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Salutes And Slogans: The Reckless Folly Of Mandatory Patriotism

Every few years, it seems, the issue of forced patriotism rears its ugly head in United States. Most recently, the issue surfaced again after a number of professional football players decided to “take a knee” rather than stand during the national anthem.

The players wanted to make a statement about racial injustice in America. They weren’t protesting the anthem for religious reasons, but an incident from 1940 during which a mandatory patriotic exercise was opposed on the grounds of religion is instructive.

Forced Patriotism: You Don’t Have To Stand For It

A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.

As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.  

Trump Vows To ‘Destroy’ Law Banning Church Politicking At National Prayer Breakfast

President Donald Trump had a lot to say this morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering in Washington, D.C., that is sponsored by the evangelical Fellowship Foundation and typically brings together the president, members of Congress and other dignitaries for a series of meetings and meals.

I’m Excited To Join The Americans United Team!

Editor’s Note: Liz Hayes is Americans United’s new assistant director of communications. In this blog post, she explains what motivated her to want to work for Americans United.

I was born, raised and worked as a journalist for nearly 15 years in western Pennsylvania in the suburbs of Pittsburgh – the politically purple borderlands where liberalism drains into the conservative rural vastness that smears the center of the state red.

Fake ‘War On Christmas’ May Have Spurred Trump’s Presidential Run

Why did Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality TV star with no political experience, decide to run for president?

We have no shortage of theories. Some say Trump wanted free publicity to boost his sagging personal brand. Others assert it was all a stunt to launch a new cable TV channel. Still others insist Trump jumped in to shake things up and have a little fun, never expecting to actually win the Republican nomination.

Now Trump’s son Eric has put forth a new theory: His father was upset because the White House Christmas tree was renamed a “holiday tree.”

Symbols and Civil Religion

Some very powerful people in the United States see absolutely nothing wrong with generalized government endorsement of religious belief.

Pledging To Respect Everyone’s Rights: N.Y. School Allows Student To Opt Out Of Patriotic Exercise

A spat over a high school student’s decision to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance has been favorably resolved. The administrators of Southside High School in Elmira, N.Y., have agreed to allow a student to sit during the Pledge in response to a letter from the American Humanist Association (AHA).

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