The Wall of Separation Blog https://www.au.org/ en Taxpayers Shouldn’t Be Forced To Fund Religious Education https://www.au.org/blogs/supreme-court-carson <!-- 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">Taxpayers Shouldn’t Be Forced To Fund Religious Education</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 Dec 08, 2021 - 09:04</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/us%20sup%20court%20bldg.jpg?h=65aa3d03&amp;itok=eUU-98CD" width="1700" height="525" alt="supreme court " title="supreme court pillars" 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 today is hearing oral arguments in an important case that could determine if taxpayers can be forced to support religious education.</p> <p><a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/carson-v-makin/"><em>Carson v. Makin</em></a> concerns a Maine law that allows some students who live in rural areas without public high schools to attend private, non-sectarian schools at state expense. A group of parents, backed by organizations that oppose church-state separation and public education, are suing to force the state to allow religious schools into the program.</p> <p>Maine doesn’t want to fund religious schools that teach theology and that discriminate – and it shouldn’t have to. We’re watching the outcome of this case closely because an adverse ruling could dramatically lower the church-state wall.</p> <p>To hear how the arguments went and a discussion on next steps, <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfV2dEPa1j8Of3a1AAA7qzDs0EBP8k7kMvJ4pQhG38bUg5BrA/viewform">join us at 7:30 p.m. ET tomorrow for a virtual town hall</a>. AU President and CEO Rachel Laser and Legal Director Richard Katskee will be joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Holly Hollman, general counsel and associate executive director at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, for a panel discussion about the case. <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfV2dEPa1j8Of3a1AAA7qzDs0EBP8k7kMvJ4pQhG38bUg5BrA/viewform">RSVP here</a> for a Zoom link to the event.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Americans United has some resources you can use to educate yourself about the case:</p> <ul> <li>This <em>Washington Post</em> <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/05/carson-v-makin-supreme-court-religious-education/">column</a> by AU's Laser looks at how a decision against Maine could compel taxpayers to subsidize schools that discriminate.</li> <li>This <em>Church &amp; State</em> <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/october-2021-church-state-magazine/featured/compelled-contributions-a-new-supreme">article</a> provides background on the case and explains what’s at stake.</li> <li>This <a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2021-10/AU%20Amicus%20Brief%2C%20SCOTUS%2C%20Carson%20v.%20Makin%2010.29.21.pdf">friend-of-the-court brief</a>, written by Americans United and joined by 23 religious and civil rights organizations, explains that Maine’s policy of not providing government funding for private religious instruction is in line with long-standing Supreme Court precedent that states can protect their taxpayers’ religious freedom by refraining from funding distinctly religious activities – including religious instruction.</li> </ul> <p>Americans United was founded nearly 75 years ago in part to ensure that no American could be forced to pay for the religion, or the religious education, of another. We believe public funds should support only secular education.</p> <p>If you feel the same way, <a href="https://www.au.org/become-a-member">please join us</a> as we work to support, uphold and defend church-state separation and public education – twin pillars of democracy.</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/private-school-vouchers" hreflang="en">Private School Vouchers</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/schools" hreflang="en">Schools</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/maine" hreflang="en">Maine</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 08 Dec 2021 14:04:23 +0000 boston 17142 at https://www.au.org Conservative Evangelicals Still In Denial Over COVID Pandemic https://www.au.org/blogs/daystar-covid-deaths <!-- 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">Conservative Evangelicals Still In Denial Over COVID Pandemic</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 Dec 07, 2021 - 09:05</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/marcus%20lamb.png?h=517157f4&amp;itok=xl2UXdu3" width="1700" height="525" alt="M. Lamb" title="Marcus Lamb" 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 of this morning, more than 785,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. To put that number into perspective, consider that about 620,000 men died in combat during the Civil War, and there were more than 405,000 U.S. battlefield deaths during World War II.</p> <p>This is a serious virus, and we’re not done with it yet. A new variant, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html">omicron</a>, has surfaced in several nations, and doctors aren’t sure yet how serious it will be or how rapidly it will spread.</p> <p>Yet despite this sobering picture, white conservative evangelicals continue to live in a state of denial. Nearly two years since the virus was first detected and despite the alarming death toll, many pastors and self-proclaimed prophets are still telling their flocks to avoid vaccines and are promoting conspiracy theories.</p> <p>Last week, Marcus Lamb, CEO of Daystar Television Network, the nation’s second-largest Christian network<strong>, </strong><a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/marcus-lamb-covid-death-vaccine-misinformation/">died of COVID</a><strong>. </strong>Lamb used his network as a forum for anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists.<strong> </strong>Shows on the network also promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine, which studies show is ineffective against the virus.</p> <p>While hosting one program, Lamb urged his viewers to do their own research instead of listening to experts. Daystar gave a platform to various cranks and crackpots, including America’s Frontline Doctors, a fringe anti-vaccination group. Even now, Daystar’s website <a href="https://shop.daystar.com/collections/daystar-exclusives/products/vaccines-the-unauthorized-truth">sells an eight-part DVD series</a> titled “Vaccines: The Unauthorized Truth.” Its description reads, “The truth behind these pills and injections along with the police-state protections they enjoy may be one of the most shocking revelations of the modern era.” Daystar’s site remains <a href="https://www.daystar.com/news-updates/general-updates/vaccines-fact-vs-fiction-with-robert-f-kennedy-jr/">littered with other anti-vaccine nonsense</a>.</p> <p>After Lamb fell ill with the virus last month, his family members blamed the sickness on Satan.</p> <p>“There’s no doubt in my mind that this is a spiritual attack from the enemy,” Lamb’s son, Jonathan, said on the air Nov. 23. “As much as my parents have gone on here to kind of inform everyone about everything going on to the pandemic and some of the ways to treat COVID – there’s no doubt that the enemy is not happy about that. And he’s doing everything he can to take down my Dad.”</p> <p>Some people might be tempted to shrug, saying Lamb got what he deserved. But this isn’t about Lamb or even one network that chose to operate as a font of misinformation. It’s about an entire right-wing evangelical subculture that has turned its back on science and embraced irrationality – mainly for political reasons. (Although it is difficult to “own the libs” when you are dead.)</p> <p>And it’s about the fact that no one – not even their coreligionists – will call them to account. After Lamb’s death, <em>Washington Post</em> religion reporter Michelle Boorstein noted that the evangelical leaders who mourned his passing didn’t bother to point out that his death at age 64 was entirely preventable.</p> <p>“Absent was a painful truth: Lamb had led his global Christian network, Daystar, for months in spreading inaccurate information about coronavirus vaccines and instead promoting treatments that are not proven remedies,” <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2021/12/03/marcus-lamb-daystar-vaccine-televangelist-graham/">Boorstein wrote</a>.</p> <p>Elsewhere in the article she added, “But the silence and unanswered questions by some Christian leaders, as well as Lamb’s family and network, sit atop what some experts say is a deep base of politics, conspiratorial thinking and a skepticism of anything that appears secular. And that makes frank discussion of Daystar’s activism against vaccines, even in the face of death, unlikely.”</p> <p>This same toxic mix of far-right politics and conspiracy theories led conservative evangelicals to insist that their churches should be able to operate during stay-at-home orders. It led them to decline vaccines at <a href="https://news.yale.edu/2021/11/29/unvaccinated-white-evangelicals-appear-immune-pro-vaccine-messaging">higher rates than everyone else</a>. It leads them now to go about their daily businesses unvaxxed, unmasked and unfazed by facts, putting all around them at risk.</p> <p>Apparently, not even the death of one of their own can shake their consciences. One wonders what, exactly, it will take?  </p> <p><em>(Photo: Screenshot of Marcus Lamb) </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-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/daystar" hreflang="en">Daystar</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/marcus-lamb" hreflang="en">Marcus Lamb</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/vaccinations" hreflang="en">Vaccinations</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 07 Dec 2021 14:05:07 +0000 boston 17140 at https://www.au.org Pending Supreme Court Ruling To Test Limits Of Unwarranted Surveillance Of American Muslims https://www.au.org/blogs/FBI-mosque-surveillance <!-- 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">Pending Supreme Court Ruling To Test Limits Of Unwarranted Surveillance Of American Muslims</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 Dec 06, 2021 - 08:45</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/mosque.jpg?h=c004a7fd&amp;itok=PlNz0j-W" width="1700" height="525" alt="mosque" title="mosque" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>By Heba Mohiuddin </p> <p>The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in the case <a href="https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/federal-bureau-of-investigation-v-fazaga/"><em>Federal Bureau of Investigation v. Fazaga</em></a><em>, </em>a lawsuit dealing with the FBI’s unwarranted surveillance of the American Muslim community in Irvine, Calif. This case garnered a large amount of media attention because religious freedom is at stake, specifically, the lawfulness (or lack thereof) of the United States’ targeted surveillance of American Muslims.</p> <p>The oral arguments before the court had less to do with the permissibility of this type of surveillance, though, and instead focused on narrow technical questions of whether the case can be heard or not. Still, it remains an important case to follow for anyone concerned about church-state separation.</p> <p>The case began with the 2006 counterterrorism operation, Operation Flex, in which the FBI employed Craig Monteilh as an informant. Monteilh pretended to convert to Islam and joined the Islamic Center of Irvine (ICOI), where he collected information about its attendees and other Muslims. The FBI installed surveillance devices at the ICOI and several other mosques, as well as in congregants’ homes, offices and cars. This included the office of the imam, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist. He would often meet with members of the community and discuss incredibly sensitive and personal matters, conversations that were recorded by the federal government.</p> <p>Monteilh uncovered no evidence of extremism at the mosque. In fact, his attempts to lure members into conversations about “violent Jihad” alarmed local Muslims, who reported him to, ironically, the FBI.</p> <p>In 2009, many details of the operation were released after three members of ICOI that Monteilh interacted with – Sheikh Yassir Fazaga, Ali Uddi Malik, and Yasser AbdelRahim – sued. They claimed violations under the religious freedom provisions of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Equal Protection component of the Due Process Clause, the Federal Tort Claims Act, Section 1810 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Privacy Act.</p> <p>In 2012, after the FBI invoked the state-secrets privilege (which authorizes the exclusion of evidence that would, if disclosed, harm national security), a district court dismissed almost all the claims on the basis of national security. This served as a watershed moment, as this motion for dismissal is the basis for the entire argument facing the Supreme Court.</p> <p>Following a more favorable ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019, the FBI asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. Its legal filing outlines the power struggle between the state-secrets privilege and the FISA in greater detail and therein presents the critical issue threatening the separation of church and state: the right to inquire about government’s possible infringements of a group’s religious freedom is systematically being disassembled by the government’s use of the state-secrets privilege.</p> <p>This, in turn, harms the ability of American Muslims to live and believe as they choose, and it violates their equality and freedom. There are also no bounds to prevent government’s overreach of this power; therefore, it can very quickly begin to affect every individual and their ability to believe independently.</p> <p>The most harrowing aspect of this case is that the fate of these issues is contingent on a judgment on the meaning of a few words.</p> <p>Simply put, the government is using the state-secrets privilege as a means to dismiss the case on the grounds of the alleged jeopardization of national security. This would mean that the audios, videos and extensive other materials obtained during the surveillance of these innocent American Muslims can indefinitely not be viewed, in full or in part, by anyone – other than privileged individuals, chosen by the executive and the FBI. This includes courts and many government officials.</p> <p>The FBI has declined many offers to exempt the specifically sensitive materials, as well as protested the standard procedure of having the judge review said material privately, repeatedly citing a risk to national security.</p> <p>This begs the question: What is the FBI hiding? Its increasing desperation to not even secretly disclose to a judge any information regarding a surveillance operation that many perceived as distasteful perpetuates suspicion.</p> <p>This suspicion is in no way unfounded. There have been a number of missteps (particularly those related to the American Muslim community) that have generated distrust in the government. All of these cases portray a distinct need for checks and balances – a system that has a long history of being effective for the United States. This system <em>requires </em>branches like the executive branch, including the FBI, to be answerable to the judicial system. There are protocols to protect sensitive information, but to discard all procedures and pursuits of liberty on a nebulous excuse negating further investigation would be disparaging to our democracy.</p> <p>All of these factors, of course, have important implications for the separation of church and state, as the suspected use of the surveilled individuals’ religious identity as a means to violate them is truly immoral and violates established doctrine protecting the free exercise of faith.</p> <p>The moment in which the government sacrifices politically unpopular minorities to dodge blame for misconduct is the moment our democracy is no longer feasible.</p> <p><em>Heba Mohiuddin is a member of Americans United’s Youth Organizing Fellowship. She is studying political science and biology at the University of Texas at Dallas, focusing on the intersection of public health and health policy. She wants to ensure equitable health care, regardless of one's religious or non-religious beliefs.</em></p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/fbi" hreflang="en">FBI</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/islam" hreflang="en">Islam</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 06 Dec 2021 13:45:31 +0000 boston 17136 at https://www.au.org On The Road Again: A Cross-Country Drive Takes On Symbolic Meaning https://www.au.org/blogs/RKL-column-road <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">On The Road Again: A Cross-Country Drive Takes On Symbolic Meaning</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 Dec 02, 2021 - 08:56</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/three%20crosses.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=-PzO_R9U" width="1700" height="525" alt="crosses" title="crosses" 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/december-2021-church-state-magazine">December 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, <a href="https://www.au.org/become-a-member">become a member of AU</a>.</em></p> <p>Twenty-five years ago, I tied the knot with my wonderful husband Mark. For our honeymoon, we hiked the Grand Canyon and then spent a little time in Santa Fe, N.M., enchanted by the desert and mountains and inspired by the work of artists like Georgia O’Keefe.</p> <p>Since AU is still working virtually, Mark and I decided to road trip across the country with our dog, Teddy, and come back to Santa Fe for a 25th anniversary “work­cation.”</p> <p>During our drive through the South, we passed sev­eral large crosses and countless billboards inviting a text or call to find Jesus. After 28 hours on the road, we finally arrived in Santa Fe to a Christian band playing in the town square. (Not a legal problem as long as it’s public land that all groups – religious and non-religious – have a right to use.)</p> <p>Next, it was time to see the house we rented. It is lovely, but it turned out to have multiple crosses on multiple walls. I tried to add yellow stickies with crude drawings of a variety of other religious symbols, but sadly they soon fell down. At first, I took the crosses down for my Zoom calls, but now I just leave them up and use my background to teach about what church-state separation doesn’t reach (private rental homes or private land) and to highlight what it’s like to be a religious minority in America.</p> <p>I feel conflicted about criticizing private religious symbols and displays that are part of places intended to be shared with the public. On the one hand, the “Jesus saves” signs are instruments of proselytism, which groups have every right to do if it’s on private land and privately funded.      </p> <p>On the other hand, those in the religious majority should make an effort to be more inclusive. That starts by not assuming that everyone is Christian. So, for example, if you are renting your home to tourists who inevitably come from a variety of belief systems, try harder to decorate accordingly.</p> <p>When it comes to<em> government</em> displaying preferred religious symbols on public property, however, that’s just wrong and a violation of the separation of church and state. It seems so obvious to me, but we are facing more of a battle on this than I wish we were.</p> <p>Remember in 2019 when the Supreme Court decided that the government could keep and maintain a 40-foot towering cross on public land in Bladensburg, Md.? Justice Samuel A. Alito audaciously claimed that the cross has taken on a secular meaning. Never for this Jew – nor, I imagine, for others who are religious minorities or nonreligious! As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in her dissent: “To non-Christians … the State’s choice to display the cross on public buildings or spaces conveys a message of exclusion: It tells them they ‘are outsiders, not full members of the political community.’”</p> <p>Like the Court, public opinion is also not where it should be. A recent Pew Research Center poll shows that 39% of respondents said they believe cities and towns should be allowed to display religious symbols on public property, just 35% oppose this and the rest (26%) have no opinion.</p> <p>What does this all mean for AU’s work? Our lawyers will continue to send letters in response to your complaints about government symbols and displays when we believe they represent a constitutional vio­lation. (Sometimes we can resolve the matter without going to court.) At the same time, we will focus our legal resources where we can either best win or mitigate loss and where we can stop concrete harm to people.</p> <p>AU will also relentlessly build allies, because we know most people are on our side. That same Pew poll dem­onstrated that most Americans — even in red states — support church-state separation, and, importantly, reject the central tenets of Christian nationalism, such as the idea that the Constitution was inspired by God or that the federal government should advocate Christian values.</p> <p>On our drive back to D.C., I’m going to try a new exe­rcise. Every time I see a symbol or sign that represents just one religious viewpoint, I’m going to pause and think of you all and your dedication to making America a country that makes good on its promise of religious freedom.  In the long run, one step – or mile – at a time, we’re going to succeed.</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/displays" hreflang="en">Displays</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/display-of-religious-symbols" hreflang="en">display of religious symbols</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/new-mexico" hreflang="en">New Mexico</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pew-research" hreflang="en">Pew Research</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/polls" hreflang="en">polls</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Thu, 02 Dec 2021 13:56:05 +0000 boston 17135 at https://www.au.org As The Fate Of Legal Abortion Hangs In The Balance, Americans United Reminds Supreme Court That Reproductive Freedom Is Religious Freedom https://www.au.org/blogs/dobbs-argument-court <!-- 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">As The Fate Of Legal Abortion Hangs In The Balance, Americans United Reminds Supreme Court That Reproductive Freedom Is Religious Freedom</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/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 Dec 01, 2021 - 10:05</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/dobbs%20.jpg?h=630f01fc&amp;itok=SwX5sMoE" width="1700" height="525" alt="Dobbs argument" title="Dobbs argument Dec. 1 " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p><em><strong>Editor’s Note: </strong>The U.S. Supreme Court this morning heard oral arguments in </em>Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization<em>, a case that could result in </em>Roe v. Wade<em>, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in America, being severely limited or overturned. Prior to the arguments, advocates of reproductive freedom rallied outside the court to make it clear that most Americans don’t want to see the court undermine reproductive rights. Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser was among the speakers. Here is the text of her remarks:   </em></p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>Abortion bans impose one religious viewpoint on the rest of us.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>It’s no coincidence that the states have enacted an unprecedented number of abortion restrictions during a time when we are also witnessing the most emboldened Christian nationalist movement our country has seen in a long time.</p> <p><strong>Say it with me: Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>In America, we are supposed to have religious freedom. That means the freedom to make our own reproductive decisions – which are deeply personal and have major consequences for our health and our lives – based on our <em>own </em>belief systems.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>Different religious and moral belief systems have <em>different</em> views on abortion. Religious freedom demands the right to an abortion so people can make their<em> own </em>decision according to their <em>own</em> principles.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>True story: when <em>Roe v. Wade</em> first came down, even the Southern Baptist Convention celebrated the decision as one that advanced religious freedom.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>As a Jewish woman, I am <em>obligated</em> to have an abortion if a pregnancy puts my life at risk.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>The viability standard in <em>Roe v Wade</em> is the only possible standard that respects everyone’s freedom of conscience in our religiously diverse country. That’s why Americans United filed a brief in the <em>Dobbs</em> case urging the Court to retain the viability standard in order to preserve religious freedom.</p> <p><strong>Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p>These are scary times, but scarier is giving up on our country’s promise of freedom without favor and equality without exception. Americans United will never stop fighting alongside you to protect every person’s right to make their own decision about their own body and destiny, based on their own beliefs.</p> <p><strong>Say it with me one last time: Reproductive freedom is religious freedom!</strong></p> <p><em>(Photo: AU staffers outside the Supreme Court)</em></p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/reproductive-rights" hreflang="en">Reproductive Rights</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/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/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 01 Dec 2021 15:05:08 +0000 boston 17129 at https://www.au.org On Giving Tuesday, Your Support Of Americans United Will Be Doubled https://www.au.org/blogs/Giving-Tuesday-2021 <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">On Giving Tuesday, Your Support Of Americans United Will Be Doubled</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Nov 30, 2021 - 08:16</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/GT%20banner.png?h=d058159d&amp;itok=0g99044z" width="1700" height="525" alt="GT " title="Giving Tuesday" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>It’s<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a> – your opportunity to support the important work of Americans United.</p> <p>We know that next year will be challenging for separation of church and state. We’re facing a string of decisions by the Supreme Court dealing with key issues such as reproductive rights, taxpayer support for religious instruction and government display of religious symbols. We can also expect more demands from Christian nationalists and others for religious exemptions from COVID vaccines. And, of course, there’s no way of knowing what else might happen. But thanks to your commitment to AU, we’ll be ready for whatever the new year brings. <a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Double your impact today!</a></p> <p>As we look ahead, it’s also worth taking a glance back. 2021 was a busy year for Americans United. The pandemic kept AU staff members working from home, but we’ve been as productive as ever. In fact, much of AU’s work focused on the pandemic, as we fought in the courts to stop a distorted interpretation of “religious freedom” from endangering Americans’ health, educated legislators about vaccine mandates and religious exemptions and responded to the reckless distortions of Christian nationalists in the media.</p> <p>We’ve had cause for celebration as President Joe Biden has lifted many Trump-era regulations and executive orders that threatened religious freedom. Yet we’ve seen dangerous bills surface in state legislatures and a rising tide of Christian nationalist extremists who demand censorship of books and ideas in public schools.</p> <p>We witnessed a horrifying assault on the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, where Christian nationalists hoisted crosses alongside messages and symbols of hate. But we also saw millions of Americans denounce extremism, and we took heart that our democracy prevailed.</p> <p>At times, it felt like a rollercoaster ride, but through it all, the staff of Americans United kept one thing in mind: Defense of separation of church and state is not a burden – it’s an honor and a privilege. And no matter what the nature of our battles – in courts, in legislative chambers or in the media – we always give 100 percent. You have made that possible.</p> <p>Our<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a> goal this year is to raise $50,000. It’s ambitious, but we have exciting news: Thanks to a generous group of AU supporters,<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">your gift will be matched</a>. This doubles your impact and makes it possible for Americans United to continue to advocate for separation of religion and government before the Supreme Court, in the halls of Congress, in state legislatures, in communities all over America and in the arena of public opinion.</p> <p>We at Americans United know that we couldn’t do this vital work without you. We appreciate your support and hope that you’ll be able to make a special gift (which will be doubled) during this<a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday"> </a><a href="https://secure.au.org/a/givingtuesday">Giving Tuesday</a>.</p> <p>P.S. Online contributions will be matched through the end of today up to a limit of $50,000. All gifts made in excess of this limit will still provide valuable funding for AU’s efforts to defend church-state separation.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/protecting-religious-freedom-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic" hreflang="en">Protecting Religious Freedom During the Coronavirus Pandemic</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/joe-biden" hreflang="en">Joe Biden</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 30 Nov 2021 13:16:01 +0000 boston 17108 at https://www.au.org Parental Involvement Is Welcome In Public Schools. Required Religion, Inaccurate History And Censorship Are Not. https://www.au.org/blogs/demands-on-schools <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Parental Involvement Is Welcome In Public Schools. Required Religion, Inaccurate History And Censorship Are Not.</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Nov 29, 2021 - 08:41</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/classroom%20students%2C%2011.29.21.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=j9nktFWz" width="1700" height="525" alt="classroom" title="classroom students " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Dozens of members of a QAnon splinter group have <a href="https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2021/11/22/undeniably-a-cult-fringe-qanon-group-remains-in-dallas-awaiting-jfk-jrs-arrival/">gathered in Dallas</a>, where they’re awaiting the arrival of John F. Kennedy Jr. – yes, they believe he’s still alive – to announce Donald Trump’s reinstatement as president with Kennedy serving as his vice president. Some supporters of this faction also believe that Kennedy’s father, who was assassinated in 1963, is also still living and will appear too (despite the fact that he’d be 104 years old), and that deceased pop singer Michael Jackson will also drop by.</p> <p>Let’s say you lived in a town where a lot of people believed this. Should it be taught in the community's public schools?</p> <p>Of course not. These QAnon beliefs are nonsense, and they have no place in public schools – even if some people sincerely believe them.</p> <p>The question is not as far out as you may think. We’re seeing a new round of “culture war” issues that focus on public education, with conservative Republicans and their Christian nationalist allies increasingly arguing that if enough parents believe something, it should have a place in public schools, or that if these parents oppose certain books or “controversial” perspectives, those books should be removed and the ideas not be taught – even if they are true.</p> <p>This tends to play out in issues relating to race. Attempts by schools to teach an honest accounting of America’s troubled racial history are being labeled “critical race theory” and attacked. Some people would rather that our schools teach a sanitized version of “history” where our country never did anything wrong and never treated any group badly.</p> <p>This isn’t really new. In recent years, some parents have tried to block any <a href="https://au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/history-hysteria-md-dad-flips-out-over-daughter-s-high-school-study-of">instruction about Islam</a>, sought to expel comprehensive sex education and demanded that creationism be taught in schools in lieu of accepted science. Some parents want the curriculum to be saturated with their understanding of Christianity.</p> <p>But the fact that people – perhaps even many people in some regions – may want a certain view taught in the public schools does not make that thing legal or good policy. Public schools are charged with the task of imparting factual information, not acting as parochial institutions for whatever faith may dominate in a given community; nor are they to act as units for disseminating debunked history or unhinged conspiracy theories.</p> <p>To be clear, parents have every right to interact with the public school system, and there are plenty of opportunities for them to do that. Our schools are governed by democratically elected boards, and members of the community may attend board meetings to share their opinions. Parents can also meet with their children’s teachers and school administrators. They can join PTAs and volunteer in schools.</p> <p>But sometimes people pressure school staff to teach things that are unconstitutional, illegal, inappropriate or that run afoul of state curriculum standards. They might also press for removing necessary instruction. The only answer there is no.</p> <p>There’s something to be said for professional experience. In a recent <em>Washington Post</em> column, Kate Cohen <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/24/parents-think-they-know-what-is-best-schools-they-often-dont/">observed</a>, “Someone with real expertise should keep up with how many planets there are and how many genders, with the best way to do long division and to talk about race. Someone trained to develop curriculum standards and choose textbooks should keep revising our understanding of U.S. history. Not me! If we stuck with what I learned as a kid, we’d still be teaching kids that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights and the Pilgrims and the Indians enjoyed a mutually beneficial cultural exchange.”</p> <p>Parental involvement is welcome in our schools. Demands for policies that would dumb down instruction for students or that would infuse public schools with theology are not.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-schools" hreflang="en">public schools</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/creationism" hreflang="en">Creationism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/censorship" hreflang="en">censorship</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/islam" hreflang="en">Islam</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/john-f-kennedy" hreflang="en">John F. Kennedy</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 29 Nov 2021 13:41:26 +0000 boston 17107 at https://www.au.org Five Reasons To Be Thankful For Separation Of Church And State https://www.au.org/blogs/five-reasons-separation <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Five Reasons To Be Thankful For Separation Of Church And State</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed Nov 24, 2021 - 08:33</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/thanksgiving%20meal%20.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=7G3mnt3Q" width="1700" height="525" alt="Thanksgiving" title="Thanksgiving " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>This is the time of year when people reflect on the things they’re thankful for. One of them ought to be America’s fundamental principle of separation of church and state.</p> <p>There are many reasons to be thankful for our founders’ decision to put distance between religion and government. Here are just five:</p> <ol> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state frees us from the scourge of an officially established church:</em></strong> Established churches play out in two ways: They either become instruments of oppression and terror (think Europe in the Middle Ages or Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan today) or they devolve into ceremonial entities that are little more than house-trained props for the state. These churches provide a dose of pomp at government ceremonies, but few people actually attend their services (<a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-religion/church-of-england-numbers-in-britain-are-at-record-low-survey-idUSKCN1LM3D1">Church of England</a>, anyone?). In recent years, established churches in some northern European nations have <a href="https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2000-jan-01-me-49706-story.html">agreed to disestablishment</a> as a way to reverse their decline. It is probably too late.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state promotes pluralism:</em></strong> Conservative evangelicals <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/PRRI-pluralism-poll">may not care for religious diversity</a>, but most Americans do. This diversity, which includes thousands of distinct religions as well as varieties of nonbelief, has given us a vibrant society with a rich array of faiths and philosophies. Not only does this safeguard everyone’s rights, but it also makes for a more interesting, thoughtful society.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state protects your right to believe as you choose:</em></strong> Because the government doesn’t presume to meddle in our religious choices, Americans have the right to align with existing houses of worship, fashion their own belief systems or reject religion entirely. You can explore, you can blend traditions – and you’re always free to change your mind. Your journey may take you to a place that is unique to you, and that’s fine, too. Thomas Jefferson said it best. Asked to explain his religious beliefs, <a href="https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/03-14-02-0428">he replied</a>, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” Thanks to separation of church and state, millions of Americans are taking that spirit and <a href="https://www.northjersey.com/in-depth/news/2021/09/20/nones-religiously-unaffiliated-americans-increasing/4386549001/">running with it</a>.</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state protects secular public education:</em></strong> Thanks to separation of church and state, state-sponsored prayers and Bible reading were removed from public schools 60 years ago. Our public schools, which serve 90% of America’s children, are allowed to objectively teach about religion as an academic subject, but they’re not permitted to sponsor worship activities. This ensures that the schools are welcoming for all and leaves decisions about religion where they belong – with the families. (And yes, we know that some schools continue to meddle in religion in inappropriate ways anyway. But <a href="https://www.au.org/violation">when Americans United finds out about that</a>, we can make them stop – again thanks to separation of church and state.)</li> <li><strong><em>Separation of church and state crushes the lies of Christian nationalism:</em></strong> Christian nationalism – the claim that the United States was founded to be a Christian nation and therefore Christians (of a certain type) should have the power to infuse their theology with our laws – is a pernicious lie that is, unfortunately, embraced by millions of Americans. Separation of church and state exposes Christian nationalism for the malicious, exclusionary and ultimately empty system that it is and provides a freedom-based alternative.</li> </ol> <p>Americans United wishes you all the best this holiday season no matter what, how or if you celebrate. There’s one thing we’re definitely thankful for: You!</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/history-and-origins-of-church-state-separation" hreflang="en">History and Origins of Church-State Separation</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/church-england" hreflang="en">Church of England</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/thomas-jefferson" hreflang="en">thomas jefferson</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/prayer-public-schools" hreflang="en">prayer in public schools</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Wed, 24 Nov 2021 13:33:26 +0000 boston 17106 at https://www.au.org Blasphemy Laws Remain An Impediment To Religious Freedom Worldwide https://www.au.org/blogs/blasphemy-laws-worldwide <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Blasphemy Laws Remain An Impediment To Religious Freedom Worldwide</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue Nov 23, 2021 - 10:12</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/world%20map.jpg?h=119335f7&amp;itok=skcUiIUR" width="1700" height="525" alt="world" title="map of the world " typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Last week, Humanists International <a href="https://fot.humanists.international/">released a report</a> detailing instances of state-sponsored bias against humanists, atheists and skeptics of religion around the world.</p> <p>One thing stands out: Blasphemy laws remain a scourge in many parts of the globe. In some countries, to even question whatever dogma the state has embraced is enough to land you behind bars.</p> <p>Some examples:</p> <ul> <li><em>Pakistan:</em> More than 1,000 people have been prosecuted under the country’s 1988 blasphemy law. Dozens are on death row.</li> <li><em>Cambodia:</em> A vaguely worded law prohibits any “infringement on State Religion,” in this case, Buddhism. It’s also illegal to use “words and gestures likely to undermine the dignity” of Buddhist monks and nuns. Earlier this year, government office suppressed an online publication after it ran an article criticizing a monk for using physical punishment against junior monks.</li> <li><em>Qatar:</em> It is illegal to insult the “Supreme Being.” This includes the production of any slogans or drawings that might offend Islam.</li> </ul> <p>Lest anyone think that blasphemy laws are relics found only in less advanced or hardline Muslim nations, bear in mind that Canada, Iceland, Denmark and New Zealand <a href="https://www.au.org/church-state/february-2019-church-state-magazine/featured/banishing-blasphemy-laws-that-punish">repealed such laws only recently</a>. There have been attempts to apply them recently in Ireland, Russia, Spain, Poland and Austria.</p> <p>In America, several states still have blasphemy laws on the books, although the last successful prosecution for blasphemy dates to the early 20th century. These laws are considered antiquated, but they rear their heads on occasion. Pennsylvania’s blasphemy law, which, remarkably, was passed in 1977, was invoked in 2007 after a resident named George Kalman filed papers to incorporate a film production company called I Choose Hell Productions. State officials rejected the application, telling Kalman that commercial names “may not contain words that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name.” Kalman sued, and in 2010 a federal court ruled that the Pennsylvania law violated the First Amendment’s religious freedom and free speech provisions.</p> <p>Freedom of belief, by necessity, also includes the right not to believe. This means we have the right to criticize the beliefs of others. It includes the right to be impolite, to mock and poke fun. As the U.S. Supreme Court <a href="https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/92/burstyn-v-wilson">noted in 1952</a>, “It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches or motion pictures.”</p> <p>Unfortunately, for many people in other parts of the globe, government does assume this power – much to the detriment of open inquiry, intellectual freedom and fundamental human rights.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/religious-freedom" hreflang="en">Religious Freedom</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/blasphemy" hreflang="en">Blasphemy</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/pennsylvania" hreflang="en">Pennsylvania</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/supreme-court" hreflang="en">Supreme Court</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Tue, 23 Nov 2021 15:12:37 +0000 boston 17104 at https://www.au.org Residents Of Va. County Pour Cold Water On School Board’s Book-Burning Scheme https://www.au.org/blogs/spotsylvania-book-ban <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--title--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--title.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--title.html.twig * field--string.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Residents Of Va. County Pour Cold Water On School Board’s Book-Burning Scheme</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--title.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--uid--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--uid.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--uid.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'username' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> <a title="View user profile." href="/user/95" lang="" about="/user/95" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" class="username">boston</a> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/user/username.html.twig' --> </span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--uid.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--created--blog-post.html.twig x field--node--created.html.twig * field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field--created.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon Nov 22, 2021 - 09:55</span> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/field--node--created.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'links__node' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: x links--node.html.twig x links--node.html.twig * links.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/content/links--node.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-authored-by--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-authored-by.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-authored-by.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-authored-by field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Authored by</label> <div class="item"><a href="/about/people/rob-boston" hreflang="und">Rob Boston</a></div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-image--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-image.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-image.html.twig * field--image.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-image field--type-image"> <label>Image</label> <div class="item"> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_formatter' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image_style' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'image' --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/banner/public/images/blog_post/books%20in%20stack.jpg?h=271aaa1c&amp;itok=s58_EJ3c" width="1700" height="525" alt="books" title="stack of books" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-banner" /> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-style.html.twig' --> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'core/themes/classy/templates/field/image-formatter.html.twig' --> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--body--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--body.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--body.html.twig * field--text-with-summary.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary items"><p>Last week on “The Wall of Separation” we wrote about a situation in Spotsylvania County, Va., where the school board <a href="https://www.au.org/blogs/book-burn-va">voted unanimously</a> to order education officials to remove “sexually explicit” books from school libraries.</p> <p>There’s good news to report: This ill-considered plan <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/spotsylvania-school-books-removal-rescinded/2021/11/16/dcf77f24-46e4-11ec-b8d9-232f4afe4d9b_story.html">has been scuttled</a>. During the board’s Nov. 8 meeting, two members spoke openly about their desire to literally burn books they consider offensive. Those extreme statements captured national headlines; more importantly, they spurred local residents to action.</p> <p>A week later, folks who live in the county packed a board meeting and let the members know they weren’t pleased. At the conclusion of the meeting, the board voted 5-2 to rescind the call to remove the books.</p> <p>The two dissenters, Kirk Twigg and Rabih Abuismail, were the ones who, during the previous meeting, called for burning books. Abuismail is claiming he never called for burning books, but that’s simply not true. This was a public meeting, and <a href="https://amsva.wistia.com/medias/0xm0ndppwk?fbclid=IwAR006MFLbm8OPaN-QLGpv8cMVi59GedeEovChXOwB0_vHj8kd_Twk3BWQIo">it was taped</a>.</p> <p>My favorite comment came from a county librarian (naturally!) who said, “If you have a worldview that can be undone by a novel, let me suggest that the problem is not the novel.”</p> <p>And let’s be clear about something: Despite all of the talk about “obscene” books, none of the titles targeted would qualify as pornography or anything close to it. Historically, terms like “obscene,” “pornographic” and “explicit” have been used by would-be censors to attack books they don’t like or volumes that deal with themes that make them uncomfortable. (In 1939, John Steinbecks’s <em>The Grapes of Wrath</em> <a href="https://www.publicaffairsbooks.com/titles/rick-wartzman/obscene-in-the-extreme/9780786726073/">was labeled “obscene”</a> despite the fact that there are no sex scenes in the book. It was a disinformation campaign led by produce growers in Kern County, Calif., who were upset over the novel’s pro-migrant worker message). In Spotsylvania, the books targeted mainly dealt with LGBTQ issues. In other parts of the country, books are under fire for dealing with themes of racial justice. Some people simply don’t want our students to have access to this material because it offends their religious or political beliefs.</p> <p>The residents of Spotsylvania County turned back the censors. The lesson here is not complicated: You have a voice. Use it.</p></div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-issues--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-issues.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-issues.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-issues field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Issues</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/issues/lgbtq-rights" hreflang="en">LGBTQ Rights</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <!-- THEME DEBUG --> <!-- THEME HOOK: 'field' --> <!-- FILE NAME SUGGESTIONS: * field--node--field-tags--blog-post.html.twig * field--node--field-tags.html.twig x field--node--blog-post.html.twig * field--field-tags.html.twig * field--entity-reference.html.twig * field.html.twig --> <!-- BEGIN OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference"> <label>Tags</label> <div class="items"> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/virginia" hreflang="en">Virginia</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/censorship" hreflang="en">censorship</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/library-books" hreflang="en">library books</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/public-education" hreflang="en">public education</a></div> <div class="item"><a href="/tags/christian-nationalism" hreflang="en">Christian nationalism</a></div> </div> </div> <!-- END OUTPUT from 'themes/custom/au/templates/field/field--node--blog-post.html.twig' --> Mon, 22 Nov 2021 14:55:47 +0000 boston 17103 at https://www.au.org