I was born in the United States, as were my parents and three-quarters of my grandparents. I was educated at public schools, I pay taxes and I vote. I’ve spent most of my adult life working as a journalist and now for an organization that advocates for religious freedom, so you could say I live and breathe the First Amendment.
But according to a third of my fellow citizens, I’m not “truly American” because I’m not a Christian.
A lot has been said about President Donald J. Trump’s travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries and blocking all refugees worldwide. A recurring argument, it seems, is that Trump has a moral obligation to prioritize Christian refugees and other minority-religion refugees from Muslim-majority countries – something he went on the record saying he would do.
“Wait, aren’t church and state already separate?” I’ve been asked this question many times; enough that it has inspired me to come work with an organization that has fought for 70 years to ensure they do stay separate. My name is Erica and I am the communications intern at Americans United for Separation of Church and State this spring.
Ken Ham has been on quite a tear against Americans United lately. The Australian creationist is all worked up because AU continues to point out the inconvenient fact that he built his Ark Encounter park, a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, in part on the backs of the state’s taxpayers.
February marks Black History Month, and our nation’s troubled history of race relations and struggles with racism often overlooks the significant accomplishments that people of color have made to advance our country and society.
Those accomplishments include fighting for religious freedom. When the U.S. Constitution was written, the rights prescribed applied to white men, while African-Americans, women and other marginalized groups later had to fight to amend the constitution for explicit inclusion.
President Donald Trump has clarified the role of Religious Right favorite son Jerry Falwell Jr. in his administration: leading a task force on higher education.
On Tuesday, the White House issued a statement, claiming President Donald Trump is “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights.” The very next day, though, we saw a draft executive order that contains perhaps the most sweeping attack on LGBTQ and women’s rights in the name of religion that we have ever seen.