Religious Minorities

AU’s Top 10 Of 2022: A Nationally Recognized Church-State Expert Comes To Americans United

  Rob Boston

Editor’s Note: For the next two weeks, “The Wall of Separation” will be recounting the top 10 church-state stories from 2022. Today’s post looks at Andrew Seidel’s arrival at Americans United.

Andrew L. Seidel, one of the nation’s leading experts in separation of church and state, joined the Americans United staff in 2022, giving AU a new and powerful voice to the fight to maintain separation of religion and government.

Seidel was catapulted into the national spotlight in 2019 with the publication of his book The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American. It’s a powerful, stunning rebuke to those who claim the United States was founded to be a Christian nation. Marshaling evidence from a variety of sources, Seidel shows conclusively that not only are the values of Christian nationalism not the foundation of our Constitution, but they’re also often incompatible with it.

Exposing Christian Nationalism

In September, Seidel published American Crusade: How the Supreme Court Is Weaponizing Religious Freedom, an indictment of the high court’s adoption of a dangerous theory of religious freedom that exposes people to harm and takes away their rights. Once again, Seidel pulled together a host of evidence to explain how the court’s stance conflicts with our nation’s traditions and history. (You can read an excerpt here.)

Seidel arrived at AU shortly after he co-published a report with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty about the influence of Christian nationalism on the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Seidel, who joined the AU staff in March as vice president of strategic communications, is an attorney and an author. He graduated cum laude from Tulane University in 2004 with a B.S. in neuroscience and environmental science and magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School, where he was awarded the Haber J. McCarthy Award for excellence in environmental law. He studied human rights and international law at the University of Amsterdam and completed his Master of Laws at Denver University Sturm College of Law in 2011.

Elevating AU On Social Media

At the time Seidel joined the staff, AU President and CEO Rachel Laser observed, “It’s more important than ever to unite Americans of all beliefs and none to defend this foundational Constitutional principle. Andrew’s substantive expertise in our cause as well as his experience with communicating across all channels has never been more important.”

Adept at modern forms of communication, Andrew maintains an active presence on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms and is boosting AU’s presence on these sites as well.

AU has a strong team of dedicated professionals. In 2022, we were pleased to add an expert of Andrew’s caliber to our ranks.

Congress needs to hear from you!

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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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