The Wall of Separation Blog https://www.au.org/ en On Giving Tuesday, Your Support Of Americans United Will Be Doubled https://www.au.org/blogs/Giving-Tuesday-2021 <!-- 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">On Giving Tuesday, Your Support Of Americans United Will Be Doubled</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 Nov 30, 2021 - 08:16</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/GT%20banner.png?h=d058159d&amp;itok=0g99044z" width="1700" height="525" alt="GT " title="Giving Tuesday" 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>It’s<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a> – your opportunity to support the important work of Americans United.</p> <p>We know that next year will be challenging for separation of church and state. We’re facing a string of decisions by the Supreme Court dealing with key issues such as reproductive rights, taxpayer support for religious instruction and government display of religious symbols. We can also expect more demands from Christian nationalists and others for religious exemptions from COVID vaccines. And, of course, there’s no way of knowing what else might happen. But thanks to your commitment to AU, we’ll be ready for whatever the new year brings. <a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Double your impact today!</a></p> <p>As we look ahead, it’s also worth taking a glance back. 2021 was a busy year for Americans United. The pandemic kept AU staff members working from home, but we’ve been as productive as ever. In fact, much of AU’s work focused on the pandemic, as we fought in the courts to stop a distorted interpretation of “religious freedom” from endangering Americans’ health, educated legislators about vaccine mandates and religious exemptions and responded to the reckless distortions of Christian nationalists in the media.</p> <p>We’ve had cause for celebration as President Joe Biden has lifted many Trump-era regulations and executive orders that threatened religious freedom. Yet we’ve seen dangerous bills surface in state legislatures and a rising tide of Christian nationalist extremists who demand censorship of books and ideas in public schools.</p> <p>We witnessed a horrifying assault on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, where Christian nationalists hoisted crosses alongside messages and symbols of hate. But we also saw millions of Americans denounce extremism, and we took heart that our democracy prevailed.</p> <p>At times, it felt like a rollercoaster ride, but through it all, the staff of Americans United kept one thing in mind: Defense of separation of church and state is not a burden – it’s an honor and a privilege. And no matter what the nature of our battles – in courts, in legislative chambers or in the media – we always give 100 percent. You have made that possible.</p> <p>Our<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a> goal this year is to raise $50,000. It’s ambitious, but we have exciting news: Thanks to a generous group of AU supporters,<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">your gift will be matched</a>. This doubles your impact and makes it possible for Americans United to continue to advocate for separation of religion and government before the Supreme Court, in the halls of Congress, in state legislatures, in communities all over America and in the arena of public opinion.</p> <p>We at Americans United know that we couldn’t do this vital work without you. We appreciate your support and hope that you’ll be able to make a special gift (which will be doubled) during this<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a>.</p> <p>P.S. Online contributions will be matched through the end of today up to a limit of $50,000. All gifts made in excess of this limit will still provide valuable funding for AU’s efforts to defend church-state separation.</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/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 30 Nov 2021 13:16:01 +0000 boston 17108 at https://www.au.org Parental Involvement Is Welcome In Public Schools. Required Religion, Inaccurate History And Censorship Are Not. https://www.au.org/blogs/demands-on-schools <!-- 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">Parental Involvement Is Welcome In Public Schools. Required Religion, Inaccurate History And Censorship Are 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">Mon Nov 29, 2021 - 08:41</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/classroom%20students%2C%2011.29.21.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=j9nktFWz" width="1700" height="525" alt="classroom" title="classroom students " 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>Dozens of members of a QAnon splinter group have <a href="https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/11/22/undeniably-a-cult-fringe-qanon-group-remains-in-dallas-awaiting-jfk-jrs-arrival/">gathered in Dallas</a>, where they’re awaiting the arrival of John F. Kennedy Jr. – yes, they believe he’s still alive – to announce Donald Trump’s reinstatement as president with Kennedy serving as his vice president. Some supporters of this faction also believe that Kennedy’s father, who was assassinated in 1963, is also still living and will appear too (despite the fact that he’d be 104 years old), and that deceased pop singer Michael Jackson will also drop by.</p> <p>Let’s say you lived in a town where a lot of people believed this. Should it be taught in the community's public schools?</p> <p>Of course not. These QAnon beliefs are nonsense, and they have no place in public schools – even if some people sincerely believe them.</p> <p>The question is not as far out as you may think. We’re seeing a new round of “culture war” issues that focus on public education, with conservative Republicans and their Christian nationalist allies increasingly arguing that if enough parents believe something, it should have a place in public schools, or that if these parents oppose certain books or “controversial” perspectives, those books should be removed and the ideas not be taught – even if they are true.</p> <p>This tends to play out in issues relating to race. Attempts by schools to teach an honest accounting of America’s troubled racial history are being labeled “critical race theory” and attacked. Some people would rather that our schools teach a sanitized version of “history” where our country never did anything wrong and never treated any group badly.</p> <p>This isn’t really new. In recent years, some parents have tried to block any <a href="https://au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/history-hysteria-md-dad-flips-out-over-daughter-s-high-school-study-of">instruction about Islam</a>, sought to expel comprehensive sex education and demanded that creationism be taught in schools in lieu of accepted science. Some parents want the curriculum to be saturated with their understanding of Christianity.</p> <p>But the fact that people – perhaps even many people in some regions – may want a certain view taught in the public schools does not make that thing legal or good policy. Public schools are charged with the task of imparting factual information, not acting as parochial institutions for whatever faith may dominate in a given community; nor are they to act as units for disseminating debunked history or unhinged conspiracy theories.</p> <p>To be clear, parents have every right to interact with the public school system, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to do that. Our schools are governed by democratically elected boards, and members of the community may attend board meetings to share their opinions. Parents can also meet with their children’s teachers and school administrators. They can join PTAs and volunteer in schools.</p> <p>But sometimes people pressure school staff to teach things that are unconstitutional, illegal, inappropriate or that run afoul of state curriculum standards. They might also press for removing necessary instruction. The only answer there is no.</p> <p>There’s something to be said for professional experience. In a recent <em>Washington Post</em> column, Kate Cohen <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/24/parents-think-they-know-what-is-best-schools-they-often-dont/">observed</a>, “Someone with real expertise should keep up with how many planets there are and how many genders, with the best way to do long division and to talk about race. Someone trained to develop curriculum standards and choose textbooks should keep revising our understanding of U.S. history. Not me! If we stuck with what I learned as a kid, we’d still be teaching kids that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights and the Pilgrims and the Indians enjoyed a mutually beneficial cultural exchange.”</p> <p>Parental involvement is welcome in our schools. Demands for policies that would dumb down instruction for students or that would infuse public schools with theology are not.</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/public-schools" hreflang="en">public schools</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/creationism" hreflang="en">Creationism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/censorship" hreflang="en">censorship</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/islam" hreflang="en">Islam</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/john-f-kennedy" hreflang="en">John F. Kennedy</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 29 Nov 2021 13:41:26 +0000 boston 17107 at https://www.au.org Five Reasons To Be Thankful For Separation Of Church And State https://www.au.org/blogs/five-reasons-separation <!-- 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">Five Reasons To Be Thankful For Separation Of Church And State</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 Nov 24, 2021 - 08:33</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/thanksgiving%20meal%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=7G3mnt3Q" width="1700" height="525" alt="Thanksgiving" title="Thanksgiving " 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>This is the time of year when people reflect on the things they’re thankful for. One of them ought to be America’s fundamental principle of separation of church and state.</p> <p>There are many reasons to be thankful for our founders’ decision to put distance between religion and government. Here are just five:</p> <ol> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state frees us from the scourge of an officially established church:</em></strong> Established churches play out in two ways: They either become instruments of oppression and terror (think Europe in the Middle Ages or Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan today) or they devolve into ceremonial entities that are little more than house-trained props for the state. These churches provide a dose of pomp at government ceremonies, but few people actually attend their services (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-religion/church-of-england-numbers-in-britain-are-at-record-low-survey-idUSKCN1LM3D1">Church of England</a>, anyone?). In recent years, established churches in some northern European nations have <a href="https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-jan-01-me-49706-story.html">agreed to disestablishment</a> as a way to reverse their decline. It is probably too late.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state promotes pluralism:</em></strong> Conservative evangelicals <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/PRRI-pluralism-poll">may not care for religious diversity</a>, but most Americans do. This diversity, which includes thousands of distinct religions as well as varieties of nonbelief, has given us a vibrant society with a rich array of faiths and philosophies. Not only does this safeguard everyone’s rights, but it also makes for a more interesting, thoughtful society.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state protects your right to believe as you choose:</em></strong> Because the government doesn’t presume to meddle in our religious choices, Americans have the right to align with existing houses of worship, fashion their own belief systems or reject religion entirely. You can explore, you can blend traditions – and you’re always free to change your mind. Your journey may take you to a place that is unique to you, and that’s fine, too. Thomas Jefferson said it best. Asked to explain his religious beliefs, <a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-14-02-0428">he replied</a>, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” Thanks to separation of church and state, millions of Americans are taking that spirit and <a href="https://www.northjersey.com/in-depth/news/2021/09/20/nones-religiously-unaffiliated-americans-increasing/4386549001/">running with it</a>.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state protects secular public education:</em></strong> Thanks to separation of church and state, state-sponsored prayers and Bible reading were removed from public schools 60 years ago. Our public schools, which serve 90% of America’s children, are allowed to objectively teach about religion as an academic subject, but they’re not permitted to sponsor worship activities. This ensures that the schools are welcoming for all and leaves decisions about religion where they belong – with the families. (And yes, we know that some schools continue to meddle in religion in inappropriate ways anyway. But <a href="https://www.au.org/violation">when Americans United finds out about that</a>, we can make them stop – again thanks to separation of church and state.)</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state crushes the lies of Christian nationalism:</em></strong> Christian nationalism – the claim that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation and therefore Christians (of a certain type) should have the power to infuse their theology with our laws – is a pernicious lie that is, unfortunately, embraced by millions of Americans. Separation of church and state exposes Christian nationalism for the malicious, exclusionary and ultimately empty system that it is and provides a freedom-based alternative.</li> </ol> <p>Americans United wishes you all the best this holiday season no matter what, how or if you celebrate. There’s one thing we’re definitely thankful for: You!</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> </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/church-england" hreflang="en">Church of England</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/prayer-public-schools" hreflang="en">prayer in public schools</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 24 Nov 2021 13:33:26 +0000 boston 17106 at https://www.au.org Blasphemy Laws Remain An Impediment To Religious Freedom Worldwide https://www.au.org/blogs/blasphemy-laws-worldwide <!-- 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">Blasphemy Laws Remain An Impediment To Religious Freedom Worldwide</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 Nov 23, 2021 - 10:12</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/world%20map.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=skcUiIUR" width="1700" height="525" alt="world" title="map of the world " 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>Last week, Humanists International <a href="https://fot.humanists.international/">released a report</a> detailing instances of state-sponsored bias against humanists, atheists and skeptics of religion around the world.</p> <p>One thing stands out: Blasphemy laws remain a scourge in many parts of the globe. In some countries, to even question whatever dogma the state has embraced is enough to land you behind bars.</p> <p>Some examples:</p> <ul> <li><em>Pakistan:</em> More than 1,000 people have been prosecuted under the country’s 1988 blasphemy law. Dozens are on death row.</li> <li><em>Cambodia:</em> A vaguely worded law prohibits any “infringement on State Religion,” in this case, Buddhism. It’s also illegal to use “words and gestures likely to undermine the dignity” of Buddhist monks and nuns. Earlier this year, government office suppressed an online publication after it ran an article criticizing a monk for using physical punishment against junior monks.</li> <li><em>Qatar:</em> It is illegal to insult the “Supreme Being.” This includes the production of any slogans or drawings that might offend Islam.</li> </ul> <p>Lest anyone think that blasphemy laws are relics found only in less advanced or hardline Muslim nations, bear in mind that Canada, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/february-2019-church-state-magazine/featured/banishing-blasphemy-laws-that-punish">repealed such laws only recently</a>. There have been attempts to apply them recently in Ireland, Russia, Spain, Poland and Austria.</p> <p>In America, several states still have blasphemy laws on the books, although the last successful prosecution for blasphemy dates to the early 20th century. These laws are considered antiquated, but they rear their heads on occasion. Pennsylvania’s blasphemy law, which, remarkably, was passed in 1977, was invoked in 2007 after a resident named George Kalman filed papers to incorporate a film production company called I Choose Hell Productions. State officials rejected the application, telling Kalman that commercial names “may not contain words that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name.” Kalman sued, and in 2010 a federal court ruled that the Pennsylvania law violated the First Amendment’s religious freedom and free speech provisions.</p> <p>Freedom of belief, by necessity, also includes the right not to believe. This means we have the right to criticize the beliefs of others. It includes the right to be impolite, to mock and poke fun. As the U.S. Supreme Court <a href="https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/92/burstyn-v-wilson">noted in 1952</a>, “It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures.”</p> <p>Unfortunately, for many people in other parts of the globe, government does assume this power – much to the detriment of open inquiry, intellectual freedom and fundamental human rights.</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/blasphemy" hreflang="en">Blasphemy</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pennsylvania" hreflang="en">Pennsylvania</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, 23 Nov 2021 15:12:37 +0000 boston 17104 at https://www.au.org Residents Of Va. County Pour Cold Water On School Board’s Book-Burning Scheme https://www.au.org/blogs/spotsylvania-book-ban <!-- 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">Residents Of Va. County Pour Cold Water On School Board’s Book-Burning Scheme</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 Nov 22, 2021 - 09:55</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/books%20in%20stack.jpg?h=271aaa1c&amp;itok=s58_EJ3c" width="1700" height="525" alt="books" title="stack of books" 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>Last week on “The Wall of Separation” we wrote about a situation in Spotsylvania County, Va., where the school board <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/book-burn-va">voted unanimously</a> to order education officials to remove “sexually explicit” books from school libraries.</p> <p>There’s good news to report: This ill-considered plan <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/spotsylvania-school-books-removal-rescinded/2021/11/16/dcf77f24-46e4-11ec-b8d9-232f4afe4d9b_story.html">has been scuttled</a>. During the board’s Nov. 8 meeting, two members spoke openly about their desire to literally burn books they consider offensive. Those extreme statements captured national headlines; more importantly, they spurred local residents to action.</p> <p>A week later, folks who live in the county packed a board meeting and let the members know they weren’t pleased. At the conclusion of the meeting, the board voted 5-2 to rescind the call to remove the books.</p> <p>The two dissenters, Kirk Twigg and Rabih Abuismail, were the ones who, during the previous meeting, called for burning books. Abuismail is claiming he never called for burning books, but that’s simply not true. This was a public meeting, and <a href="https://amsva.wistia.com/medias/0xm0ndppwk?fbclid=IwAR006MFLbm8OPaN-QLGpv8cMVi59GedeEovChXOwB0_vHj8kd_Twk3BWQIo">it was taped</a>.</p> <p>My favorite comment came from a county librarian (naturally!) who said, “If you have a worldview that can be undone by a novel, let me suggest that the problem is not the novel.”</p> <p>And let’s be clear about something: Despite all of the talk about “obscene” books, none of the titles targeted would qualify as pornography or anything close to it. Historically, terms like “obscene,” “pornographic” and “explicit” have been used by would-be censors to attack books they don’t like or volumes that deal with themes that make them uncomfortable. (In 1939, John Steinbecks’s <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> <a href="https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/rick-wartzman/obscene-in-the-extreme/9780786726073/">was labeled “obscene”</a> despite the fact that there are no sex scenes in the book. It was a disinformation campaign led by produce growers in Kern County, Calif., who were upset over the novel’s pro-migrant worker message). In Spotsylvania, the books targeted mainly dealt with LGBTQ issues. In other parts of the country, books are under fire for dealing with themes of racial justice. Some people simply don’t want our students to have access to this material because it offends their religious or political beliefs.</p> <p>The residents of Spotsylvania County turned back the censors. The lesson here is not complicated: You have a voice. Use it.</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/virginia" hreflang="en">Virginia</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/censorship" hreflang="en">censorship</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/library-books" hreflang="en">library books</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</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' --> Mon, 22 Nov 2021 14:55:47 +0000 boston 17103 at https://www.au.org Only Public Schools Educate Everyone. That’s One Reason Why Only They Deserve Public Funds https://www.au.org/blogs/public-schools-refugees <!-- 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">Only Public Schools Educate Everyone. That’s One Reason Why Only They Deserve Public Funds</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 Nov 18, 2021 - 09:29</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/public%20school%20students%20%28elementary%29%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=_85TikUo" width="1700" height="525" alt="children in school" title="elementary school " 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>Across the country, public schools are preparing to welcome an influx of refugee children from Afghanistan.</p> <p>It won’t be easy. Many of these youngsters don’t speak English; some are dealing with trauma from the war. Others have been educated sporadically, if at all.</p> <p>Despite the challenges they present, these children will be embraced by our public schools – and that’s nothing new; it’s what the schools do.</p> <p>I was struck by this comment by Kevin Welner, a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder and director of the National Education Policy Center, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/afghan-refugees-students-school/2021/11/11/35d3f230-3db2-11ec-bfad-8283439871ec_story.html">who told <em>The Washington Post</em></a>: “None of that is new to schools. Soon after public schools began serving children in this country, there were waves of refugees that public schools were asked to educate and provide additional services for.”</p> <p>In Fairfax County, Va., high school students formed a buddy system to help the Afghan students navigate the system. In Austin, Texas, an elementary school teacher began brushing up on Pashto and Dari, two languages common in Afghanistan. In Ellsworth, Wisc., high schoolers raised funds to pay for school supplies for Afghan students who live two hours away.</p> <p>In Austin, <em>The Post</em> reported, public education officials knew that refugee students would be coming so they “went into high gear, holding staff trainings that focused on Afghan culture, ways to support students, and referrals of those with<strong> </strong>signs of trauma to culturally competent mental health providers.”</p> <p>It remains fashionable among Christian nationalists, extreme free-market conservatives and others on the far right who hate everything to do with the government to bash our public schools as fonts of socialism and rampant liberalism.</p> <p>The Afghan students and their families probably see it differently. To them, these public schools are a lifeline, providing a critical resource that will help young people facing difficult circumstances make a successful transition to their new lives in America.</p> <p>No network of private schools, no voucher plan, no alleged system of “school choice” can do what our public schools have done, are doing and will do to educate <em>every</em> child who walks through the door. It doesn’t matter if the child doesn’t speak English. It doesn’t matter if he or she is homeless. It doesn’t matter if a young person is a refugee. It doesn’t matter if he or she is LGBTQ. These students can be Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Pagans or Humanists. Some of these students have special needs. Again, it does not matter – all will be welcomed; all will be nurtured; all will be educated.</p> <p>It’s an accomplishment we should be proud of. And let’s be clear, it’s one that no private system is willing – or able – to take on.</p> <p>Public schools serve the public good. They don’t discriminate. They raise up all young people. Only they deserve access to taxpayer funds.</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/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/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/neo-vouchers" hreflang="en">neo-vouchers</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 18 Nov 2021 14:29:47 +0000 boston 17101 at https://www.au.org New Poll Shows Americans Support Legal Abortion https://www.au.org/blogs/new-abortion-poll <!-- 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">New Poll Shows Americans Support Legal Abortion</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 Nov 17, 2021 - 08:44</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/repro%20freedom%2C%2011.17.21.jpg?h=199d8c1f&amp;itok=5UWIqQM-" width="1700" height="525" alt="repro rights " title="reproductive rights rally " 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>A new poll underscores that <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/11/16/post-abc-poll-abortion-supreme-court/">Americans support legal abortion</a> and don’t want to see it overturned.</p> <p>The poll, conducted by <em>The Washington Post</em> and ABC News, found that 60% of Americans say that 1973’s <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, the landmark ruling that established the nationwide right to abortion, should be upheld. 27% said <em>Roe</em> should be overturned, and the rest had no opinion.</p> <p>Americans also oppose Texas’ new draconian law that attempts to ban abortion by urging would-be vigilantes to seek $10,000 bounties by suing anyone who performs an abortion or assists someone in getting one.</p> <p>Reported <em>The Post</em>, “Asked about a Texas law that authorizes private citizens anywhere in the country to sue anyone who performs or aids someone in obtaining an abortion in Texas after about six weeks of pregnancy, the Post-ABC poll finds 65 percent say the court should reject the law, while 29 percent say it should be upheld.”</p> <p>Here are some other findings from the poll:</p> <ul> <li>58% of Americans oppose state laws that make it more difficult for abortion clinics to operate (and 45% oppose them “strongly”), while 36% support these laws.</li> <li>75% say abortion should be a matter between a woman and her doctor; only 20 percent backed regulating the issue by law.</li> <li>58% of white evangelical Protestants want to see <em>Roe </em>overturned. Among Catholics, 62% favor retaining <em>Roe</em>. 73% of those who say they identify with no religious group support keeping <em>Roe</em>.</li> </ul> <p>The results are in line with other polls that have found strong support for legal abortion. Yet despite this clear public sentiment, it’s possible that the Supreme Court will later this year overturn <em>Roe</em>.</p> <p>A case pending before the high court, <a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization/"><em>Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization</em></a>, will determine the constitutionality of a law in Mississippi that bans abortions after the 15th week. The law is a direct attack on <em>Roe</em>, and several anti-abortion legislators and groups have asked the court to use it as a vehicle to overturn the nearly 50-year-old ruling.</p> <p>In a legal brief filed in September, Americans United (joined by the American Humanist Association, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, and the Interfaith Alliance Foundation) <a href="https://www.au.org/media/press-releases/Supreme-Court-Mississippi-Abortion">took a much different approach</a>: We reminded the court that <em>Roe</em> establishes an important secular standard that respects freedom of conscience in a nation of people of diverse faiths and those the non-religious.</p> <p>“Abandoning the viability standard would erase the only credibly coherent line anyone has yet identified that preserves even a modicum of respect for the many different faith perspectives that the people of this nation hold dear,” observes <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2021-09/AU%20Amicus%20Brief%2C%20SCOTUS%2C%20Dobbs%20v.%20Jackson%209.20.21.pdf">AU’s brief</a>. “Any newly minted substitute would not just take sides on what for many people are irreducibly spiritual matters, but also require religious dissenters to live according to official diktats.”</p> <p>The brief concludes, “This Court should not be quick to defenestrate a legal standard that has for half a century avoided compounding the most bitter religiously based political and social strife, thus helping us live in relative harmony despite deep, fundamental, and otherwise seemingly irreconcilable religious differences.”</p> <p>Thus, if the Supreme Court jettisons <em>Roe</em>, it will not only defy public opinion, but it will also fling open the door to sectarian strife. The court can avoid that by doing the right thing and respecting precedent.</p> <p>P.S. To read more about this issue, <a href="https://msmagazine.com/2021/11/09/religion-science-abortion-pro-life-constitution/">check out this column</a> by Kelly Percival, counsel for the Brennan Center and former legal fellow at Americans United. <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/november-2021-church-state-magazine/viewpoint/selective-interpretation-opponents-of">This piece</a> by the Rev. Dr. Rollin Russell from this month’s issue of <em>Church &amp; State</em> is also worth your time, and don’t miss <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/october-2021-church-state-magazine/perspective/if-you-want-reproductive-freedom-work">this recent column</a> by AU President and CEO Rachel Laser.</p> <p><em>Photo by Drew Angerer/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/reproductive-rights" hreflang="en">Reproductive Rights</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> <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/mississippi" hreflang="en">Mississippi</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/aha" hreflang="en">AHA</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/texas" hreflang="en">Texas</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 17 Nov 2021 13:44:34 +0000 boston 17100 at https://www.au.org Disgraced Former Trump Adviser Calls For An America Of ‘One Religion’ https://www.au.org/blogs/flynn-one-religion <!-- 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">Disgraced Former Trump Adviser Calls For An America Of ‘One Religion’</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 Nov 16, 2021 - 09:04</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/flynn%20%282%29.png?h=902c9262&amp;itok=RFud2dmR" width="1700" height="525" alt="flynn" title="M Flynn" 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 presidency of Donald Trump was remarkable for many things –  among them, the poor quality of many of the people he hired. Remember <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Scaramucci">Anthony Scaramucci</a>, who was White House communications director for 10 days in July 2017?</p> <p>Michael Flynn, who was Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month, is another gem. A former Army general and noted Islamophobe, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2017/02/14/politics/michael-flynn-resigns-timeline/index.html">Flynn resigned</a> in February 2017 after it came to light that he had lied about conversations he’d had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. The only reason he’s not languishing in prison right now is that Trump pardoned him.</p> <p>Because people like Flynn have no shame, they won’t quietly go away after disgracing themselves. Hence, Flynn, who in the wake of Trump’s defeat in 2020 suggested that Trump <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/when-the-bombs-go-off-the-blood-is-on-mike-flynns-hands-retired-officers-blast-his-calls-for-martial-law">suspend the Constitution and declare martial law</a> to remain in office, <a href="https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/11/michael-flynn-america-must-have-one-religion-trump.html">appeared recently at a right-wing conference in Texas</a> where he called for the United States to adopt “one religion.”</p> <p>“If we are going to have one nation under God – which we must – we have to have one religion,” Flynn said Saturday during remarks to the “ReAwaken America Tour” event hosted by televangelist John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church in San Antonio.</p> <p>Flynn went on to say, “You have to believe this, that God Almighty is, like, involved in this country, because this is it ... This is the shining city on the hill.” (The “hill” reference, a popular one among evangelicals, is from a 1630 sermon delivered by Puritan leader John Winthrop and draws on <a href="https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205%3A14-15&amp;version=NIV">a passage from the Book of Matthew</a>.)</p> <p>It’s unclear why Flynn has of late decided to go on a religion tear like this. Some observers of the far right believe Flynn is trying to fend off allegations from the quacking cuckoos of QAnon that he worships Satan. (Nope, <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/michael-flynn-worships-satan-qanon-believers-youtube-video-2021-10">not making this up</a>.)</p> <p>In any case, the claim that the United States needs one religion – I’m going out on a limb here and guess that Flynn would choose his own – is offensive and fundamentally un-American in that it runs counter to the spirit of our founders, who were <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/PRRI-pluralism-poll">big proponents of religious diversity</a>.</p> <p>The search for “one-size-fits-all” religion is also a fool’s errand – one that tends to leave a lot of bodies in its wake. Anyone who reads history, or indeed looks at <a href="https://www.britannica.com/place/Saudi-Arabia/Government-and-society">some of the countries</a> in the world today, knows this.</p> <p>Thomas Jefferson said it well in his <em>Notes on the State of Virginia</em>. Remarking on the long-running quest by governments to make people conform to an official orthodoxy, <a href="https://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions40.html">Jefferson observed</a>, “Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”</p> <p>Roguery and error – those are topics Flynn and his ilk ought to stick to. They’re experts on those. On religious liberty, not so much.</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/history-and-origins-of-church-state-separation" hreflang="en">History and Origins of Church-State Separation</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/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/john-hagee" hreflang="en">John Hagee</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 16 Nov 2021 14:04:55 +0000 boston 17099 at https://www.au.org Christian Nationalists Ramp Up Calls For Banning – And Literally Burning – Books They Don’t Like https://www.au.org/blogs/book-burn-va <!-- 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">Christian Nationalists Ramp Up Calls For Banning – And Literally Burning – Books They Don’t Like</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 Nov 15, 2021 - 09:48</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/book%20burning%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=4RqGMA3T" width="1700" height="525" alt="book burning" title="book burning" 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>Virginia held statewide elections earlier this month, with Republican Glenn Youngkin defeating Democrat Terry McAuliffe in a gubernatorial race. Youngkin triumphed in part by mobilizing conservative evangelicals and stressing “culture war” issues related to public education – specifically attacking certain books used in the public schools.</p> <p>In the closing days of the race, Youngkin <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2021/10/glenn-youngkin-assures-virginia-voters-hell-protect-them-from-toni-morrison-books">ran an ad</a> featuring a woman whose son said he had nightmares after being assigned to read author Toni Morrison’s book <em>Beloved</em>, a harrowing look at chattel slavery in the South. Youngkin also attacked critical race theory, which isn’t taught in Virginia’s public schools but has become a target nonetheless.</p> <p>National Republican Party leaders took note of Youngkin’s win, and as a result, many political analysts expect them to emphasize “education” issues leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. Of course, they won’t be emphasizing education in the sense of providing more funding or looking for ways to make our public schools better. Instead, their emphasis will be on banning books.</p> <p>Youngkin’s rhetoric is catching on. In Spotsylvania County, the school board has <a href="https://fredericksburg.com/news/local/education/spotsylvania-school-board-orders-libraries-to-remove-sexually-explicit-books/article_6c54507a-6383-534d-89b9-c2deb1f6ba17.html">voted unanimously</a> to remove all books that contain “sexually explicit” materials from school libraries.</p> <p>This purposefully vague term is usually interpreted to mean any book dealing with LGBTQ themes or any gritty depiction of modern life, and indeed, the book that set board members off, <em>33 Snowfish</em>, deals with a band of homeless teenagers trying to escape homes filled with violence, neglect and abuse. Recommended for older teens, the volume was named a “Best Book for Young Adults” in 2004 by the American Library Association.</p> <p>Two board members in Spotsylvania, Rabih Abuismail and Kirk Twigg, said during a public meeting that they don’t just want books like this banned – they literally want to see them set on fire.</p> <p>“I think we should throw those books in a fire,” Abuismail said. Twigg added that he’d like to “see the books before we burn them so we can identify within our community that we are eradicating this bad stuff.”</p> <p>For good measure, Abuismail charged that education officials “would rather have our kids reading gay pornography than about Christ.”</p> <p>In Goddard, Kan., education officials <a href="https://apnews.com/article/entertainment-kansas-education-dc3cbb40a1166629155ff95c9869c2e9">removed 29 books</a> from circulation after a parent complaint about language in one of them. Among the titles pulled were several novels, including Margaret Atwood’s <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em>, <em>The Hate U Give</em> by Angie Thomas and Morrison’s <em>The Bluest Eye</em>. “Fences,” an award-winning play by August Wilson, was also pulled, as was <em>They Called Themselves the K.K.K</em>, a nonfiction history of the racist hate group by Susan Campbell Bertoletti.</p> <p>In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has issued an executive order requiring education officials to ferret out books containing “obscene content.” State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Tarrant County) would go further and pull any book that is judged to “contain material that might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex or convey that a student, by virtue of their race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.” His hit list includes <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/10/28/1050013664/texas-lawmaker-matt-krause-launches-inquiry-into-850-books">850 books</a>.</p> <p>This is an <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2011-church-state/featured/the-art-of-censorship">old, sad story</a> in America. People who are afraid of certain ideas – or, more accurately, the thinking that exposure to such ideas can spark – will try to squelch them. The first step is to demonize books by labeling them “obscene,” “filthy,” “anti-Christian,” etc. The second step is a bonfire, metaphorical or literal. The final step is ignorance.</p> <p>People who do these things often claim that they are protecting young people. They’re not. The only thing they are protecting is a student’s “right” to remain unchallenged, uninspired and, ultimately, uneducated.</p> <p><strong>Update: </strong>The board's vote to censor the books received national attention and was widely criticized. A week later, county residents packed a school board meeting to express their concerns. The board voted 5-2 to rescind the call to remove the books. Abusimail and Twigg were the only dissenters.</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/texas" hreflang="en">Texas</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/virginia" hreflang="en">Virginia</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/kansas" hreflang="en">Kansas</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 15 Nov 2021 14:48:27 +0000 boston 17098 at https://www.au.org On Veterans Day, Let’s Honor All Who Served https://www.au.org/blogs/Veterans-Day-2021 <!-- 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">On Veterans Day, Let’s Honor All Who Served</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 Nov 11, 2021 - 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/flags%20for%20Vet%20Day%20.jpg?h=b7e21045&amp;itok=n8sEU12F" width="1700" height="525" alt="flags" title="flags" 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><strong><em>Editor’s Note:</em></strong><em> This post originally appeared on Veterans Day 2015. </em></p> <p>In 1952, a private group sought permission from government officials to erect a large cross atop Mt. Soledad near San Diego. They did it because they wanted a place to hold sunrise services on Easter. Once erected, the huge cross was dedicated to “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” during a Christian service.</p> <p>As time went by, some people began to question whether it was appropriate to display a towering symbol of Christianity on government-owned land, and in 1989 a lawsuit was filed.</p> <p>Desperate to keep the cross up, its defenders began arguing that the most recognizable symbol of the Christian faith wasn’t really religious; it was, they asserted, actually a war memorial designed to honor veterans. They said this even though virtually no one had made this argument in the early ‘50s. Back then, it was widely known that the cross had been erected for purely religious purposes.</p> <p>After 25 years of litigation, the case was finally settled when the cross and the land under it were sold to a private entity. But as the case percolated in the courts, Americans United, which was not a party to the lawsuit, filed several friend-of-the-court briefs pointing out the obvious: A cross does not represent everyone who served our country.</p> <p>On this Veterans Day, it’s important to get back to basics: This day was created to honor <em>all</em> of our veterans. It’s not just for the Christian ones. Veterans Day also reminds us of the American principles and values those veterans fought to preserve, and, in some cases, died for. Among them is religious freedom <em>for everyone</em>. That includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, atheists, etc.</p> <p>These days, some groups claim to honor veterans but are cynically using them as tools to undermine separation of church and state. These groups erect Christian symbols on public property with the clear aim of creating a symbolic union between their faith and the government. That is their goal. Yet when someone complains, they bluster that the cross, a representation of the instrument upon which Christians believe Jesus Christ died, is actually a war memorial – <em>and how dare you attack our brave veterans?</em></p> <p>Well, our brave veterans did not risk their lives so someone could exploit them by using them as pawns in a political scheme. Many veterans know this. Time and again, when legal challenges to crosses on government property are filed, non-Christian veterans <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/december-2012-church-state/featured/a-soldiers-fight-for-the-first-amendment">are the first to stand up</a> and point out that the preeminent symbol of the Christian faith doesn’t include them. A sectarian symbol leaves too many men and women behind and ignores their service. (In Mt. Soledad, Jewish war veterans joined the case against government display of the cross.)</p> <p>Veterans who are history buffs know that the cross has not been used as a generic symbol of military sacrifice. One of the briefs Americans United filed in the Mt. Soledad case was prepared by a group of military historians. It makes this point clear.</p> <p>“The military has long understood that the Latin cross is not a secular symbol,” <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/Mt.%20Soledad%20Amicus%20Brief.pdf">they wrote</a>. “When the military displayed the Latin cross as a grave marker during the World Wars, it used it as a Christian symbol to memorialize Christian soldiers. Recognizing that it was invoking the Latin cross’s deep Christian meaning, the military took care not to mark the graves of Jewish soldiers with the cross. In permanent cemeteries, the military used the Star of David – a symbol of the Jewish faith – to mark Jewish soldiers’ graves. Even on the battlefield, the military used a variety of non-Christian symbols to mark the graves of soldiers who were not Christian.”</p> <p>It’s fitting to honor our veterans today. The best way we can do that is by freeing them from the clutches of devious Religious Right leaders who offer a lot of airy talk about patriotism and sacrifice when their real goal is establishing a system of religious supremacism, with their narrow, exclusionary and fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity at the top.</p> <p>If these people really cared about veterans, they would see to it that all of them were recognized, embraced and honored by our public monuments and memorials – every single one.</p> <p>There’s only one way to do that: through secular, inclusive monuments that, in the true spirit of military values, strive to leave no one behind.</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/veterans" hreflang="en">Veterans</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 11 Nov 2021 13:12:47 +0000 boston 17097 at https://www.au.org