Accommodationism A narrow interpretation of the Establishment Clause in which government is forbidden only to provide assistance to particular churches. Accommodationists believe that neutral government support for religion in general is permissible.
American Center for Law and Justice A conservative religious group, founded by the Rev. Marion "Pat" Robertson, that seeks to protect religious liberty. The ACLJ represents Christians who believe they have been the victims of discrimination.
American Civil Liberties Union A long-standing interest group in American politics that exists to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens. The ACLU is unpopular among members of the Christian Right.
American exceptionalism A belief that the United States is a unique nation and thus is not directly comparable with other nations.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) An interest group founded by television producer Norman Lear, which opposes any form of governmental support for religion.
Amicus curiae Literally, "friend of the court"; an advisory brief submitted to a court by a person or organization not named as a party in the case or controversy being considered by the court.
Bread for the World An ecumenical religious organization dedicated to fighting world hunger.
Burger Court The United States Supreme Court during the period in which Warren Burger was chief justice (1969-1986). The Burger Court was generally expected to reverse some of the tendencies of the Warren Court, and move the Court in a more conservative direction. However, in the area of church-state relations, the Burger Court is best known for its ruling in Lemon v. Kurtzman, which is generally considered a strongly separationist interpretation of the Establishment Clause.
Catholic Alliance An organization founded in 1995, which was intended to attract Catholic support for the Christian Right.
Christian Coalition An interest group founded by the Rev. Marion "Pat" Robertson, which seeks a more assertive role for religion in American public life.
Christian preferentialism The combination of an accommodationist reading of the Establishment Clause with a communalist reading of the Free Exercise Clause. Communalists believe that nondiscriminatory government assistance to religious bodies is permissible, and that government may generally regulate unorthodox or unpopular religious practices.
Civil religion The veneration of symbols and artifacts of the American political system or political culture (e.g., the flag and the Constitution).