Religion in our nation flourishes because of the U.S. Constitution's separation of government and religion. It allows Americans to freely practice their different faiths—or choose not to practice any faith—without government interference, endorsement or support.
Over the years, ADL has sought to preserve this separation so that no one in this diverse country feels like an outsider. We worked to ensure that our nation's public schools curb government-sponsored prayer and indoctrination in the classroom. We’ve repeatedly opposed government efforts to fund and support parochial schools and sectarian charities that hire and fire based on religion. And our advocacy has expanded accommodations for minority faiths in public schools, as well as public and private workplaces.
ADL is ever-vigilant. In 2012 we advised the presidential candidates to keep religious appeals out of the campaign by issuing a statement of principles on religion in political campaigns signed by some of the nation’s leading religious institutions and organizations. We vigorously opposed a Florida bill to allow prayer at school-sponsored K-12 assemblies and events. In the same state, we successfully urged a "no" vote on an amendment to the state constitution that would have used taxpayer dollars to fund houses of worship. And we were a strong voice defending the right of Muslims to build houses of worship and counseling against unnecessary anti-Sharia legislation.
With the nation rapidly growing more diverse, respect for all faiths, or no faith, is more important than ever.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing."
— from Edmund Burke
See how far we've come in the last century–and how far we have yet to go–by reading ADL’s 2012 Annual Report celebrating our Centennial anniversary.Anti-Semitism Bigotry Hate Crimes Bullying Extremism Israel Law Enforcement and Security Holocaust Education Interfaith Return to Annual Report