Goodbyes are frequently difficult, but this one seems especially so. After half a decade at Americans United, I am leaving to become the media relations manager for Small Business Majority. I am very excited about my new position. But at the same time I am frightened for the future of the United States and sad that so much work will need to be done in the coming years to defend religious liberty from attacks by the far right.
American voters last night decided that Donald J. Trump, a real estate developer and reality TV star with no political experience, should be the next president of the United States.
What happens next? How will Americans United’s issues be affected?
Trump’s victory is extremely troubling because during the campaign, he was often dismissive of church-state separation and meaningful religious liberty. The issues that matter to Americans United seemed to mean little to Trump. He made several proposals that can charitably be described as reckless.
Consider the following:
Staring out over a crowd of 3,000 far-right evangelical Christians in Washington, D.C., Sept. 9, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump assumed an unusual mantle: defender of America’s “Christian heritage.”
“Our Christian heritage will be cherished, protected, defended like you’ve never seen before,” Trump told attendees of the annual Values Voter Summit (VVS). “Believe me. I believe it and you believe it and you know it.”
Many years ago I was working for the American Civil Liberties Union and made a foolish decision to appear on “The Morton Downey Jr. Show,” a literal scream-fest featuring a chain-smoking, ultraconservative blowhard who made today’s television conservatives like Bill O’Reilly appear to be learned pussycats.
Downey placed guests like me, who he knew would be unpopular, as close as possible (as in, breathing down your neck close) to a sneering group of his barely post-pubescent audience of bellicose know-nothings.
Yesterday AU Communications Associate Rokia Hassanein wrote about attending the Values Voter Summit (VVS) for the first time. I felt a little guilty throwing her into the abyss when she’s been with AU for less than a month, but Rokia had a good attitude about it. I know she heard and felt some things that surprised her.
I went to my first Values Voter Summit (VVS) over the weekend, and it was… unique, to say the least.
It was interesting to see a loud majority gather together in a series of events to discuss how oppressed they are for not being able to oppress other people with their religious dogma.
I have too many thoughts. So, I’m going to narrow it down to a few things that popped up to me.
A lot of people around the country have been debating whether Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem prior to games is an appropriate form of silent protest against racial injustice.
Thousands of conservative evangelicals will converge on Washington, D.C., this weekend for the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit to proclaim a thrice-married, coarse reality TV star as their standard-bearer.
It’s a move that exposes the desperation and hypocrisy of the Religious Right, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.