In advance of tomorrow’s Day of Action for church-state separation advocates to oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, AU joined three dozen faith-based, nontheist and religious freedom organizations to voice concerns about his record on church-state separation.
In a letter to senators, the organizations outlined the importance of church-state separation and encouraged senators to ask questions during the confirmation process to hold Kavanaugh accountable for his views on this core American principle.
“The separation of church and state is the linchpin of religious freedom and one of the hallmarks of American democracy,” the organizations wrote. “It ensures that each person has the right to choose whether to be religious or nonreligious without pressure from the government. It safeguards houses of worship from intrusion by the government and prevents religious institutions from using the mechanisms of government to impose their religion on others. … And, it ensures that all Americans feel welcome and treated equally under the law regardless of their religion.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s record suggests that he would not preserve the wall of separation between church and state, long used to ensure the protections guaranteed to us in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” the organizations noted.
The letter provides several examples of Kavanaugh’s hostility toward church-state separation – starting with his speech last year when he praised former Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s views that the “wall [of separation] metaphor was wrong as a matter of law and history.”
Kavanaugh has indicated he’d support school-sponsored prayers in public schools, private school voucher programs and the use of public money to fund religious activities. He also has shown support for allowing religion to be used as an excuse to discriminate against women, the LGBTQ community, religious minorities and others.
Kavanaugh is wrong on church-state separation, and he’s wrong for the Supreme Court. He could shift the balance of power on the court for a generation and undermine the promise of religious freedom for all.
That’s why so many faith and nontheist organizations joined AU in raising these concerns with Congress. Participants included organizations representing an array of faith traditions, the National Council for Jewish Women, African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Social Action Commission, American Humanist Association, Hindu American Foundation, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Council of Churches, Secular Coalition for America, Union for Reform Judaism and United Church of Christ’s Justice and Witness Ministries.
We hope you’ll join us and our allies tomorrow for a Day of Action to raise awareness about Kavanaugh’s record of hostility toward church-state separation. First and foremost, you can help by urging your senators to oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Also, help inform your friends and family by posting on social media about Kavanaugh’s record. You can use this sample post, or create your own message about why you oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation:
#WhatsAtStake with Brett Kavanaugh as our next #SCOTUSPick? Nothing less than the separation of church and state! Contact your senators today and tell them to #StopKavanaugh! bit.ly/2uitjmM #SaveSCOTUS
You can join us for a tweet storm on Twitter at 2 p.m. tomorrow, and we’ll be sharing content on Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. Help us get the word out that church-state separation is on the line!