Editor’s Note: Today 's blog post is by James C. Nelson, a retired justice of the Montana Supreme Court. Nelson was appointed to the court by Gov. Marc Racicot in 1993 and was reelected to the position three times, serving until his retirement in 2013.
Is Americans United anti-Christian? Of course not.
We exist to defend the constitutional separation of church and state, a principle that protects alike Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, non-believers and persons with all sorts of opinions about religion. But you’d never know that by listening to some of our opponents.
In Hays County, Texas, the Commissioners Court had a habit of opening most of its sessions with Christian prayers. A local resident called AU to object to this sectarian practice, so our legal department sent along a letter on the subject.
I’m heading to Houston, folks! I’ll be accompanying Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn as we join with the Texas ACLU and other progressive allies to put on a rally on the night before Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s fundamentalist Christian prayer fest.
Religious Right groups regularly insist that all devout Americans, especially Christians, must be against the separation of church and state.
As usual, they’re completely off the mark. In fact, many people of faith are among the strongest supporters of church-state separation. And we have a new piece of evidence.
Some residents of Henderson County, N.C., seem determined to fight unnecessary battles.
According to news reports, the Henderson County Commission held a meeting last night to hear from the community and take a final vote on whether its monthly meetings should continue to open with sectarian invocations.
This past weekend, I attended my sister’s graduation ceremony at the University of Michigan, where President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address.
The Ann Arbor ceremony included a variety of speeches welcoming the students, their families and the president. Some speeches were inspiring, others were congratulatory and most contained a good deal of school spirit. (Being a Buckeye myself, hearing “Go Blue” shouted by our president particularly stung.)
With all the hoopla last week over the federal court decision striking down the National Day of Prayer, Americans United knew the Religious Right would be putting pressure on their allies in Congress to take action.