Abortion Access

For Americans weary of ‘culture wars,’ Americans United has the solution: church-state separation

  Rob Boston

A recent story in The Washington Post asserted that residents of Florida have grown weary of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ constant fixation on culture war issues. The piece noted that several far-right proposals have died recently in the legislature. Courts have invalidated others, and grassroots opposition is growing to DeSantis’ Christian Nationalist agenda.

“Florida has firmly cemented itself in recent years as ground zero for the nation’s culture wars,” observed the article. “The Sunshine State is the birthplace of conservative parental rights group Moms for Liberty, the original law restricting LGBTQ+ discussion in classrooms, one of the strictest abortion laws in the country and legislation that has led to the banning of more books than in any other state in America.

“But the pushback is growing. Parents and others have organized and protested schoolbook bans. Abortion rights advocates gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in Florida in November. A bill that would have established ‘fetal personhood’ stalled before it could reach a full vote.”

Florida and Texas: Christian Nationalist playgrounds

In recent years, Florida and Texas have become playgrounds for Christian Nationalist legislators. Bad ideas that originate in those states are exported to others. Consider, for example, the Texas plan to put chaplains in public schools.

The good news is that Americans are pushing back. Abortion rights have won every time they’ve appeared on the ballot, and more states are planning votes in November.

Book bans have also sparked a powerful backlash, including legal action. Activists are vigorously opposing attempts to bring the Texas chaplains scheme to other states.

The root of the problem

All of this is welcome, but Americans must grasp the underlying cause of these relentless culture wars: It’s Christian Nationalism. Attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, efforts to ban books, schemes to infuse public schools with fundamentalist Christianity and attempts to deny reproductive freedom are spearheaded by Christian Nationalists, a movement whose adherents base their theory of government on the Bible, not the Constitution.

Americans can play Whac-A-Mole and attempt to tamp down Christian Nationalism wherever it rears its head. A better solution is to understand the underlying theory of this dangerous movement and recommit to the one thing that can topple it: separation of church and state. A good place to start is with these resources by Americans United.

Congress needs to hear from you!

Urge your legislators to co-sponsor the Do No Harm Act today.

The Do No Harm Act will help ensure that our laws are a shield to protect religious freedom and not used as a sword to harm others by undermining civil rights laws and denying access to health care.

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