Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer (NDP), an annual event that is, to speak frankly, annoying to many of us who support the separation of church and state.
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.
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.”
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.”
Let’s say you know of a state lawmaker who used taxpayer money to promote religion at a pre-school he owns. Imagine that he also legally adopted two children, then allegedly “re-homed” them with a man who was later accused of abusing one of those children. Would such an individual deserve an award for “courage”? The Religious Right seems to think so.
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.”
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.”
You might have read over the weekend about a law passed by the Arizona legislature that would allow the owners of stores and secular businesses to refuse to serve certain customers if they deem that doing so would offend their religious beliefs.
The measure, SB 1062, is getting quite a lot of attention. All eyes are on Gov. Jan Brewer, who hasn’t yet said if she’ll sign the bill into law. Brewer has indicated that she’ll act this week.
Kentucky legislators have passed a law they say protects “religious freedom” and have forwarded it to Gov. Steve Beshear.
This morning, Americans United joined other groups in the state asking Beshear to veto the bill.
It’s not that AU doesn’t support religious freedom. Indeed, we consider the separation of church and state a necessary precondition for true religious liberty to flourish. The problem is, this bill isn’t really about religious freedom; it’s designed to do other things entirely.