Vice President Mike Pence will be in Colorado Springs this Friday speaking at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Focus on the Family (FOF), the fundamentalist Christian family ministry and Religious Right group founded by Dr. James C. Dobson, a child psychologist.
It’s been less than two weeks since President Donald J. Trump and his administration transitioned into power, and chaos and protests over their actions have already erupted.
But one group, in particular, remains mum on criticizing the Trump administration’s words and actions: the Trump-loving Religious Right.
It hasn’t been a secret what members of the Religious Right sought under their Christmas trees this year, and voters playing the role of Santa Claus delivered: Donald Trump for president.
Goodbyes are frequently difficult, but this one seems especially so. After half a decade at Americans United, I am leaving to become the media relations manager for Small Business Majority. I am very excited about my new position. But at the same time I am frightened for the future of the United States and sad that so much work will need to be done in the coming years to defend religious liberty from attacks by the far right.
I opened up my Washington Post yesterday morning – yes, I still read a paper edition – only to see a full-page ad on page A7 headlined, “DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE UPON GOD AND HIS HOLY BIBLE.”
“Oh, this ought to be good,” I thought.
Indeed, the ad didn’t disappoint. It stated that people have certain rights given to them by the Creator and among them “is the right to exercise our Christian beliefs as put forth in God’s Holy Bible.”
On Saturday, AU’s Director of Communications Rob Boston wrote a blog post detailing the Religious Right’s reaction to videotape that exposed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about how he can commit sexual assault and harassment and get away with it because he’s famous.
In case you need a reminder:
Over the weekend, Americans United joined thousands of people here in Washington, D.C., at Capital Pride. We had an informational booth there and were pleased to meet with many people who support our mission.
Inevitably, the tragic murders of 49 people and the wounding of dozens more at a gay club in Orlando early Sunday morning weighed on the minds of many. But the horrific attack didn’t deter people from attending D.C.’s event. AU was pleased to be there and considered it an opportunity to show our support for the LGBTQ community at this difficult time.
You may not realize it, but this is a significant day in the United States. Yes, it is Cinco de Mayo, which means you can have your fill of margaritas and guacamole. But it’s also the National Day of Prayer (NDP) – and that means we’re all getting treated to a big bowl of church-state mixing.
Marriage equality is now the law of the land in the United States – a fact that is not sitting well with the Religious Right.
“From a moral standpoint, 6/26 is now our 9/11,” tweeted Bryan Fischer, a host for the American Family Association’s Family Talk Radio, on the day of the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage decision. “The rainbow jihadists of [the Supreme Court] blow up twin towers of truth and righteousness. Every advance of the gay agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. As of today, free exercise is toast.”
The National Day of Prayer (NDP) is a constitutionally suspect government endorsement of religion, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says.
“The government should not be giving out prayer instructions,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Those who want to pray are more than capable of doing so without government coercion; those who do not wish to pray surely do not appreciate a federal directive endorsing belief over non-belief.”