Fast Facts on 5 of the many issues facing church-state separation this year
The Religious Right is fighting to deny millions of Americans access to contraceptives.
Anti-public school forces are pushing to plow your tax money into the coffers of private religious schools through vouchers.
Proponents of “faith-based” tax funding insist that sectarian groups get taxpayer money yet still have the power to discriminate on religious grounds when hiring staff.
Religious Right groups continue to view public schools as a mission field for spreading their fundamentalist theology.
The Religious Right is fighting to stack the courts with judges who are hostile to the separation of church and state.
These are only some of the issues challenging church-state separation!
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2013 will be a pivotal year for church-state separation! Americans United is expecting battles on several fronts.
The Religious Right is furious that President Barack Obama won reelection – and they intend to do all they can to make their narrow religious view the law for all to follow.
These groups – often allied with the Roman Catholic hierarchy – pulled out all of the stops to elect Mitt Romney last year. They raised millions of dollars, distributed biased “voter guides” and even recruited churches to engage in illegal forms of politicking.
They lost – but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up. Far from it! Look for an even more aggressive push from the Religious Right as these groups work to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state.
Americans United faces significant challenges this year:
- Blocking sectarian control of our private lives: The Religious Right and the Catholic hierarchy will not give up their efforts to control the most intimate aspects of our private lives.
They want to define what marriage is for everyone. They want to determine women’s reproductive rights. They even want to restrict access to birth control!
- Defending the courts: The Religious Right and their cronies would love to stack our courts with judges who mimic their narrow worldview. They’d like to use the courts to carry out their schemes to diminish the church-state wall.
We must ensure that judges – from state courts on up to the U.S. Supreme Court – are strong supporters of the wall of separation. Remember, many church-state disputes are ultimately resolved in courts. Not in Congress. And not in state legislatures.
- Promoting zero tolerance toward school vouchers: Voucher schemes that subsidize religious and other private schools continue to surface in the states, thanks to a multi-million-dollar push by sectarian lobbies and right-wing ideologues. AU’s goal is simple: Stop every voucher plan in every state every time.
- Ending ‘faith-based’ job bias: For too long, religious groups have been able to take your tax dollars and use them to pay for social programs while discriminating when hiring staff. This means a job-training program run by fundamentalist Christians can receive your money and categorically refuse to hire a Jew, atheist, Muslim, etc., as a manager. It ‘s time for this to stop! AU fought against “faith-based” discrimination during the first Obama administration through CARD (Coalition Against Religious Discrimination), and we’ll keep doing so – until there is NO religious discrimination funded with taxpayer money!
- Teaching, not preaching, in public schools: America is becoming more diverse by the day, yet Religious Right groups continue to view public schools as a giant mission field for spreading their theology, through teaching creationism and mandating prayer. AU will fight to make sure that our public schools remain free from sectarian influences.
And that’s not all! Believe me, there will be more challenges to face. The simple fact is, we have to be ready for just about anything, because attacks on church-state separation can surface at any time. Your help makes it possible for AU to fight back whenever any group decides to launch an attack against the church-state wall.
The Religious Right’s distorted vision of America must never become a reality. That is why so many citizens who value an America where any person may worship (or not) as they see fit support Americans United. Please donate today to fund our work on behalf of religious liberty.