I live in a HUD-subsidized housing. What are my rights to avoid religious activities and decorations?
A typical complaint involves the exhibition of religious holiday decorations in common areas (lobbies, recreation facilities, laundry rooms) of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized housing. Such religious holiday decorations often include angels, crèche displays, biblical scripture, menorahs, Stars of David, etc. Federal funding is distributed by HUD to support low income housing, as well as housing for senior citizens and the disabled, according to the stipulations enumerated in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The CFR is explicit and unequivocal in its prohibition on religious activities as part of any program funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Are religious holiday displays a violation of the First Amendment?
The most frequent complaint that FFRF receives during November and December concerns religious displays on public property. The majority involve a crèche, or nativity scene, being displayed at a public park, or outside or inside a government building. FFRF has even received complaints about a nativity scene prominently displayed on the front lawn of public schools! We also receive complaints about other religious symbols being displayed on public property, such as menorahs or crosses. Members of the public are shocked to find these displays authorized, supported, and erected by their local, state or federal government entities.
They make us listen to prayer before we eat lunch at public-funded senior centers. Help!
An unfortunately common state/church violation concerns prayer imposed on a captive audience of senior citizens before lunch at public-funded senior centers. This is illegal!
Is an Establishment Clause violation occurring at government meetings?
One of the most frequent complaints to the Freedom From Religion Foundation from the public over state/church violations concerns government officials opening government meetings with prayer.
A religious group is holding meetings in a public library. What can I do about it?
Like most government property, public libraries are not automatically open for individuals and private groups to exercise free speech. Once a government body chooses to open up library space for use by private groups, either through action (renting out facilities) or through a “library use policy,” there are a number of steps to take to determine if it is inappropriate for a religious group to be using the facilities.