Is Americans United “out to literally destroy America”?
Mat Staver says so.
AU and plaintiff Ralph Stewart are challenging the Johnson County Commission’s decision to display the Ten Commandments and Christian literature in the courthouse lobby while refusing to allow citizens to display posters about the historic role of church-state separation in American law.
Staver is unhappy with AU’s lawsuit.
"This is something that they are intent on doing across the country," he told One News Now, a right-wing news service. "They're out to literally destroy America; they're out to erase our religious heritage and religious symbols from every area of life."
Not content with that intemperate outburst, the Falwell empire lawyer blasted Ralph Stewart for wanting to post accurate church-state information related to the history of law in America.
Said Staver, “"This individual wants to put up false information, essentially saying that separation of church and state is required or part of the Constitution, which we know it's not.”
Think about it. Staver is dean of an accredited law school, and yet he feels perfectly free to maliciously slander Americans United and spread a grossly inaccurate take about America’s governing document.
Sorry, Mat, you’re incredibly far off-base here.
Americans United most certainly does not want to “destroy America.” On the contrary, we’re trying to preserve fundamental constitutional principles that make America great. We insist that government officials respect and enforce the First Amendment’s separation of religion and government. We do so, not out of hostility toward religion, but out of respect for the diversity that makes the United States so strong.
AU is not out to “erase our religious heritage” or remove religious symbols “from every area of life.” Religious individuals and religious organizations are perfectly free to celebrate their heritage and post religious symbols in a broad array of venues. We ask only that they not commandeer public land and buildings and send the message that one faith has governmental preference.
And, Mat, church-state separation really is mandated by the Constitution. The Founders said so, and the Supreme Court -- dating back at least to 1878 – has reaffirmed that wholesome principle again and again.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about restoring civility to America’s public dialogue about contentious issues. Maybe it’s time for Mat Staver to get the memo.