OK, now we’ve done it. Those of us who advocate things like separation of church and state, secular government, LGBT rights and self-determination when it comes to issues of sexuality have really torqued off the Religious Right – so much so that some of them are thinking of going into exile.
The Supreme Court’s recent (and horrendous) ruling in the Hobby Lobby case dealing with workers’ access to contraceptives has turned the spotlight on the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the group that sponsored many of the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate.
Editor's Note: "The Wall of Separation" today is re-posting an item that originally appeared on July 4, 2011. Happy Independence Day!
Last week, I gave a talk about church-state history at my wife’s church. I called my speech “The ‘Christian Nation’ Myth.”
Although I’m not an attorney, I laid out the case against the idea that the United States is some sort of officially Christian nation as one would in a courtroom, by marshaling the evidence. I put forth the following points:
Editor’s Note: Today is the congressionally mandated National Day of Prayer. “The Wall of Separation” is pleased to offer this guest post by James C. Nelson, a retired justice of the Montana Supreme Court. Nelson was appointed to the court by Gov. Marc Racicot in 1993 and was reelected to the position three times, serving until his retirement in 2013.
I still use a large desk calendar, one made out of paper. (Yep, I admit I’m a dinosaur.)
This calendar thoughtfully fills me in on holidays major and minor. On March 17, I can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday. I wouldn’t want to miss Administrative Professionals Day on April 23, and Victoria Day (May 19) is a big deal in Canada. For you internationalists, Oct. 24 is United Nations Day.
But one holiday that does not appear is Religious Freedom Day, which is today, Jan. 16.
Whenever I hear someone – especially a politician – say that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, I just want to start screaming.
As I’ve pointed out many times on this blog and in other forums, that statement is inane and shows great ignorance of our founding principles. Religious Right figures started using it a few years ago, apparently believing they had stumbled onto something clever. In fact, they are simply spouting puerile nonsense.