by Bil Aulenbach

Scary!

I am a fan and supporter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU). This separation is one of the foundation stones of a true democracy where all people can practice their religion (or not) without interference from the government. Our First Amendment allows religious groups to criticize the government without being penalized.

AU sends out a monthly magazine, Church and State, featuring a few lead articles and updates on all its court actions. About a third of the articles are about AU court cases against Christian fundamentalists. (They like to call themselves evangelicals. I call them fundies.)

One of the AU’s ongoing legal battles is against fundies who love to go to political gatherings and “pray” (more like sermonize) to their god, telling everyone how to think or vote.

AU is also suing a taxpayer-funded fundamentalist foster-care agency that refused to place children with a woman who was a Roman Catholic.

AU sued several fundie foster-care and adoption agencies that wouldn’t place kids with members of the LGBTQUI community, even though most Americans are opposed to agencies that deny services on the grounds of people’s sexuality.

AU joined the American Civil Liberties Union in filing a court brief opposing a voucher program in Maine that tried to allow fundie schools to receive taxpayer money to brainwash children.

The Church and State articles go on and on about the fundies’ aspiration to establish theocracies in the United States and around the world. The World Congress of Families (WCF), a “religious right” group (that’s neither religious nor right) hiding their bigotry behind the their twisted image of Jesus, held a conference in March 2019 in Verona, Italy (far away from the USA), to design a global theocratic movement that would oppose equal rights for LGBTQUI people, eliminate women’s reproductive rights, push xenophobic anti-immigrant agendas, and promote discrimination against anyone and anything else the fundies are against. At this conference, the WCF aligned with neofascists, dictators, and all the right-wing extremists it could find.

A possible war with Iran, North Korea, China, or Venezuela is scary enough, but the WCF is scarier. It wants to take over not only our county but also the world with a regime of hate. Progressive Christians, Jews, and Muslims need to take to the mountaintops now to protest this despicable group and all who belong to it.

My retired Evangelical Lutheran pastor friend just finished a new book entitled Silence Is Not the Answer (on bookshelves in August 2019). In it, he calls on us to shout from our pulpits, in our newspapers, on television, and on social media about the agendas of fundamentalists and the WCF’s desire to destroy our democracy, eliminate our religious freedoms, and eradicate our foundation stone—the separation of church and state.

Remember—Hitler gained power because religious institutions stayed silent.

Start your screaming engines now!

 

Image courtesy of Chuck Coker (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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