Feb 03, 2021

President Joe Biden is expected to address the National Prayer Breakfast tomorrow, an annual event sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation (aka The Family), a Christian nationalist organization.  

Americans United for Separation of Church and State President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement:

“For four years, we watched Donald Trump pander to white Christian nationalists and unveil cruel policies that misused religious freedom to override critical civil rights protections, health care access and protections for people who use social services. We hope that at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Joe Biden establishes a new course.

“President Biden should draw a sharp contrast with his predecessor by endorsing separation of religion and government as the guarantee of religious freedom for all of us. He should make clear that his vision of religious freedom is one that doesn’t exclude anyone, including nonbelievers. And he should clarify that religious freedom is a shield meant to protect us, not a sword to cause harm to others.

“The National Prayer Breakfast and events like it are often described as opportunities to unite everyone under the banner of faith. What many Americans don’t realize is that the sponsor of The National Prayer Breakfast, The Family, is really a divisive Christian fundamentalist group seeking to advance a regressive political agenda. The Family doesn’t represent an America that lives up to our country’s values. It represents an America that dangerously excludes huge numbers of us – religious minorities, the nonreligious, people of color, LGBTQ people and many more. 

“Assuming President Biden attends, we urge him to use this platform to convey a message that is inclusive of all Americans and lifts up what is best about our nation – our shared belief in freedom of religion, equality and the strengths of a diverse society.”

Americans United is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.