After Americans United published a blog post about a fringe far-right Catholic TV network in Michigan that wants to tear down the wall between church and state, the group, Church Militant, went on the attack.
AU Director of Communications Rob Boston on Feb. 24 wrote on AU’s “Wall of Separation” blog about Church Militant and its leader, Michael Voris, who has talked of establishing a “Catholic monarch” and state religion.
Boston’s piece was spurred by a Detroit Free Press interview with Voris, in which he likened President Donald J. Trump to the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, who favored Christianity. Voris said while Constantine was an immoral, “power-hungry egomaniac,” he appreciates the strides the emperor made to improve conditions for Christians.
“The personal proclivities, the personal sins or life of a particular leader is a separate discussion from how that man’s view of the world might influence his policies,” Voris said. “And if that policy is favorable to the church, well then, very good.”
On church-state separation, Voris said: “The problem with America is America never sat down and had the right discussion about which religion is the right religion.”
Boston pointed out the problems in establishing a state religion: “What would this government-imposed religious uniformity look like in modern-day, pluralistic America? For starters, women aren’t going to have any reproductive freedom, and LGBTQ rights will be obliterated. Religious freedom, especially as it applies to Muslims, whom Voris and his network seem to despise, will be a memory.”
Church Militant responded the same day, accusing AU of “promoting secularist ideals in the public square.” The group has added AU to its list of “hate groups,” which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Democratic National Committee, Human Rights Commission and Planned Parenthood.