizations?”

Marc Stern of the American Jewish Congress, left, and the OU’s Nathan Diament helped draft the new 32-page document.
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