The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Monday, November 22, 2004

AU Press Release: Taxpayer-Funded Americorps Program Should Not Promote Religion

Our Conscience

Taxpayer-Funded Americorps Program Should Not Promote Religion, Watchdog Group Says
Monday November 22, 2004

Americans United Urges Appellate Panel To Bar Religious Instruction By Program Participants

Teachers taking part in the taxpayer-funded AmeriCorps program should not be permitted to engage in religious instruction at sectarian schools, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has advised a federal appeals court.

The AmeriCorps program, run by the Corporation for National and Community Service, provides stipends called “national service education awards” to individuals for work at certain locations around the country.

Some of these positions are at religious schools, and some of the award recipients teach religion and lead religious activities as part of their work at these schools. A U.S. District Court ruled July 2 that the arrangement is unconstitutional. The federal government has appealed.

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