The Wall of Separation Blog https://www.au.org/ en Partisan Politics Doesn’t Belong In Houses Of Worship https://www.au.org/blogs/Virginia-church-video <!-- 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">Partisan Politics Doesn’t Belong In Houses Of Worship</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 Oct 20, 2021 - 08:46</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/pulpit.jpg?h=dbfb23f9&amp;itok=G-7kDafE" width="1700" height="525" alt="pulpit " title="pulpit " 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 faces a hotly contested gubernatorial election next month. National political leaders on both sides are active in the race, hoping to boost their party’s candidate.</p> <p>As part of that effort, Vice President Kamala Harris produced a video during which she encourages people to vote for the Democratic candidate, Terry McAuliffe. According to <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/16/politics/democrats-virginia-mcauliffe-governor/index.html">news reports</a>, the video was sent to Virginia churches to be shown during services.</p> <p>In the video, Harris clearly endorses McAuliffe, remarking, “Elect Terry McAuliffe as your next governor.”</p> <p>Virginia’s religious leaders should keep that video at arm’s length, lest they violate a federal law dating to 1954 called the <a href="http://projectfairplay.org/#who-we-are">Johnson Amendment</a>. The provision ensures tax-exempt nonprofit groups, including houses of worship, do not intervene in partisan elections by endorsing or opposing candidates for public office.</p> <p><a href="https://www.christianpost.com/news/kamala-harris-terry-mcauliffe-criticized-for-church-campaign-ads.html">As I told </a><a href="https://www.christianpost.com/news/kamala-harris-terry-mcauliffe-criticized-for-church-campaign-ads.html"><em>The Christian Post</em></a>, the Johnson Amendment is designed to protect houses of worship and other nonprofits from the corrosive effects of partisan political activity.</p> <p>“The Johnson Amendment protects the integrity of tax-exempt nonprofit groups, including houses of worship, by ensuring they don't endorse or oppose candidates for public office,” I explained. “No one wants their charities and houses of worship to be torn apart by partisan campaign politics.”</p> <p>Yet violations of the Johnson Amendment occur on both sides of the political aisle. For example, during the 2016 election, a video featuring Mike Pence lauding Donald Trump was produced and played in many conservative churches. In the 2020 election, some evangelical leaders used their pulpits to campaign for Trump and since then, to claim that he had been robbed by fraud of a second term. That, too, was inappropriate.</p> <p>Some of the current confusion about what the Johnson Amendment allows stems from former President Donald Trump’s <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/trump-vows-to-destroy-law-banning-church-politicking-at-national-prayer">frequent attacks on the Johnson Amendment</a> and his false claims that he got rid of the law. The law is still <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/the-johnson-amendment-is-still-in-effect-the-trump-administration-admits">very much in effect</a>.</p> <p>Under the Johnson Amendment, houses of worship and their leaders can continue to fully exercise their free speech rights on political and social issues:</p> <ul> <li>They can speak to any issue they choose from the pulpit or in public and write about issues in bulletins or their website.</li> <li>They can host candidate forums, engage in voter registration drives, encourage people to vote, help transport people to the polls and more.</li> <li>Clergy and other faith leaders are absolutely free to support or endorse political candidates as private citizens – just as any of us can.</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/january-2018-church-state/people-events/univ-of-md-poll-shows-broad-public-support-for">Polls show</a> that Americans oppose houses of worship becoming politicized; no one wants them to become cogs in candidates’ political machines. Here’s the best way to ensure that doesn’t happen: Houses of worship must follow the law and not endorse political candidates.</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/churches-and-elections" hreflang="en">Churches and Elections</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/church-endorsement" hreflang="en">church endorsement</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/kamala-harris" hreflang="en">Kamala Harris</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/johnson-amendment" hreflang="en">Johnson Amendment</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 20 Oct 2021 12:46:01 +0000 boston 17054 at https://www.au.org An Exposé Of Teen Challenge Lays Bare A Host Of Problems With ‘Faith-Based’ Group https://www.au.org/blogs/Teen-challenge-exposed <!-- 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">An Exposé Of Teen Challenge Lays Bare A Host Of Problems With ‘Faith-Based’ Group</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 Oct 19, 2021 - 09:34</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/teen%20challenge%20brooklyn.jpg?h=4fcd1acd&amp;itok=8tjLsDkE" width="1700" height="525" alt="teen challenge " title="teen challenge" 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>Rachel Aviv, a writer for <em>The New Yorker</em>, has produced <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/10/18/the-shadow-penal-system-for-struggling-kids">a stunning piece</a> on Teen Challenge, a fundamentalist organization that claims to help young people overcome addictions to drugs and alcohol but, in reality, seeks to indoctrinate them in its version of Pentecostal Christianity.</p> <p>Americans United started paying attention to Teen Challenge in earnest during the presidency of George W. Bush, who was a big fan of the group. Bush sought to <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/april-2008-church-state/featured/egregious-earmarks">funnel federal aid</a> into the organization, which alarmed AU. We argued that Teen Challenge was essentially offering an extended Bible study program and that its “treatment” was anchored in fundamentalist Christianity. (The group is affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination.) We asserted that government has no businesses supporting a wholly religious program like this.</p> <p>AU was also concerned that the group wasn’t being honest about its work. Teen Challenge claimed an 80% success rate in helping young people beat addiction. That would be remarkable if it were true, <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/april-2001-church-state/featured/is-faith-based-better">but it’s not</a>. The group cooked the figures with fuzzy math.</p> <p>As Aviv’s story makes clear, there are a host of other problems with Teen Challenge. Its centers are loosely regulated (if at all) in many states, and sometimes parents send teens there not because they have addiction problems but because they’re being difficult at home or are suspected of being LGBTQ. Conditions are prison-like, and young people have limited ability to talk to family members. (In the story’s headline, <em>The New Yorker</em> calls Teen Challenge a “shadow penal system for struggling kids.”)</p> <p>Aviv profiles a young woman named Emma Burris, whose adoptive parents sent her to a Teen Challenge center in Florida when she was 15. Burris had no addiction issues but was, according to her parents, acting out and being too aggressive at home.</p> <p>Burris was pulled from her bed at 3 a.m., forced into a car and taken to a facility three hours away. Her cell phone was seized, and she was placed in a room with four other girls. Internet access was forbidden, the girls’ days were closely regimented and their brief phone calls home were monitored. Parents who send their children to Teen Challenge sign a contract relinquishing their control over the child; from that point on, all decisions about what happens to the teens are made by Teen Challenge.</p> <p>When Burris began getting sick in the mornings, she suspected she was pregnant. A test confirmed she was. She requested an abortion and was told that was not an option. Instead, Burris was compelled to carry the child, a boy, to term and give him up for adoption. The adoptive parents have allowed her no contact.</p> <p>Aviv notes that Teen Challenge, which has more than 1,000 centers in the United States, has “received tens of millions of dollars in state and federal grants.” But despite this taxpayer-funded largess, attempts to hold the group accountable have been lacking. In the 1990s, Texas regulators attempted to shut down a Teen Challenge center in San Antonio after it failed to meet state licensing and training requirements. Bush, who was governor at the time, intervened and spiked the effort.</p> <p>Aviv’s story should be a turning point. Teen Challenge is serving a vulnerable population, which is all the more reason to apply reasonable forms of oversight. And while we’re at it, let’s shut off the spigot of taxpayer aid that has been flowing to this group for way too long.</p> <p><em>Photo: A Teen Challenge center in New York City. Photo by Timothy Shields via Creative Commons</em></p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/government-support-of-religion" hreflang="en">Government Support Of Religion</a></div> <div 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/teen-pregnancy" hreflang="en">teen pregnancy</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/faith-based-initiative" hreflang="en">faith-based initiative</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/florida" hreflang="en">Florida</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/president-george-w-bush" hreflang="en">President George W. Bush</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:34:51 +0000 boston 17052 at https://www.au.org New Survey Looks At What Churchgoing Americans Are Hearing About Vaccines From The Pulpit   https://www.au.org/blogs/covid-vax-church <!-- 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 Survey Looks At What Churchgoing Americans Are Hearing About Vaccines From The Pulpit  </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 Oct 18, 2021 - 09:21</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/people%20in%20church%2C%2010.18.21.jpg?h=d8a13226&amp;itok=BZSREyov" width="1700" height="525" alt="attending church" title="going to church" 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 Pew Forum on Friday issued an <a href="https://www.pewforum.org/2021/10/15/most-americans-who-go-to-religious-services-say-they-would-trust-their-clergys-advice-on-covid-19-vaccines/?utm_source=adaptivemailer&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=rel%20-%2021-10-15%20covid%20&amp;%20congregations&amp;org=982&amp;lvl=100&amp;ite=9172&amp;lea=1957459&amp;ctr=0&amp;par=1&amp;trk=">interesting survey</a> about America’s faith communities and the COVID vaccine. The findings challenge some conventional assumptions.</p> <p>Based on a quick scan of headlines, it would be easy to conclude that vaccine resistance is rampant in our nation’s churches or that houses of worship are being torn apart as pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine factions duke it out. The reality is more nuanced. As the Pew survey notes, a slim majority of Americans (54%) who attend religious services say they haven’t heard their religious leaders talk much about vaccines at all.</p> <p>But what about those religious leaders who have addressed vaccines from the pulpit? The figures here aren’t even close – a <em>pro-vaccine</em> message dominates.</p> <p>“[A]mong those who have heard from their clergy on this issue, far more say their priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or other religious leader has encouraged people to get vaccinated (39% of all religious attenders) than say their clergy has discouraged getting the shots (5%),” reported Pew.</p> <p>This is true even among evangelical Protestants, where, at least in the white evangelical community, resistance to the COVID vaccine remains higher than other religious bodies. Pew notes that only 4% of members of evangelical congregations “say their clergy have discouraged people from getting a vaccine.”</p> <p>If this is the case, why do vaccine rates in white evangelical communities continue to lag? Evangelicals, like many other Americans who attend religious services, tend to trust their clergy, but, as the Pew survey notes, most evangelicals aren’t hearing anything about vaccines from the pulpit. Among evangelicals, 73% reported not hearing much about vaccines in church. This may be deliberate: The Associated Press <a href="https://apnews.com/article/health-religion-coronavirus-pandemic-7a03fed8e7548797487f2b7a20161e4e">reported in August</a> that many religious leaders in the Bible Belt have avoided discussing vaccines from the pulpit because they fear it will be divisive.</p> <p>Pew reports that historically Black denominations are putting forth pro-vaccine messages, with 64% of attendees saying they’ve heard their pastor encourage shots. So, while Black churchgoers are getting reliable information right in the pews, white evangelicals are not. Therefore, they’re probably relying on other sources for vaccine information – and those sources may be Fox News, Christian nationalist blowhards who spout conspiracy theories, sketchy websites that are anti-vaccine, an ill-informed relative on social media or grandstanding politicians who blather on about a twisted form of “freedom” even as the COVID body count grows.</p> <p>For several reasons, there’s a disconnect between what white evangelicals are hearing in church and what they ought to be hearing. And given the way this virus works, that, unfortunately, hurts us all.</p> <p> </p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/vaccinations" hreflang="en">Vaccinations</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pew-research" hreflang="en">Pew Research</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/evangelical-christianity" hreflang="en">Evangelical Christianity</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 18 Oct 2021 13:21:10 +0000 boston 17051 at https://www.au.org Christian Nationalists Embrace Belief In A ‘God-Ordained’ America https://www.au.org/blogs/god-ordained-america <!-- 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 Embrace Belief In A ‘God-Ordained’ America</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 Oct 14, 2021 - 08:50</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/US%20map.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=9azfuc2N" width="1700" height="525" alt="map" title="usa map " 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>One of the most pernicious beliefs of the Religious Right is the “Christian nation” myth – the idea that the United States was founded to be an officially Christian country with a legal system that reflects the tenets of conservative Christianity and where certain types of Christians enjoy more rights than everyone else.</p> <p>There’s no support for this idea in our Constitution. In fact, that document’s entirely secular language cuts in the opposite direction. The Christian nation myth is also debunked by the words and actions of key founders such as James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Geroge Washington and others.</p> <p>Nevertheless, the myth endures and is embraced by millions of fundamentalist Christians.  </p> <p>A darker story walks alongside the Christian nation myth – the idea that European (aka white) Christians had a God-given right to settle the Americas, that their invasion, conquest and subjugation of the indigenous population (including forced conversion) was, in fact, a fulfillment of the will of God.</p> <p>How many Americans believe this? <a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/10/12/survey-christian-nationalist-view-of-history-correlates-with-support-for-racist-conspiracy-theory/">A recent study by Public Religion Research Institute</a> (PRRI) finds that while most Americans reject this idea, to no one’s surprise, it is embraced by a majority of white evangelical Protestants.</p> <p>PRRI asked whether “God intended America to be a new promised land where European Christians could create a society that could be an example to the rest of the world.”</p> <p>Among white evangelical Protestants, 52% said they completely or mostly agreed with the statement. Hispanic Protestants were second at 46%. Non-white Protestants were at 38%, while white Catholics and Hispanic Catholics hit 37% and 35% respectively. Among white mainline Protestants, 34 % accepted the statement. Among Jews, only 27% agreed. Black Protestants were at 26%, other non-Christians hit 15%, and the religiously unaffiliated came in at only 11%.</p> <p>Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, noted that the belief in a God-ordained America parallels the so-called Doctrine of Discovery, a concept embraced by popes over the centuries to justify the seizure of land in the New World.</p> <p><a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/10/08/columbus-day-or-indigenous-peoples-day-getting-to-the-heart-of-the-american-identity-crisis/">Jones makes it clear</a> that there’s another disturbing finding lurking in these results: Many of the people who believe that God meant for Christians to occupy America also accept the idea that modern immigrants are “replacing our cultural and ethnic background.” </p> <p>This is the so-called “replacement theory” championed by white nationalists. We heard it in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 when <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/16/charlottesville-neo-nazis-vice-news-hbo">fascists chanted</a>, “Jews will not replace us.” We even hear it promoted on the <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/tucker-carlson-pushes-racist-great-replacement-theory-yet-again-adl-renews-call-for-fox-to-fire-him">Fox News Channel</a>.</p> <p>The problem with all of this is obvious: If you believe God intended for you to have land to fulfill his divine purpose, you need make no accommodation for the people who already occupy it. Also, you’re under no obligation to allow non-Christians or Christians who interpret the faith differently than you to settle alongside you.</p> <p>Our founders were obviously products of the European settlement, but that doesn’t mean they believed they were instruments of God’s will or that they were forging a Christian utopia. They intended for a broad measure of religious freedom that would encompass everyone. <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/july-august-2020-church-state-magazine/featured/religious-freedom-by-george-read-touro">As Washington observed</a> in an Aug. 21, 1790, letter to a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the Uni­ted States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”</p> <p>The belief in an officially “godly” (read: far-right fundamentalist Christian) America may be much loved by Christian nationalists. It may make them feel good. It may even motivate them to vote certain ways.</p> <p>It has one huge drawback, however: It is completely and utterly alien to our history, and it stands as an impediment to the type of inclusive society we should be striving to build.</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/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/james-madison" hreflang="en">James Madison</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/george-washington" hreflang="en">George Washington</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:50:50 +0000 boston 17050 at https://www.au.org Here’s A Look At What To Expect At The Supreme Court This Term https://www.au.org/blogs/supreme-court-2122 <!-- 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">Here’s A Look At What To Expect At The Supreme Court This Term</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 Oct 13, 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/us%20supct.jpg?h=f6a48b6d&amp;itok=wjZhO6qg" width="1700" height="525" alt="supreme court " title="US Supreme Court " 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 U.S. Supreme Court kicked off its 2021-22 term Oct. 4. This could be one of the court’s most consequential terms when it comes to religious freedom.</p> <p>Here’s a roundup of key cases with church-state implications the Supreme Court will decide during the term:</p> <p><a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/october-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/compelled-contributions-a-new-supreme"><em>Carson v. Makin</em></a>: In rural areas without public high schools, Maine pays for students to attend private schools instead. This program now requires those schools to provide the equivalent of public education, not religious education. The court will decide if Maine’s program must subsidize religious instruction as well. Oral argument is scheduled for Dec. 8. AU plans to file a friend-of-the-court brief on the side of Maine officials by Oct. 29.</p> <p><a href="https://www.au.org/media/press-releases/Supreme-Court-Boston-Shurtleff-Flag"><em>Shurtleff v. Boston</em></a>: Officials in Boston have flown secular flags to mark certain special events sponsored by private groups. A state resident is demanding that city officials fly a Christian flag for his event. AU’s Legal Department plans to file a brief in this case by Dec. 22 arguing that the city has no obligation to hoist the Christian flag.</p> <p><a href="https://www.au.org/media/press-releases/Supreme-Court-Mississippi-Abortion"><em>Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization</em></a>: This abortion-rights case could be a blockbuster. It concerns the legality of a Mississippi law that bans abortions after 15 weeks. Christian nationalist groups are urging the court to use the case to undermine or even overturn <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, the landmark 1973 ruling that established a right to legal abortion. The case will be argued Dec. 1. AU and other groups filed a friend-of-the-court <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2021-09/AU%20Amicus%20Brief%2C%20SCOTUS%2C%20Dobbs%20v.%20Jackson%209.20.21.pdf">brief</a> last month. (AU has a long history of supporting reproductive rights. <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/julyaugust-2019-church-state-magazine/featured/vanishing-choices-the-catholic-bishops">Read about it here</a>.)</p> <p><a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/ramirez-v-collier/"><em>Ramirez v. Collier</em></a>: This case concerns a death row inmate in Texas whose execution has been put on hold while the justices decide if he has a right under a federal religious freedom law called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act to have a pastor present to say a prayer and lay hands on him. The oral argument takes place Nov. 1.</p> <p>Keep your eyes on this blog and the pages of <em>Church &amp; State</em> for more information about these cases and others that might come before the Supreme Court.</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 class="item"><a href="/issues/displays" hreflang="en">Displays</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/reproductive-freedom" hreflang="en">Reproductive Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-land-use-and-institutionalized-persons-act" hreflang="en">Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/prisons" hreflang="en">prisons</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/maine" hreflang="en">Maine</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/massachusetts" hreflang="en">Massachusetts</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/mississippi" hreflang="en">Mississippi</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 13 Oct 2021 12:44:49 +0000 boston 17047 at https://www.au.org Head Of Christian Nationalist Legal Group Worked To Overturn 2020 Election Results https://www.au.org/blogs/Farris-2020-election <!-- 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">Head Of Christian Nationalist Legal Group Worked To Overturn 2020 Election Results</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 Oct 12, 2021 - 09:34</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/voters%20vote.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=tw12gXqn" width="1700" height="525" alt="voting" title="voting booths" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p><em>The New York Times</em> reported last week that Michael P. Farris, chief executive officer of the Christian nationalist legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), played a “critical” behind-the-scenes role in the right wing’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/07/us/politics/religious-conservative-michael-farris-lawsuit-2020-election.html?fbclid=IwAR3VYtNkzlalSvDsJo5TRQ9gUkhsdKHDh6mp_GiBSdqDO5oF53Z7NzeVru0">Farris circulated a draft</a> of a last-ditch lawsuit filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton against the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin that attempted to nullify their results in favor of Democrat Joe Biden and keep President Donald Trump in power, even though Trump lost all three of those states and the election.</p> <p><em>Times</em> reporters Eric Lipton and Mark Walker reported that Paxton filed the lawsuit Dec. 7, “after making some changes but keeping large chunks of the draft circulated by Mr. Farris.” After the lawsuit was filed, 17 Republican attorneys general filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting it. A few days later, the high court rejected the lawsuit.</p> <p><em>The Times</em> reported that Farris’ involvement “highlighted how religious conservatives supported Mr. Trump’s unsuccessful attempts to retain power by blocking certification of Mr. Biden’s victory.”</p> <p>Farris, a longtime Religious Right operative, gained prominence in the 1980s by running the Home School Legal Defense Association and founding Patrick Henry College, a Virginia institution that serves mainly children who have been homeschooled by fundamentalist Christians.</p> <p>In an email to <em>The Times</em>, Farris insisted that his effort to overturn the results of the election wasn’t part of his work with ADF.         </p> <p>“While it’s true that I care about this issue on a personal level, it is not something that ADF works on in any capacity,” he wrote. “As President and CEO, my charge is to focus on ADF’s mission, which is to protect Americans’ God-given freedoms. I have nothing to say about the details of the way forward on the issue of election integrity other than the hope that all Americans take the issue seriously.”         </p> <p>But Farris’ denial simply doesn’t wash. As <em>The Times</em> reported, conservatives who were trying to prevent Biden from taking office used Farris’ ADF affiliation when lobbying attorneys general to join the legal effort.</p> <p>It’s also worth pointing out that after their efforts failed to keep Trump in office even though he lost the election, Farris joined other Christian nationalist leaders in <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/may-2021-church-state-magazine/cover-story/disenfranchised-stung-by-donald-trumps-loss">backing voter suppression laws</a>. Farris appeared alongside Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, at an online forum during which Perkins parroted discredited lies about the 2020 election results.</p> <p>“We’ve got 106 election-related bills that are in 28 states right now,” Perkins said. “So, here’s the good news: There is action taking place to go back and correct what was uncovered in this last election.”</p> <p>Farris added, “Let me just say, ‘Amen.’”</p> <p>Because of the ultra-conservative stamp on many federal courts right now, including the Supreme Court, the ADF, which is stridently anti-LGBTQ, anti-legal abortion and pro-special rights for conservative Christians, has the wind at its back and has been winning several cases.</p> <p>That is bad enough. Now we know that the man who runs this group doesn’t support the basic idea behind our democracy: that everyone deserves not just the right to vote but to have that vote counted. Farris’ attempt to keep Trump in office after he lost to Biden by more than 7 million popular votes and 74 votes in the Electoral College is proof that the ADF has embraced the philosophy, increasing common among Christian nationalists these days, that the ends justify the means.</p> <p>Despite what Farris and his allies may believe, that is not a teaching of the man who founded the religion they claim to cherish.</p> <p> </p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/adf" hreflang="en">ADF</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/michael-farris" hreflang="en">Michael Farris</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/voting-rights" hreflang="en">voting rights</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/frc-0" hreflang="en">FRC</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/tony-perkins" hreflang="en">Tony Perkins</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/texas" hreflang="en">Texas</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pennsylvania" hreflang="en">Pennsylvania</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/georgia" hreflang="en">Georgia</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/wisconsin" hreflang="en">Wisconsin</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 12 Oct 2021 13:34:58 +0000 boston 17046 at https://www.au.org Christopher Columbus, The Pledge Of Allegiance And ‘Under God’ – Yes, There’s A Connection https://www.au.org/blogs/columbus-and-pledge <!-- 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">Christopher Columbus, The Pledge Of Allegiance And ‘Under God’ – Yes, There’s A Connection</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 Oct 11, 2021 - 08:19</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/pledge%20of%20A%20kids%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=GMEOu3j7" width="1700" height="525" alt="pledge" title="Pledge of Allegiance " 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> Today’s post is a republication of an item that originally ran on Oct. 8, 2018.</em></p> <p>Depending on your perspective, today is either Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I don’t intend to get into that debate, but I do want to share some information about this holiday’s overlooked connection to a familiar patriotic ritual, the Pledge of Allegiance, and explain how it got religious overtones – yes, Columbus is involved. </p> <p>In the year 1892, the country marked the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage to the New World. To mark the occasion, educators wanted to come up with some kind of special observance schoolchildren could take part in.</p> <p>Enter <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/julyaugust-2002-church-state/featured/a-preacher-the-pledge-and-patriotism">Francis Bellamy</a>. A Baptist minister, Bellamy had a year earlier been fired from his Boston pulpit for being too radical. Bellamy was a socialist, prone to launch broadsides against capitalism. In one of his most famous sermons, Bellamy made the case that Jesus was a socialist.</p> <p>Casting about for a new gig, Bellamy ended up on the editorial staff of <em>The Youth’s Companion</em>, a hugely popular magazine at the time. There, to mark the Columbus quatercentenary, he penned what we know as the Pledge of Allegiance and devised a flag-salute ritual. (It may have been part of a plot by the magazine to sell U.S. flags to schools, but we won’t get into that now.)</p> <p>Congress and President Benjamin Harrison endorsed the Pledge, and it took off. Soon it was being recited in schools nationwide. Children would begin the day by facing the flag, thrusting their right arms at it stiffly and saying the Pledge in unison. (For obvious reasons, the so-called “Bellamy salute” became problematic during the lead-up to World War II and was replaced with the hand-over-heart gesture we know today.)  </p> <p>Bellamy’s original salute read, “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Two changes were later made: In 1923, “my flag” became “the flag of the United States of America” after a campaign led by the American Legion.  </p> <p>For advocates of church-state separation, the more significant change occurred in 1954. The words “under God” were slipped into the Pledge between “one nation” and “indivisible.” This came about after a pressure campaign spearheaded primarily by the Knights of Columbus. (The same group, incidentally, lobbied to make Columbus Day a national holiday in 1934.)  </p> <p>During the 1950s, the United States was locked in an ideological struggle with “godless communism,” and adding a reference to God to the Pledge was seen by many as a good tactical move. When the Senate deliberated the matter, U.S. Sen. Homer Ferguson (R-Minn.) opined, “I believe this modification of the Pledge is important because it highlights one of the real, fundamental differences between the free world and the communist world, namely belief in God.” </p> <p>The Pledge’s place in public schools was thus secured – but not everyone was on board. Jehovah’s Witnesses, who don’t believe in pledging to anything other than God, refused to take part and went to court seeking an opt-out for their children. They <a href="https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/310us586">lost the first case</a> in 1940, but the Supreme Court soon realized its mistake and <a href="https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/319us624">ruled in 1943</a> that public school students can’t be compelled to recite the Pledge.  </p> <p>Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses still sit out the Pledge, as do some non-believers and others who want to engage in social protest. While youngsters have the right to refrain from reciting the Pledge, some school officials <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/june-2015-church-state/featured/pledge-problems">still try to force it</a>. Every school year, Americans United has to remind a few schools that students have the right not to take part.  </p> <p>Many of those who choose to recite it are probably not aware that the Pledge’s famous words, penned by a socialist, were originally wholly secular.</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/history-and-origins-of-church-state-separation" hreflang="en">History and Origins of Church-State Separation</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-minorities-rights" hreflang="en">Religious Minorities&#039; 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/pledge-allegiance" hreflang="en">Pledge of Allegiance</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/francis-bellamy" hreflang="en">Francis Bellamy</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/jehovahs-witnesses" hreflang="en">Jehovah&#039;s Witnesses</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/congress" hreflang="en">Congress</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/knights-of-columbus" hreflang="en">Knights of Columbus</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 11 Oct 2021 12:19:43 +0000 boston 17045 at https://www.au.org Not All Evangelicals Back Religious Exemptions To The COVID Vaccine https://www.au.org/blogs/collins-evangelicals-vax <!-- 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">Not All Evangelicals Back Religious Exemptions To The COVID Vaccine</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 Oct 07, 2021 - 10:02</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/vaxx.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=cawSKgA1" width="1700" height="525" alt="vaccine" title="vaccine" 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>Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, has announced that <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/10/05/930886479/nih-francis-collins-resigns-national-institutes-health">he will retire</a> at the end of the year.</p> <p>Collins, an evangelical Christian, has been vocal in his support for the coronavirus vaccine. He told NPR recently that despite the progress science has made in combatting serious diseases, “[W]e find ourselves here today, particularly with COVID-19, where our culture wars have taken on an attitude about scientific facts that is not just inconvenient, it's actually resulting in people dying. And that I didn’t see coming.”</p> <p>In <a href="https://religionnews.com/2021/09/10/francis-collins-a-bit-frustrated-with-evangelicals-amid-covid-19-vaccine-push/">an interview</a> with Religion News Service published last month, Collins remarked that he is “a bit” frustrated by conservative evangelicals who have refused to get vaccinated.</p> <p>Collins added, “But I’m also trying to be sure I’m listening carefully to what the concerns are because I don’t think lecturing is probably the best way to get people to change their minds. It is odd because evangelicals generally believe strongly in this love-your-neighbor principle. And we do know if we want to get this terrible pandemic to come to an end, it’s going to require all of us to get engaged in getting immune, and the best way to do that is with a vaccination. And by vaccinating yourself you’re also providing protection to the people around you who are depending on you not to spread that virus to them, particularly people who are immunocompromised from cancer or organ transplants or kids under 12 who can’t be vaccinated yet.”</p> <p>Collins also expressed opposition to widespread religious exemptions to vaccines, telling RNS, “If people are planning to do the religious exemption, (they’re) gonna have to really come through with a coherent argument about why that applies in this place.”</p> <p>We’ve <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/staver-vax-claims">noted previously on this blog</a>, white conservative evangelicals have in the main been poorly served during the pandemic by their leadership, many of whom have turned their backs on science and embraced conspiracy theories. We will continue to call them out and urge conservative evangelicals to listen to actual scientists, not Christian nationalist prevaricators or misguided TV preachers.</p> <p>But it’s also worth noting that even among the extreme Christian nationalists, there are exceptions. Recently, Pastor Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas <a href="https://apnews.com/article/health-religion-united-states-coronavirus-pandemic-coronavirus-vaccine-9c947acecd6ba26b4c78827b7b87c185">told the Associated Press</a>, “There is no credible religious argument” against receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, and he added that he and his staff are “neither offering nor encouraging members to seek religious exemptions from the vaccine mandates.” </p> <p>Jeffress is a big fan of President Donald Trump and served on Trump’s <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/october-2018-church-state/cover-story/all-the-presidents-men-and-women-members-of">Evangelical Advisory Board</a>. Americans United disagrees with Jeffress on just about every issue, and we’ve had plenty of scrapes with him over the years. (I’ve debated Jeffress on Fox News.) But Jeffress is right on vaccine refusals and deserves a tip of the hat.</p> <p>Collins and Jeffress are both evangelicals, although they’d likely disagree on some political issues and points of doctrine. On the issue of religious exemptions to vaccine requirements, they’re singing from the same hymnal. I wish more conservative evangelicals would add their voices. </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/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/vaccinations" hreflang="en">Vaccinations</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/robert-jeffress" hreflang="en">Robert Jeffress</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/dr-francis-collins" hreflang="en">Dr. Francis Collins</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/donald-trump" hreflang="en">Donald Trump</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/religious-right-0" hreflang="en">Religious Right</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/evangelical-christianity" hreflang="en">Evangelical Christianity</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/evangelical-advisory-board" hreflang="en">Evangelical Advisory Board</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 07 Oct 2021 14:02:44 +0000 boston 17042 at https://www.au.org If You Want Reproductive Freedom, Work For Church-State Separation https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/Rachel-Laser-Reproductive-Freedom <!-- 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">If You Want Reproductive Freedom, Work For Church-State Separation</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/69587" lang="" about="/user/69587" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">LHayes</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Oct 06, 2021 - 10:03</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rachel-laser" hreflang="en">Rachel Laser</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/Empowered%20Black%20Women_0.jpg?h=3c422b90&amp;itok=FLtLMa5Z" width="1700" height="525" alt="Four empowered Black women" 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 by Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser originally appeared in the <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/october-2021-church-state-magazine">October 2021 issue</a> of AU’s </em>Church &amp; State<em> magazine. To subscribe and get </em>Church &amp; State<em> delivered to your door every month, </em><a href="https://www.au.org/become-a-member"><em>become a member</em></a><em> of AU.</em></p> <p>I was born just a few years before the <em>Roe v. Wade</em> decision, so I’m part of a generation that grew up believing that our legal right to an abortion was protected.</p> <p>Many people my age thought we’d never go back to the pre-<em>Roe</em> days. I’m embarrassed to admit that I was one of them, even though I’ve spent most of my career fighting religious extremists willing to stop at nothing to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive freedom. What’s going on today should be a wake-up call to the entire nation that we cannot take church-state separation for granted.</p> <p>During my second summer of law school, I landed a legal internship with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. I will never forget the horror of learning one morning about the second murder of an abortion provider in just 17 months. The murderer: Paul Hill, a former minister who had long advocated violence against abortion doctors. I was appalled and a little frightened. But still, religious extremists seemed fringe, and I never believed they would prevail in changing the law.</p> <p>Early in my career, I served as legal counsel for Plan­ned Parenthood Metropolitan Washington. The “March for Life,” which takes place every year in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., on the anniversary of <em>Roe</em>, had decided to target our clinic for a local protest. Determined to protect our patients, I worked with a former law firm colleague to put together a letter to the D.C. police reminding them of their obligation to enforce the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Thankfully, the law was on our side.</p> <p> At the progressive think tank Third Way, I led a project named “Come Let Us Reason Together.” We joined to­gether white evangelical Christians and progressives to champion a policy agenda to reduce the need for abortion (through comprehensive sex education, access to birth control and more support for pregnant women and new parents)<em> while leaving in place the right to have one</em>. I took solace in the fact that at least some moderate evangelical Christians didn’t want to overturn <em>Roe</em>.</p> <p>Fast forward to today, and I confess that I’m shocked at how precarious the right to abortion is. Texas has not only enacted an abortion ban rooted in the belief, in Gov. Greg Abbott’s words, that “[O]ur creator endowed us with the right to life,” but the Supreme Court has allowed it to go into effect. And we await the same Court’s decision on the core tenets of <em>Roe</em> in the Mississippi abortion case.</p> <p>What happened? In retrospect, some of this seems so obvious. As reproductive rights counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, I had witnessed religious extrem­ists shift their strategy from killing doctors and bombing abortion clinics to passing bills like the “Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act” and “Unborn Victims of Violence Act.” The current state of abortion rights is a predictable outgrowth of that strategic shift combined with the raging Christian nationalism of today.</p> <p>Americans United has long recognized that most opposition to reproductive freedom is anchored in fundamentalist theology and that people of different belief systems must be allowed to make these decisions for themselves. (In my Jewish faith, for example, many believe that the health and life of the mother must be put ahead of a fetus.)</p> <p>Throughout the 1950s and ’60s, AU fought for birth control access. We opposed laws some religious groups had succeeded at putting into place that gagged doctors from even talking about birth control with married couples. We won those fights. Today we continue to defend access to reproductive health care through policy battles and legal cases, including our still-active case challenging former President Donald Trump’s birth control religious exemption which has not yet been reversed.</p> <p> AU recently filed a brief in the Mississippi abortion case, arguing that the government should respect religious pluralism and not favor or impose the views of any particular faith. We explain that this not only protects freedom of conscience; it avoids religious division and religiously based strife. We are joined by Jewish, Humanist and interfaith groups.</p> <p>Let’s not lose hope. People are rising up, and the Biden administration has filed a lawsuit to prevent Texas from enforcing its abortion ban. AU will never stop doing all we can to protect your right to live and believe as you choose. With your incredible support, we are growing stronger every day.</p> <p>The challenges may be great, but as one of my favorite pod­casters, Glennon Doyle, says: “We can do hard things!”</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/discrimination-in-the-name-of-religion" hreflang="en">Discrimination In The Name of Religion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/discrimination-in-health-care" hreflang="en">Discrimination In Health Care</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/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 06 Oct 2021 14:03:25 +0000 LHayes 17041 at https://www.au.org Religious Exemptions To COVID Vaccines Threaten The Health And Welfare Of Others https://www.au.org/blogs/religious-exemptions-covid <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Religious Exemptions To COVID Vaccines Threaten The Health And Welfare Of Others</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 Oct 05, 2021 - 08:50</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/vaccine%20covid.jpg?h=07a11c1c&amp;itok=U5U5aE6K" width="1700" height="525" alt="shot" title="vaccine" 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>As we’ve <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/vaccine-religious-exemptions">warned previously on this blog</a>, allowing widespread religious exemptions to coronavirus vaccines will only prolong the pandemic and put all of us at risk.</p> <p>We’re seeing this play out in California, where thousands of Los Angeles police officers are <a href="https://abc7.com/lapd-vaccine-mandate-religious-exemption-covid/11064950/">seeking religious exemptions</a> from a city requirement that all municipal employees get vaccinated.</p> <p>Vaccinations for police officers are especially important. They work closely with members of the public; you can’t put a piece of Plexiglass between cops and the people they protect and serve.</p> <p>Michael Moore, L.A.’s chief of police, is urging police officers to do the right thing and take the shot.</p> <p>“It is a bit frustrating to see still a core group of our organization that has continued to decline or refuse to take this vaccine,” Moore told a local TV station. “We want to follow the science. ... This vaccination saves lives.”</p> <p>As Americans United noted in a <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2021-09/AU%20Amicus%20Brief%2C%202nd%20Circuit%2C%20N.Y.%2C%20We%20The%20Patriots%20USA%20v.%20Hochul%209.23.21.pdf">legal brief filed last month</a>, religious exemptions must be looked at differently than medical exemptions. Some people can’t be safely vaccinated, and medical exemptions make sense for them. But the existence of medical exemptions doesn’t mean that religious exemptions must also be offered.</p> <p>AU’s brief cites examples from several communities, including Los Angeles, where requests for religious exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination requirements are skyrocketing. They’re much higher than requests for medical exemptions. If allowed to grow unchecked, demands for religious exemptions will undermine the government’s public health goal of preventing the spread of COVID-19.</p> <p>There’s some debate about whether many of the people who are suddenly demanding religious exemptions are sincere; many may simply be using religion as a tool to get around taking a vaccine that they oppose for non-religious reasons. But as AU President and CEO Rachel Laser noted in a <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/10/04/1042577608/religious-exemptions-against-the-covid-19-vaccine-are-complicated-to-get">recent interview with NPR</a>, we don’t have to try to gauge sincerity if we simply recognize the obvious fact that religious freedom has limits.</p> <p>“We believe firmly that religious freedom should not be a license to cause harm to others,” Laser said. Under this standard, even a sincere request for a religious exemption can be denied if it puts the lives of others at risk.</p> <p>Some companies in the private sector are leading the way. United Airlines has 67,000 employees in the United States, and nearly all of them are vaccinated. United is not automatically granting religious exemptions, and employees who continue to refuse the vaccine may be fired.</p> <p>Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/02/business/united-airlines-coronavirus-vaccine-mandate.html">told <em>The New York Times</em></a> that he decided to move aggressively after receiving word this summer that a United pilot had died of coronavirus.</p> <p>“We concluded enough is enough,” Kirby said. “People are dying, and we can do something to stop that with United Airlines.”</p> <p>Officials in Los Angeles should take note.</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/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/vaccinations" hreflang="en">Vaccinations</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/california" hreflang="en">California</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 05 Oct 2021 12:50:21 +0000 boston 17037 at https://www.au.org