Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
- The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
The ACLU strives to safeguard the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty by ensuring that laws and governmental practices neither promote religion nor interfere with its free exercise.
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 from the undue influences of the other.
The ACLU has defended both religious and secular viewpoints, although we are sometimes more known for our secular efforts. Despite this misconception, we will continue to work to keep government and religion from entangling in all forms.