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.”
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality case.
In preparation for this, a sad collection of Religious Right leaders trooped to the microphone at the National Press Club on Friday to denounce marriage equality – again.
Marriage equality is on the march in the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case later this month that could extend same-sex marriage nationwide as early as the end of June.
Religious Right groups are in full-blown panic. They know they are likely running out of options to stem the marriage tide, and one of their few remaining ploys is to create hysteria with absurdist arguments that the legalization of same-sex marriage will result in war – and they mean that literally.
If anyone was still unconvinced prior to yesterday that the National Day of Prayer (NDP) is little more than a fundamentalist Christian political rally, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s rant on Capitol Hill should have erased any doubts.
During an event organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force (a non-profit run by conservative evangelical Christians) and attended by members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dobson slammed President Barack Obama, calling him the “abortion president.”