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On The Road Again: Some Thoughts From My 'Farewell Tour'

This issue contains a history of Americans United. I’ve been honored to play a role in it for the past quarter-century. In fact, I’ve been here so long that people sometimes ask me if I founded AU.

It would be nice to say, “Yes, I am nearing 70 and so is Americans United. I clearly recall leaving the birth canal screaming, ‘Separate church and state, just as I have been separated!’” But that story, of course, would be “fake news” – acceptable to some in Washington, but not to me.

Seventy Years of Separation

The year was 1948, and the people of Dixon, N.M., were in need of some help.

Public schools in this remote rural hamlet had been handed over to a religious group – in this case, an order of Catholic nuns in full clerical garb – who were teaching children in a former parochial school festooned with sectarian symbols.

The nuns insisted that their instruction was non-sectarian, but some parents said it was impossible for youngsters to receive a secular education in such a religious setting. The two sides remained at loggerheads.

Thank You, Barry Lynn, For 25 Remarkable Years Of Service To Americans United!

In September of 1992, a man named Barry W. Lynn was named executive director of Americans United.

At the time, I’d been working at AU for five years, and I knew Barry by name and reputation. If you worked in the fields of civil liberties or social justice, you’d know Barry; that’s just the way it was. He was an important player in those areas.

Why Young People Support Church-State Separation

“Wait, aren’t church and state already separate?” I’ve been asked this question many times; enough that it has inspired me to come work with an organization that has fought for 70 years to ensure they do stay separate. My name is Erica and I am the communications intern at Americans United for Separation of Church and State this spring.