There’s no denying that 2020 was a difficult year. Few of us will look back at it with great fondness. The loss of life and social isolation brought about by the coronavirus pandemic have touched everyone. The economy took a severe hit, and many people found themselves out of work. Many communities were embroiled in protests over our country’s systemic racism, which is often fueled by white Christian nationalism.
We also lost U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, towering champions of church-state separation. RBG’s death led to the high court becoming even more conservative. And the administration of President Donald Trump continued its assaults on religious freedom.
But as the year began drawing to a close, we saw glimmers of hope. Several companies reported positive results from vaccine trials. And Trump will soon be leaving office, taking his war on the church-state wall with him.
Despite everything we’ve been through this year, Americans United has stayed on the job. When our office building in Washington, D.C., had to close due to COVID-19, staff members began working from home. There were some initial hiccups, but we never really missed a beat. We’ve been defending church-state separation and religious freedom remotely but with just as much energy, commitment and determination.
So, on this Giving Tuesday, we can offer a message of hope and the opportunity to look forward to brighter days on the horizon. We’re also pleased to share some exciting news: From now through Dec. 1, a generous group of AU donors will match your gift to Americans United. This gives you the opportunity to double your impact. We urge you to take advantage of this special opportunity.
Despite the pandemic, Americans United continues to work remotely in the halls of Congress, in state legislatures, in the nation’s courtrooms, in arenas of local activism and in the court of public opinion.
Here are just two recent examples: Our Public Policy Department produced a 10-point Agenda to Restore and Protect Religious Freedom for the Biden administration, and AU’s Legal Department has been hard at work urging government officials across the country to refrain from granting special privileges to religion during the pandemic, noting that this puts religious freedom and public health at risk.
We couldn’t do this important work without your help. Your support on Giving Tuesday – which, remember, will be doubled by generous donors – will enable us to do much more of it in 2021 and beyond.
Online contributions will be matched through Dec. 1, 2020, up to a limit of $50,000. All gifts made in excess of this limit will still provide valuable funding for AU’s efforts to defend church-state separation.