July/August 2023 Church & State Magazine - July/August 2023

Staff members and activists spread the word about church-state separation in person and virtually


Members of the Americans United staff have been doing events in person and virtually lately. 

Here is a roundup of some recent activities:

Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser joined a panel for a virtual screening of a documentary film called “Under G-D” June 21. After the screening, Laser, who appears in the film, joined award-winning director Paula Eiselt and others for a discussion. The other panelists were Florida state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, Prof. Marci A. Hamilton of the University of Pennsylvania, Lori Adelman of Planned Parenthood Global Connect and Melissa Shube of The Lawyering Project. 

“Under G-D” weaves together the stories of a Jewish mother and activist in Indiana, a rabbi in Florida and lawyers throughout the country who are seeking to fight abortion bans in part by placing them in the legal and cultural context of religious freedom. To watch the screening and panel discussion, go to: https://events.picturemotion.com/reproductive-freedom. 

Andrew L. Seidel, AU’s vice president for strategic communications, spoke in St. Paul, Minn., May 2 about his recent book American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom. The event was sponsored by HumanistsMN. The following day, Seidel addressed a National Day of Reason event at the state capitol. Seidel also spoke to AU’s Rochester, N.Y., Chapter virtually June 14 about American Crusade. 

Maggie Garrett, AU’s vice president of public policy, was joined by Dena Sher, associate vice president of public policy, and Catherine Feuille, Madison legal fellow, to offer a May 23 virtual talk on “The Importance of the Separation of Church and State for Feminists.” The event was sponsored jointly by AU and the Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues.

Church & State Editor Rob Boston has done several events lately. On May 15, Boston talked remotely to the First Coast Freethought Society in Florida, addressing the topic “Debunking the Christian Nation Myth.” Boston addressed Sunday Assembly-San Diego in person May 21, offering an update on current church-state battles. The following day, Boston traveled to San Antonio where he addressed the Americans United chapter there. On June 11, Boston spoke to the Atlanta Freethought Society via Zoom.

Former AU Executive Director Barry W. Lynn spoke to the organization’s Orange County, Calif., Chapter June 17. Lynn’s talk, titled “My Life Preserving the First Amendment,” focused on his recently published memoir, Paid to Piss People Off. On May 20, the Orange County Chapter hosted Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, who addressed the topic, “Hell or High Water: Religion and Climate Change Denial.” 

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