The Wall of Separation Blog https://www.au.org/ en In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Americans United Urges SCOTUS To Protect Students’ Religious Freedom https://www.au.org/blogs/Kennedy-Bremerton-SCOTUS <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, Americans United Urges SCOTUS To Protect Students’ Religious Freedom</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/69587" lang="" about="/user/69587" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">LHayes</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Jan 19, 2022 - 09:31</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/liz-hayes" hreflang="und">Liz Hayes</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/Higher-Quality%20Photo%20of%20Helmet-Raising%20Speech%20%28SER%20498%29%20%282%29.jpg?h=17f637d0&amp;itok=sFudbsTo" width="1700" height="525" alt="Joe Kennedy praying with players" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Administrators at the Bremerton School District, a public school district in Bremerton, Washington, realized in 2015 that they had a problem. One of Bremerton High School’s football coaches, Joseph Kennedy, was going out to the 50-yard line at the end of games and leading students in prayer.</p> <p>Still in his coaching uniform, with players from Bremerton and opposing teams joining in and in front of a stadium full of fans, the coach was organizing what amounted to prayer rallies as part of his job – and sending the message that the district unconstitutionally endorsed and favored his religious beliefs and practices.</p> <p>Bremerton administrators recognized that the coach’s prayer practice was coercive and violated students’ religious freedom. Parents and students later told administrators that children were put in “awkward situations” because they “did not feel comfortable declining to join with the other players in Mr. Kennedy’s prayers.” They said their children “participated in the team prayers only because they did not wish to separate themselves from the team.” One parent said his son “felt compelled to participate, because even though he was an atheist, he felt he wouldn’t get to play as much if he didn't participate.”</p> <p>No children attending public school should feel that they have to pray to play school sports. No students should ever feel excluded – whether it’s in a classroom or on the football field – because they don’t share the religious beliefs of their coaches, teachers or fellow students.</p> <p>So the district did the right thing for its students and followed the law: It told the coach to stop leading students in prayer. District officials tried to accommodate the coach’s desire to pray at school in a way that would not violate students’ rights. Administrators offered him the time and space to pray, apart from students, before and after games. They offered him private locations at the school to pray. They offered to discuss other potential accommodations with him, and invited him to suggest other workable solutions also.</p> <p>But Kennedy and his attorneys spurned what Kennedy himself acknowledged were the district’s sincere and earnest attempts to accommodate his religious practices. Instead, he announced in the media that he would resume his on-field prayers immediately after games. And when he made good on that promise at the Homecoming game, a stampede of students, community members and media rushed the field to join him, knocking over students and creating an unsafe environment.</p> <p>Bremerton administrators knew they had to put the rights and safety of students first. Kennedy left the district no choice but to place him on paid administrative leave. He did not re-apply for his coaching position when his contract expired at the end of the year; instead, he sued the school district.</p> <p>This case has never been about a school employee praying silently in private religious devotions. Rather, this case has always been about protecting students who felt pressured by their coach to participate in public prayer, and a school district that wants to follow the law and do right by its students and their families.</p> <p>The lower courts have consistently and repeatedly ruled in the district’s favor. One federal appeals court judge went so far as to call out the coach’s attorneys for the “deceitful narrative” they’ve presented. “Kennedy was never disciplined by BHS for offering silent, private prayers,” Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. wrote when <a href="https://au.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/Kennedy%20v.%20Bremerton%2C%209th%20Circuit%20Denial%20of%20En%20Banc%20Review%2C%207.19.21.pdf">the full 9th<sup> </sup>U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declined Kennedy’s request to rehear the case</a> last summer. “In fact, the record shows clearly that Kennedy initially offered silent, private prayers while on the job from the time he began working at BHS, but added an increasingly public and audible element to his prayers over the next <em>approximately seven years</em> before the Bremerton School District (BSD) leadership became aware that he had invited the players and a coach from another school to join him and his players in prayer at the fifty-yard line after the conclusion of a football game.”</p> <p>“Context matters,”<a href="https://au.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/Kennedy%20v.%20Bremerton%2C%209th%20Circuit%20Opinion%2C%203.18.21.pdf"> a 9th Circuit panel said in their majority opinion</a> last March. “[A]t issue in this case is not, as Kennedy attempts to gloss it, a personal and private exercise of faith. At issue was – in every sense of the word – a demonstration, and, because Kennedy demanded that it take place immediately after the final whistle, it was a demonstration necessarily directed at students and the attending public.”</p> <p>Back in 2019, the <a href="https://au.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/Kennedy%20v.%20Bremerton%2C%20SCOTUS%20Denial%20of%20Cert%201.22.19.pdf">Supreme Court declined to hear Kennedy’s case</a>. But Justice Samuel Alito, joined by three other conservative justices, wrote a statement laying the groundwork for the coach’s lawyers to get this case before the court. The lawyers followed Alito’s playbook, and on Jan. 14, the court agreed to hear the case; arguments will occur in April. </p> <p>Americans United has supported Bremerton School District all along, and last year we joined the district’s legal team. We’re urging the Supreme Court,<a href="https://au.org/media/press-releases/Bremerton-SCOTUS-Cert-Grant"> in the words of our President and CEO Rachel Laser</a>, to “recognize that the Bremerton School District did the right thing to protect the religious freedom, and ultimately the safety, of children.”</p> <p>We’re proud to represent this public school district that understands that schoolchildren and their families – like all of us – have a constitutional right to religious freedom, to believe as they choose and be treated equally by their public schools, regardless of those beliefs. Church-state separation is the foundational principle that protects religious freedom for everyone, and we’re always working to defend this vital constitutional shield.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/schools" hreflang="en">Schools</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/school-sponsored-prayer" hreflang="en">School-Sponsored Prayer</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/school-events-clubs" hreflang="en">School Events &amp; Clubs</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/government-support-of-religion" hreflang="en">Government Support Of Religion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/kennedy-v-bremerton-school-district-0" hreflang="en">Kennedy v. Bremerton School District</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/washington" hreflang="en">Washington</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 19 Jan 2022 14:31:03 +0000 LHayes 17192 at https://www.au.org Religious Diversity Under Siege: A Bostonian’s Take On The Christian Flag Case https://www.au.org/blogs/boston-flag-case <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Religious Diversity Under Siege: A Bostonian’s Take On The Christian Flag Case</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Jan 18, 2022 - 08:06</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/christian%20flag%20-%20getty%20.jpg?h=37363e3c&amp;itok=sBmFAbw4" width="1700" height="525" alt="christian flag" title="Christian flag " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>By Hannah Santos</p> <p>Today the Supreme Court will hear<a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/november-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/warning-flag-a-raft-of-new-cases-at-the"> </a><a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/november-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/warning-flag-a-raft-of-new-cases-at-the"><em>Shurtleff v. City of Boston</em></a><em>, </em>a case concerning a request to fly a Christian flag on a government-owned flagpole outside of Boston City Hall. The case is highly anticipated and likely to set a consequential precedent for future cases concerning religious symbols on public property.</p> <p>As a<a href="https://www.au.org/tags/youth-organizing-fellowship"> </a><a href="https://www.au.org/tags/youth-organizing-fellowship">Youth Organizing Fellow</a> and a citizen of Boston, I hold a personal stake in this case and adamantly affirm the importance of maintaining the separation of church and state. The city of Boston should not be required to amplify third-party religious views and provide a platform for religious symbolism directly in front of a major government building.  </p> <p>I am a student at a multi-denominational divinity school where I study alongside scholars and practitioners from a diverse set of religious backgrounds. Working in such multicultural spaces, I am privy to the beautiful religious pluralism Boston offers. From learning Hebrew with future rabbis to celebrating Diwali with my Hindu peers, my experiences in this city have enriched my life and taught me so much about the religious traditions of my neighbors.</p> <p>The religious diversity of Boston, however, cannot be taken for granted. As the original “City on a Hill,” Massachusetts’ historical Puritan rule preached a strict, cruel practice of religious intolerance. I am haunted by this history every time I walk through the Boston Commons, where<a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/womens-history-month-spotlight-mary-dyer"> </a><a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/womens-history-month-spotlight-mary-dyer">Mary Dyer</a> was executed in 1660 because of her Quaker beliefs. Now a peaceful tourist attraction, the Boston Commons holds a unique spot in our country’s dark history of religious persecution. Mary Dyer – like so many others – perished because she did not conform to the religious views espoused by the government. But her death was not in vain.</p> <p>Americans have fought hard to maintain the separation of church and state to protect religious minorities from prejudice and government coercion. In the face of unprecedented challenges to these protections, we must keep fighting. </p> <p>As a citizen of Boston, to see a Christian flag flying outside of City Hall would be disturbing and demoralizing. I have seen the beauty of this city’s religious diversity firsthand. Religious minorities should be treated with dignity and deserve to be protected from growing Christian nationalist sentiment. Allowing a Christian flag to be flown on government property is a clear and present threat to these communities.</p> <p>While I believe the government should not demonize religious expression, it should not provide a megaphone for it either. By maintaining the separation of church and state, we further strengthen religious freedom and diversity. To force an American city to display religious symbols on government property would be a disservice to both the current citizens and to the history of Boston itself.</p> <p> <em>Hannah Santos is a member of Americans United’s Youth Organizing Fellowship. She is a current Master of Theological Studies candidate at Harvard Divinity School and holds a B.A. in religious studies and history from Brown University.</em></p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/government-support-of-religion" hreflang="en">Government Support Of Religion</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/display-of-religious-symbols" hreflang="en">display of religious symbols</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/boston" hreflang="en">Boston</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 18 Jan 2022 13:06:00 +0000 boston 17191 at https://www.au.org Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, An Advocate Of Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/MLK-separation-advocate <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, An Advocate Of Church-State Separation</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Jan 17, 2022 - 08:19</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/MLK_0.jpg?h=7971fb6f&amp;itok=udhHXjDD" width="1700" height="525" alt="MLK" title="Dr. King" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p><em>Editor's Note: A version of this blog post originally appeared in 2006.</em></p> <p>Today marks the federal observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. As the nation pauses to remember King and his achievements, it’s a good time to take a look at what this towering American leader thought about church-state issues.</p> <p>First off, King was no advocate of partisan politicking in the pulpit. While King, a Baptist minister, spoke powerfully about issues of racial justice and equality from pulpits, he didn’t see the need to hand out candidate endorsements in church. The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who worked with King in the ’60s, pointed out several times that King did not electioneer in church.</p> <p>During an Oct. 1, 2002, debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, Lewis <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/november-2002-church-state/featured/protecting-the-pulpit">said</a>, “Ministers who led the civil rights movement did not select political candidates and operate our churches like political action committees. Although their churches and leaders faced violence and hatred for their efforts to protect human rights and human dignity, they were free and even protected by the Constitution to speak out on these issues. At no time did we envision or even contemplate the need for our houses of worship to become partisan pulpits."</p> <p>King also did not support the Religious Right’s attack on reproductive rights. He was an advocate of family planning. For his work on this issue, King in 1966 was given an award by Planned Parenthood in recognition of his support for being a leader in the fight for reproductive justice.</p> <p>Accepting the award on his behalf, King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, <a href="https://archive.thinkprogress.org/abortion-opponents-claim-martin-luther-king-jr-would-be-fighting-against-planned-parenthood-today-fc82b18e0771/">read a statement from King</a>, during which he cited the Black community’s “special and urgent concern” over family planning issues.</p> <p>King supported the Supreme Court’s decisions striking down government-sponsored prayer in public schools. King was asked about this issue during a January 1965 <a href="https://scrapsfromtheloft.com/2018/01/01/martin-luther-king-jr-playboy-interview-1965/">interview</a> with <em>Playboy</em> magazine written by Alex Haley. King not only backed the high court’s rulings, but he also noted that his frequent nemesis, Gov. George Wallace of Alabama, stood on the other side.</p> <p>“I endorse it. I think it was correct,” King said. “Contrary to what many have said, it sought to outlaw neither prayer nor belief in God. In a pluralistic society such as ours, who is to determine what prayer shall be spoken, and by whom? Legally, constitutionally or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right. I am strongly opposed to the efforts that have been made to nullify the decision. They have been motivated, I think, by little more than the wish to embarrass the Supreme Court. When I saw Brother Wallace going up to Washington to testify against the decision at the Congressional hearings, it only strengthened my conviction that the decision was right.”</p> <p>King would have been highly skeptical of the Religious Right’s crusade for teaching creationism and “intelligent design” in public schools. King saw no need for religion and science to fight. <em>Strength to Love</em>, a collection of King’s sermons, contains this <a href="https://blog.ucsusa.org/michael-halpern/science-religion-and-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-222">King observation</a>: “Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals. They are complementary. Science keeps religion from sinking into the valley of crippling irrationalism and paralyzing obscurantism. Religion prevents science from falling into the marsh of obsolete materialism and moral nihilism.”</p> <p>In one of his most famous passages, King reminded Americans of the different roles religion and government play in society.</p> <p>“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state,” King observed in a sermon that was also published in <em>Strength to Love</em>. “It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”</p> <p>Christian nationalists sometimes try to claim King, but he was no friend of their views. Take a moment today and celebrate his true legacy of freedom.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/martin-luther-king-jr" hreflang="en">Martin Luther King Jr.</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/creationism" hreflang="en">Creationism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/reproductive-freedom" hreflang="en">Reproductive Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-school-prayer" hreflang="en">Public School Prayer</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/george-wallace" hreflang="en">George Wallace</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/john-lewis" hreflang="en">John Lewis</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/church-politicking" hreflang="en">church politicking</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 17 Jan 2022 13:19:51 +0000 boston 17190 at https://www.au.org Religious Freedom: What It Is – And What It Is Not https://www.au.org/blogs/RF-Day-2022 <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Religious Freedom: What It Is – And What It Is Not</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri Jan 14, 2022 - 09:07</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/people%20praying.jpg?h=7164c569&amp;itok=TU6KEZHW" width="1700" height="525" alt="people praying" title="people praying " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Sunday is Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia <a href="https://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/57-1/">Statute for Religious Freedom</a> on Jan. 16, 1786. This pioneering legislation laid the groundwork for church-state separation at the national level by inspiring the wording of the First Amendment’s religious freedom clauses.</p> <p>You can easily see examples of religious freedom in action. If you stroll through the streets of any decent-sized town, you’ll see a variety of houses of worship. That’s religious freedom in action. If a person stands on a street corner downtown to hand out tracts, that’s religious freedom in action. If you’ve been a Christian all your life but decide to check out Buddhism (or if you decide to step away from organized religion entirely, as a <a href="https://www.pewforum.org/2021/12/14/about-three-in-ten-u-s-adults-are-now-religiously-unaffiliated/">growing number</a> of Americans are doing), that’s religious freedom in action.</p> <p>That’s what religious freedom is. But what is it not? This is an important question as the Supreme Court inches toward adopting a theory of religious freedom that, to many of us, isn’t really religious freedom at all.</p> <p>With that thought in mind, here are some things to consider as we prepare to celebrate Religious Freedom Day:</p> <p><strong><em>Religious freedom is not a license to ignore laws you don’t like or subject other people to harm: </em></strong>A theory of religious freedom that is so broad it encourages people to pick and choose the laws they will follow is dangerous. As we’ve seen during the COVID pandemic, allowing houses of worship to remain open in the face of stay-at-home orders or giving people the power to refuse vaccine mandates because of religious exemptions has only prolonged the pandemic and added to the death toll. Religious freedom should never be a license to harm others.</p> <p><strong><em>Religious freedom is not a vehicle to discriminate in secular settings: </em></strong>A house of worship has every right to decide who it will admit as members and offer its services to. But the owner of a secular, for-profit business should have no right to refuse services to entire classes of people (LGBTQ folks, Muslims, single moms, atheists, etc.) simply because of his religious beliefs. During the Civil Rights era, some business owners in the South refused service to Black Americans because they said the Bible compelled racial segregation. That argument didn’t pass legal muster then, and it shouldn’t now.</p> <p><strong><em>Religious freedom is not the power to commandeer public schools and compel students to participate in worship: </em></strong>Students have the right to pray in public schools in an individual capacity and in a non-disruptive manner. But public schools, which serve students from a wide variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds, cannot sponsor prayer, Bible reading or other forms of worship. Your religious freedom is not violated because you are denied the power to use an arm of government for worship. (For more on this, see Americans United’s <a href="https://www.au.org/knowyourrights">“Know Your Rights” project</a>.)</p> <p><strong><em>Religious freedom is not the right to demand taxpayer support for your faith:</em></strong> The propagation of religious opinions and all religious activities must be supported with voluntary contributions. There should be nothing like a church tax in America. If a faith is unable to raise sufficient funds through voluntary means, it will either have to curtail its activities or close its doors. It is never the role of the taxpayers to bail out a house of worship or religious school.  </p> <p><strong><em>Religious freedom is not exclusionary; it’s inclusive: </em></strong>In some cases, religious groups may be able to use public spaces for free-speech activities and the display of symbols that they pay for and erect. In those situations, all other religious groups (and equivalent non-religious organizations, such as humanists and atheists) must be given access to the space as well. Religious freedom must never become an excuse for one group – even if it is the majority – to monopolize public spaces and exclude others.</p> <p>In Jefferson’s statute, he criticized “the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others….”</p> <p>We would do well to remember his words today. Religious freedom is a vital principle. We make a mockery of it when we allow it to become a device to control others, subject them to harm or diminish their rights.</p> <p> </p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/private-school-vouchers" hreflang="en">Private School Vouchers</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/virginia" hreflang="en">Virginia</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-freedom-day" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom Day</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/prayer-public-schools" hreflang="en">prayer in public schools</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/display-of-religious-symbols" hreflang="en">display of religious symbols</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Fri, 14 Jan 2022 14:07:46 +0000 boston 17186 at https://www.au.org Okla. Legislator Puts Bounty On School Library Books https://www.au.org/blogs/Oklahoma-school-libraries <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Okla. Legislator Puts Bounty On School Library Books</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu Jan 13, 2022 - 10:19</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/school%20library%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=lNIdEy2_" width="1700" height="525" alt="library " title="woman in library " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Christian nationalist groups are excited over a bill a state legislator in Oklahoma has introduced that, if enacted, would decimate public school libraries across the state.</p> <p>The bill, sponsored by Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman), would give parents the power to demand the removal of books “of a sexual nature.” According to the Christian nationalist group American Family Association,<a href="https://afn.net/education/2022/01/11/okla-lawmaker-battles-smut-in-schools-invites-parents-to-join-in/"> </a><a href="https://afn.net/education/2022/01/11/okla-lawmaker-battles-smut-in-schools-invites-parents-to-join-in/">the measure targets</a> any book that deals with “the study of sex, sexual preferences, sexual activity, sexual perversion, sex-based classifications, sexual identity, [or] gender identity.”</p> <p>Standridge’s bill, introduced last month, is extremely punitive. As <em>The Hill</em><a href="https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/diversity-inclusion/587517-oklahoma-lawmaker-introduces-book-banning-bill"> </a><a href="https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/diversity-inclusion/587517-oklahoma-lawmaker-introduces-book-banning-bill">reported</a>, “Parents believing a book violates the bill may demand school officials remove it within 30 days. If the book is not removed during this time, the school employee tasked with getting rid of it will be terminated – subject to due process – and prohibited from working at another school for at least two years. Parents may then seek ‘monetary damages,’ according to the bill, including a minimum of $10,000 for each day the challenged book is not removed.”</p> <p>Under a standard this broad, just about any book that contained even an oblique reference to sex could be challenged – including the Bible. (If you don’t believe me, check out the<a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2038%3A8-10&amp;version=NIV"> </a><a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2038%3A8-10&amp;version=NIV">story of Onan</a> and this<a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%20of%20Solomon%207&amp;version=ESV"> </a><a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Song%20of%20Solomon%207&amp;version=ESV">racy poetry</a>.)</p> <p>Unfortunately, we’re likely to see more bills like this in state legislatures. Some conservative lawmakers have decided that scaring parents over alleged dirty books in school libraries is a winning political strategy.</p> <p>Of course, public school libraries don’t stock any material that meets the legal definition of obscenity. What they do contain are books designed to help young people who may be grappling with issues of gender identity or sexual orientation or who might have questions about their bodies and human sexuality. If Standridge and those who think like him have their way, these books will be pulled from library shelves and tossed into oblivion.</p> <p>The only thing Standridge and his allies seek to “protect” young people from is their right to learn and understand the world around them. He seeks to elevate ignorance over knowledge, judgment over tolerance and fear over understanding.</p> <p>No parents should want that for their children.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/lgbtq-rights" hreflang="en">LGBTQ Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/censorship" hreflang="en">censorship</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/oklahoma" hreflang="en">Oklahoma</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-schools" hreflang="en">public schools</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/afa" hreflang="en">AFA</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 13 Jan 2022 15:19:36 +0000 boston 17185 at https://www.au.org Federal Court Blocks Compelled Support For Religion In S.C. https://www.au.org/blogs/south-carolina-funding <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Federal Court Blocks Compelled Support For Religion In S.C.</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Jan 11, 2022 - 09:24</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/IRS%20check.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=v1B7-331" width="1700" height="525" alt="check" title="govt check " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>In 2020, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) attempted to award taxpayer funds to private schools under a pandemic relief program. A lawsuit was filed, and the South Carolina Supreme Court<a href="https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-supreme-court-again-stops-gov-mcmaster-from-spending-covid-19-aid-on-private-schools/article_0f22bcfe-1d27-11eb-8f12-e3434165cde2.html"> </a><a href="https://www.postandcourier.com/news/sc-supreme-court-again-stops-gov-mcmaster-from-spending-covid-19-aid-on-private-schools/article_0f22bcfe-1d27-11eb-8f12-e3434165cde2.html">blocked the effort</a>.</p> <p>South Carolina’s constitution contains a provision that bars direct taxpayer funding of religious and other private educational institutions. It is one of many prohibitions against state funding of religious education, known as “no-aid” clauses, that are found in about three-fourths of the state constitutions. They reflect a concern, common during the colonial era, that no one should be compelled to pay for the propagation of someone else’s religion.</p> <p>Frustrated by their inability to get their hands on the public purse, the Bishop of Charleston and South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities filed a lawsuit asserting that the no-aid provision is discriminatory and bigoted. In court, they were represented by a Chicago-based libertarian group called Liberty Justice Center.</p> <p>Here’s some good news: A federal court has tossed the lawsuit. In an order issued last week, U.S. District Judge Bruce Howe Hendricks ruled that the South Carolina state officials defending the case prevailed without a trial. Hendricks didn’t provide reasoning for the ruling but said a full opinion will come later. (Americans United filed a <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2022-01/SC%20No%20Aid%20case.pdf">friend-of-the-court brief</a> in the case, arguing that South Carolina is under no obligation to fund religion.)</p> <p>Advocates of school vouchers and other forms of taxpayer aid to religion often argue that state no-aid amendments are products of late 19th century anti-Catholicism. In fact, many of these provisions are much older and were put in place to protect people from compelled support for religion.</p> <p>As James Madison<a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-08-02-0163"> </a><a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-08-02-0163">put it in 1785</a>, “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?”</p> <p>Madison and other framers understood that it’s a fundamental violation of the right of conscience to force someone to pay for the propagation of a faith they do not accept. They also knew that religion does best when it relies on voluntary support, not money coerced from our wallets by the government.</p> <p>South Carolina’s no-aid provision, like the language found in so many other state constitutions, protects those principles. It’s good to see it upheld yet again.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/taxpayer-funding-of-religion" hreflang="en">Taxpayer Funding Of Religion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/private-school-vouchers" hreflang="en">Private School Vouchers</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-funding-religion" hreflang="en">public funding of religion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/south-carolina" hreflang="en">South Carolina</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/james-madison" hreflang="en">James Madison</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/henry-mcmaster" hreflang="en">Henry McMaster</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 11 Jan 2022 14:24:43 +0000 boston 17183 at https://www.au.org Want To Fight Christian Nationalism? Begin By Arming Yourself With The Facts. https://www.au.org/blogs/christian-nationalism-resources <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Want To Fight Christian Nationalism? Begin By Arming Yourself With The Facts.</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Jan 10, 2022 - 09:39</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/us%20capitol%20with%20fence_0.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=k3EEFmZ3" width="1700" height="525" alt="fence" title="capitol fence" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>The one-year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection ought to be a time of soul-searching and reflection for Christian nationalists. It won’t be because leaders and followers of this movement are simply incapable of facing up to the uncomfortable truth that they employed violence in an effort to overturn the results of a democratic election.</p> <p>But that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to live in ignorance. Indeed, the first step to opposing Christian nationalism is to understand what we’re up against. Last week’s anniversary led to a flood of articles exposing the insurrection’s links to Christian nationalism. Here are a few you might want to check out.</p> <p><strong>In a <em>New York Times</em> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/06/opinion/jan-6-christian-nationalism.html">essay</a></strong><strong>, writer/researcher Katherine Stewart</strong> begins with a blunt assessment: “The most serious attempt to overthrow the American constitutional system since the Civil War would not have been feasible without the influence of America’s Christian nationalist movement. One year later, the movement seems to have learned a lesson: If it tries harder next time, it may well succeed in making the promise of American democracy a relic of the past.”</p> <p>Stewart explains that the coup attempt wouldn’t have been possible “without the unshakable sense of persecution that movement leaders have cultivated among the same base of voters.” <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/06/opinion/jan-6-christian-nationalism.html">Her piece</a> is sobering and disturbing. Read it and share it widely.</p> <p><strong>At <em>Salon</em>, investigative reporter Kathryn Joyce</strong> <a href="https://www.salon.com/2022/01/06/how-christian-nationalism-drove-the-insurrection-a-religious-history-of-jan-6/">puts the focus</a> on the Jericho March, a little-notice gathering in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 12, 2020. The event, Joyce notes, was “widely seen as a forerunner to Jan. 6.” She writes that it brought together a motley collection of “religious right factions to pantomime the biblical Battle of Jericho in praying to ‘bring down the walls of the Deep State.’”</p> <p>Writes Joyce, “The carnivalesque full-day rally – organized, as journalist Sarah Posner reported, by two then-current employees of the federal government – featured an odd fusion of charismatic evangelicalism, Christian Zionism and right-wing Catholicism. There was contemporary Christian praise music and Virgin of Guadalupe iconography; a rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ that concluded with the singer whopping ‘Giddy up’; and the female pastor of a New England pro-cannabis church wearing Catholic vestments while blowing on a Jewish shofar.”</p> <p>Since then, these groups have only intensified their rhetoric, Joyce writes, noting that “religious leaders have used the rhetoric of faith to minimize and redirect responsibility for the violence of that day.”</p> <p><strong>For a stunning visual reminder of the role Christian nationalism played on Jan. 6, 2021, visit <a href="https://uncivilreligion.org/home/index">“Uncivil Religion,”</a></strong> a collaborative digital effort by the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. At the site, you can read interpretive essays by scholars and visit media galleries that, as the site notes, “represent the variety of ways people deployed religion on January 6.”</p> <p>As we <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/Jan6-one-year">noted on this blog last week</a>, Christian nationalists are busy trying to rewrite what happened on Jan. 6. And while their lies may resonate with the many Americans who have chosen to live in a post-truth zone, millions of others know that facts still matter.</p> <p>We have a duty to ensure that the real story of Christian nationalist involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection is told and understood.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/katherine-stewart" hreflang="en">Katherine Stewart</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/smithsonian-institution" hreflang="en">Smithsonian Institution</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/us-capitol" hreflang="en">U.S. Capitol</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 10 Jan 2022 14:39:47 +0000 boston 17182 at https://www.au.org One Year After The Horrific Assault On The Capitol, Christian Nationalists Are Trying To Rewrite What Happened https://www.au.org/blogs/Jan6-one-year <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">One Year After The Horrific Assault On The Capitol, Christian Nationalists Are Trying To Rewrite What Happened</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu Jan 06, 2022 - 09:09</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/jan%206%2021%20riot.jpg?h=7130a6da&amp;itok=8n-RPLiF" width="1700" height="525" alt="insurrection" title="Jan. 6 insurrection " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Today marks a grim anniversary: It was one year ago that a frenzied mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol, assaulted police officers and vandalized the building.  </p> <p>To their eternal shame, many Christian nationalists were among the marauders that day. Video footage and photos show members of the crowd waving crosses and other symbols of the Christian faith. Since then, leaders of prominent Christian nationalist organizations have either downplayed the insurrection or <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/july-august-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/sympathy-for-the-devils-christian">expressed sympathy for those who took part</a>, portraying them as patriots.</p> <p>Christian nationalists tell many lies about what transpired on Jan. 6, 2021. You’ll likely hear them again, so here are five replies to keep in mind:</p> <p><strong><em>Christian nationalists say Trump wasn’t to blame – he was:</em></strong><strong> </strong>One thing should be crystal clear about the assault on the Capitol: Trump bears much of the blame for it. Trump urged people to come to D.C. on Jan. 6, promising them a <a href="https://www.fox5dc.com/news/trump-promises-wild-protest-in-dc-on-jan-6-the-day-congress-to-count-electoral-votes">“wild” time</a>. On the morning of the event, <a href="https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/a-timeline-of-what-donald-trump-said-before-the-capitol-riot/">Trump gave an incendiary speech</a>, repeating the lie that he had won the election and telling the crowd, “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”</p> <p>Trump did not join the march on the Capitol. Instead, he returned to the White House and watched the chaos he had spawned unfold on television. For hours he ignored pleas to call off the mob. When Trump finally did issue a statement, it was after the rioters had breached the Capitol, and it was tepid. He repeated the claim that the election had been stolen and told the insurrectionists, “We love you. You’re very special.” (Several police officers are <a href="https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/04/police-officer-lawsuits-capitol-riot-trump-526491">suing Trump</a> over his role in inciting the violence.)</p> <p><strong><em>Christian nationalists insist that left-wing groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter were behind the attack – they were not:</em></strong> Even as the attack on the Capitol was unfolding, evangelist Franklin Graham issued a tweet insisting that the rioters were members of Antifa. In the days that followed, other Christian nationalist leaders <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/Religious-Right-blame-antifa">made similar claims</a>. This is an absurd lie. Trump supporters took selfies and made videos of themselves inside the Capitol. Many were festooned with MAGA gear. As the arrests began, every single person charged was, without exception, a right-wing supporter of Trump. Yet despite this clear evidence, <a href="https://news.yahoo.com/poll-73-percent-of-republicans-blame-left-wing-protesters-for-jan-6-attack-just-23-percent-blame-trump-191520343.html">a poll taken five months</a> after the insurrection showed that 73% of Republicans still maintained that left-wing groups were responsible.</p> <p><strong><em>Christian nationalists say the assault wasn’t so bad – it was:</em></strong><em> </em>Several Republicans have tried to argue that the insurrection, which millions of Americans watched unfold on television, <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/house/553227-gop-downplays-jan-6-violence-like-a-normal-tourist-visit">wasn’t so bad</a>. U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) even compared the rioters to tourists. These “tourists” did <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/politics/capitol-riot-damage.html">$30 million in damage</a> to the Capitol and in related costs, mauled approximately <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/US/approximately-1000-assaults-law-enforcement-occurred-capitol-attack/story?id=79793226">1,000 police officers</a> and threatened to murder several politicians. Four people in the crowd died, and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/05/us/politics/jan-6-capitol-deaths.html">five police officers who were there died</a> in the days and weeks afterward.</p> <p><strong><em>Christian nationalists assert that the insurrectionists were merely expressing their anger in a legal way – they were not:</em></strong><em> </em>The members of the Jan. 6 mob were whipped into a frenzy by the Big Lie that Joe Biden had stolen the election from Trump; they reacted with violence and terrorism. In no way was this a lawful demonstration. Groups with grievances come to Washington all the time to hold rallies, hear speeches, march and speak out. All these activities are protected by the First Amendment. If the Trump hordes had limited themselves to lawful actions, Jan. 6 would have been just another day. But they didn’t – they overran the Capitol, mauled police officers, stole things, committed acts of vandalism and threatened lawmakers. That’s why <a href="https://www.adn.com/nation-world/2022/01/01/prosecutors-break-down-charges-convictions-for-725-arrested-so-far-in-jan-6-attack-on-capitol/">725 of them have been charged</a> with crimes that include assault with a deadly weapon, destroying private property (mainly cameras and other items that belonged to members of the media), entering restricted areas and possession of dangerous weapons. That’s why 165 rioters have already pleaded guilty.</p> <p><strong><em>Christian nationalists claim that their own people weren’t prominent in the insurrection – they were:</em></strong><em> </em>Video taken the day of the insurrection clearly exposes this claim for the lie that it is. People in the crowd can be seen hoisting crosses and other Christian symbols and signs. Some held prayer huddles during the event. Their presence was so prominent that Daniel Hodges, an officer with the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department who was assaulted by the mob, remarked on it while testifying before Congress in July, <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/hodges-perceived-Christians">observing</a>, “It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians. I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read, ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president.’ Another: ‘Jesus is king.’”</p> <p>Several scholars and <a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/01/12/the-faith-of-the-insurrectionists/">journalists have analyzed</a> the Christian nationalist presence during the insurrection. Scholars affiliated with Uncivil Religion, a collaborative project between the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama and the National Museum of American History, <a href="https://uncivilreligion.org/home/index">put it succinctly</a>: “Religious symbols, rituals, identities, banners, signs, and sounds suffused the events surrounding the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.”</p> <p>The lies embraced by Christian nationalists, Fox News and others on the far right may sound confounding to anyone who lives in the real world. After all, we saw the Jan. 6 insurrection unfold on live TV. We know what happened. The evidence is clear.</p> <p>But if the Trump years taught us anything, it’s that for millions of Americans, truth has become elastic – a thing that can be twisted into whatever shape one desires as long as it serves a partisan end.</p> <p>Of course, such a twisted tangle isn’t truth at all – but that doesn’t mean Christian nationalists won’t embrace it. Our task on this somber anniversary is, frankly, to make Christian nationalists uncomfortable by reminding them, over and over if need be, of what really happened, how their poisonous ideology helped bring it about and why all Americans of goodwill are determined to see that it is never repeated.  </p> <p>(<em>Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images</em>)</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/us-capitol" hreflang="en">U.S. Capitol</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/black-lives-matter" hreflang="en">Black Lives Matter</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/franklin-graham" hreflang="en">Franklin Graham</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/fox-news" hreflang="en">Fox News</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 06 Jan 2022 14:09:26 +0000 boston 17181 at https://www.au.org 75 Years Of Separation: New Programs Will Mark AU’s Milestone Anniversary https://www.au.org/blogs/RKL-AU-75 <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">75 Years Of Separation: New Programs Will Mark AU’s Milestone Anniversary</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Jan 05, 2022 - 08:21</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rachel-laser" hreflang="en">Rachel Laser</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/fireworks%2C%201.5.21.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=9sAfyT7t" width="1700" height="525" alt="fireworks" title="fireworks" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p><em><strong>Editor’s Note:</strong></em> <em>This post by Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser originally appeared in the </em><a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2022-church-state-magazine">January 2022 issue </a><em>of AU’s </em>Church &amp; State<em> magazine. To subscribe and get </em>Church &amp; State<em> delivered to your door every month, </em><a href="https://www.au.org/become-a-member"><em>become a member of AU</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p>I wish I could tell AU’s founders that we are turning 75 years old. I imagine they would be so proud and also relieved, since they knew how important this organization is to American life and democracy.</p> <p>Let me remind you about the impressive and eclectic group that founded AU in 1947. It included, among others, Charl Ormond Williams, an official from the National Education Association and feminist trailblazer; John A. Mackay, president of Princeton Theological Seminary; Louie D. Newton, president of the Southern Baptist Convention; Elmer E. Rogers of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite Masons; and the Rev. Clyde W. Taylor, sec­re­tary of the National Association of Evangelicals.</p> <p>You may be thinking: “Wait – what?! The Southern Bap­­tist Convention and National Association of Evangeli­cals helped launch AU?” Yes, they did. As I pointed out during my recent remarks outside the Supreme Court when the <em>Dobbs</em> abortion case was being argued, the Southern Bap­tist Convention <em>celebrated</em> the <em>Roe v. Wade</em> decision in 1973 as one that advanced religious freedom. These groups were with us, but they have since defected to the other side.</p> <p>Let this column be an official invitation to them to join us once again! As our Catholic plaintiff Aimee Maddonna likes to remind us: “If you don’t protect the rights of everybody, it sets a precedent that will eventually touch on you.” We have always been an institution that defends the rights of everyone – that’s why we’re aptly named “Americans United.” But at AU, we understand that there is no religious freedom if your “freedom” supersedes the freedom of those who are less powerful than you.</p> <p>Unfortunately, as we enter our 75th year, there is an emboldened, thriving Christian nationalist movement determined to establish that America is and must remain a Christian nation founded for its white Christian inhab­itants, and that our laws and policies must reflect this.</p> <p>At the same time, today’s vivid display of Christian nationalism – from the Jan. 6 insurrection to former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn recently urging the United States to embrace “one religion” – creates an un­precedented opportunity for AU to grow stronger.</p> <p>In honor of our 75th, we are launching a series of exciting new initiatives that will capitalize on this moment and build power for the future, and I wanted you to be the first to know about them:</p> <p><em>New look, new logo, new tagline, new website</em>: We are bringing AU into the 21st century with a new look and feel to expand and diversify our support. Don’t worry! You will still recognize us, but you’ll also see more human faces featured so it’s clear that our issue is not just a theoretical one – it affects real people and real lives. In February, we’ll unveil our new logo and announce a tagline. And (drumroll please) we’ll also debut a new, improved website that will make it much easier for people to access our many resources and understand us better.</p> <p><em>Legal Academy</em>: To safeguard our democracy, we must ensure that a new generation of leaders is best equipped to use the courts to protect the rights of marginalized people, including religious minorities and the nonreligious. That’s why next summer, AU is going to pilot the first-of-its-kind Legal Academy in partnership with several high-impact litigation ally groups. The Legal Academy will bring together a diverse group of legal interns for a week of skill, strategy and community building so that we can create a pipeline of litigators and judges who are best prepared to defend America’s promise of equality, including church-state separation.</p> <p><em>Summit for Religious Freedom:</em> Hold onto your hats, because the already amazing National Advocacy Summit of 2020 is going to transform into an even more in­credible event! We’re calling it “The Summit for Religious Freedom” because we<em> must</em> reclaim religious freedom. We want this event to become the hub for the religious freedom movement, the premier national event for advocates of church-state separation. To give ourselves the time to make good on this new ambitious vision – and since it is virtual (sigh!) – we are going to move the conference from March to later in the year. Stay tuned and get excited to participate, learn and advocate before your mem­bers of Congress.</p> <p>I’m honored to be leading Americans United at this crit­ical moment. Thanks to all of you for being our most ded­icated supporters as we hit this milestone!</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/history-and-origins-of-church-state-separation" hreflang="en">History and Origins of Church-State Separation</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/national-association-evangelicals" hreflang="en">National Association of Evangelicals</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/southern-baptist-convention" hreflang="en">Southern Baptist Convention</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 05 Jan 2022 13:21:23 +0000 boston 17178 at https://www.au.org Sarah Weddington: Advocate Of Reproductive Freedom And Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/sarah-weddington-tribute <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sarah Weddington: Advocate Of Reproductive Freedom And Church-State Separation</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Jan 04, 2022 - 08:12</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/Sarah%20Weddington%202004.jpg?h=20938b74&amp;itok=BdDc-IFG" width="1700" height="525" alt="Sarah Weddington" title=" " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Sarah Weddington, the attorney who successfully argued the landmark <em>Roe v. Wade</em> case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 that established abortion rights, <a href="https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-health-united-states-texas-020bcc83343699914329ab97d24a945d">died Dec. 26</a>. With her death, the nation has lost not only a powerful advocate of reproductive rights but also a strong supporter of separation of church and state.</p> <p>Although she was best known for arguing the landmark <em>Roe</em> case at age 26, Weddington racked up many accomplishments. A native Texan, she served in the Texas House of Representatives (where she shepherded passage of a law allowing women to have their own credit without a husband’s co-signature), held positions in the federal government during the Jimmy Carter presidency, taught law and penned a 1992 book, <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Question-Choice-Wade-40th-Anniversary/dp/1558618120"><em>A Question of Choice</em>.</a></p> <p>From 1991-95, she served on Americans United’s Board of Directors. Weddington aligned with us because she knew that church-state separation and reproductive freedom are bound up together; their fates are intertwined.</p> <p>In 1990, Weddington addressed an AU conference on church-state separation in Washington, D.C. She spoke eloquently about her experiences litigating <em>Roe</em> but expressed concern for its long-term survival.  </p> <p>“What I expect is that the court will continue to approve various state statutes, so that in essence, we might say there is a constitutional right to privacy, but the state has a compelling state interest to make all kinds of regulations and restrictions. Abortion will be a theoretical right and a practical non-right.”</p> <p>Weddington, speaking one year after the <a href="https://www.oyez.org/cases/1988/88-605">high court upheld</a> a package of abortion restrictions in Missouri, noted that opposition to abortion is almost always grounded in religious belief, adding, “I do think it’s an important issue, and it is one that is an example of the importance of the separation of religion and state.”</p> <p>Weddington reiterated this point throughout her career. In <a href="https://nation.time.com/2013/01/22/winning-roe-v-wade-qa-with-sarah-weddington/">a 2003 interview</a> with <em>Time</em>, she remarked, “[S]ome people just say, ‘My faith is opposed to abortion.’ But we live in a country where we can have many faiths, and we don’t impose the law of one faith on everybody. And so we go back to the constitution. What was the view of our founders? And it was that there are many parts of life which are so personal – the word privacy is not in the constitution but certainly the concept is – and so the founders basically were saying, ‘We really believe that the government should not make our most important decisions.’”</p> <p>Unfortunately, the situation today is worse than Weddington predicted back in 1990. The Trumpified Supreme Court may later this year issue a decision that <a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/">fatally weakens <em>Roe</em> or overturns it entirely</a>. And if the court undermines the right to privacy in the process, a host of other rights, including access to birth control and adult sexual freedom, may become vulnerable as well.</p> <p>Weddington understood that many of our rights – when and whether to have children, who we’ll love and marry, how we will raise our children – rest on the wall of separation between church and state. If the wall collapses, those rights fall with it. Her legacy is one of building up that wall. It’s vital that we continue this work.</p> <p>As AU President and CEO Rachel Laser <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2022-church-state-magazine/people-events/aus-laser-reminds-supreme-court-that">put it recently</a>, “Different religious and moral belief systems have <em>different</em> views on abortion. Religious freedom demands the right to an abortion so people can make their<em> own </em>decision according to their <em>own</em> principles. R<em>eproductive freedom is religious freedom!”</em></p> <p>Sarah Weddington fought for that principle all her life. In these perilous times, her powerful legacy is an inspiration. Let’s vow to carry it forth.</p> <p><em>(Photo: Sarah Weddington speaks at the March for Women’s Lives in Washington, D.C., in 2004. By Patty Mooney via Creative Commons)</em></p> <p> </p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/reproductive-freedom" hreflang="en">Reproductive Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 04 Jan 2022 13:12:38 +0000 boston 17177 at https://www.au.org