Religious Liberty

Safeguarding religion and government from the undue influences of the other

ACLU vigorously defends the rights of all Americans, all faiths*

Religious freedom is the right to practice the religion of one’s choice or no religion at all. The First Amendment protects that right by keeping religion free from government interference and coercion.

The First Amendment says,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As enshrined in the First Amendment, religious freedom includes two complementary protections: the right to religious belief and expression and a guarantee that the government neither prefers religion over non-religion nor favors particular faiths over others.

These dual protections work hand-in-hand, allowing religious liberty to thrive and safeguarding both religion and government form the undue influences of the other.

* or no faith

Featured Stories

ACLU Statement on Donald Trump’s Election

By Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director This morning, Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States, and the ACLU has a message for him. President-elect Trump, as you assume the... Read More


ACLU Statement on Orlando Tragedy

NEW YORK — ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said the following in response to the Orlando tragedy: “The Orlando tragedy has shaken us all. At times like this, we must hold close to our core values. Only by... Read More

Religious Liberty

ACLU Calls on San Marcos School to Redirect Fundraiser to a Nonreligious Group

 * * * * * * * * * * UPDATE - Dec. 10, 2014 Dec. 10,  2014 - Today, the ACLU received an email from the San Marcos Unified School District announcing the following: In order to ensure that San Marcos Middle School... Read More

Religious Liberty

Merry Christmas from the ACLU!

  Every year at about this time, the ACLU begins receiving scores of Christmas cards, generally unsigned, almost always without return addresses.  Many are simple and nice.  But some call on us to have a "Merry... Read More


San Diego ACLU Board Pays Tribute to Board Member James McElroy

The Board of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties recognizes esteemed board member Jim McElroy, for receiving one of the American Association for Justice’s top honors, the Leonard Weinglass in Defense of... Read More