Sunday marked the start of Banned Books Week 2017. This annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association and an array of other groups, is designed to increase awareness about attempts to restrict access to books (and, by extension, ideas) in America.
Imagine if the local community shelter you support sent you a newsletter telling you who to vote for in an upcoming election. It would be divisive and threaten the organization’s very mission.
Twenty-five years ago today, Sept. 22, 1992, the governing body of Americans United voted to hire a fellow named Barry W. Lynn to be the new executive director of Americans United.
A lawyer and United Church of Christ minister, Barry hit the ground running. One of the things he did best was irritate the Religious Right groups that hate church-state separation – a proud legacy he continues to this day. Leaders of these groups were flummoxed. How is it that a Christian minister had emerged as their most articulate opponent?
Military chaplains should be prepared to serve the religious and spiritual needs of a diverse community of troops, but one evangelical Christian Air Force chaplain in Ohio apparently has a problem supporting the rights of people of different faiths.
The Donald J. Trump administration’s discriminatory rhetoric has united religious minorities to mobilize and fight back. Most recently, hundreds of rabbis boycotted the annual High Holy Day call, in which Trump conveyed wishes to Jewish leaders ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year that begins this evening.
As we approach the start of a new U.S. Supreme Court term that will include two cases with major church-state separation implications, you can show your support for religious freedom and AU’s work by pledging that “Religious Freedom Is About Fairness.”
The pledge, which you can take here, affirms:
Today, Americans United and our allies told the U.S. Supreme Court that President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is an unconstitutional violation of America’s fundamental promise of religious freedom.
Religious freedom is about fairness – we don’t treat people differently because their beliefs are different from ours, and we certainly don’t ban people from America based on their religion. But that’s just what Trump’s Muslim ban does.
Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post about the Religious Right’s decision to stick with President Donald J. Trump no matter what he says or does. I noted the hypocrisy of the members of this movement, who are normally so quick to judge everyone else, in backing a man whose moral lapses are glaring and who clearly lacks the “biblical worldview” these folks claim to champion.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission this term. The case may have a huge impact on the meaning of religious freedom in the United States.