"Intolerance is a beautiful thing." --- Randall Terry, "Operation 'Rescue'"
While statements like those of Pat Robertson and Randall Terry may seem bizarre, they are not uncommon among leaders of the Religious Right. You may laugh at this type of outlandish rhetoric, but don't think the extremists who utter it are not a threat to YOU.
The plan for America these religious radicals envision WOULD be laughable if it were not for the tremendous influence they wield in the political and cultural arenas.
Leaders of the Religious Right openly admit their agenda. As Randall Terry put it, "Our goal must be simple: We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the Ten Commandments. No apologies."
Essentially, Religious Right Activists want THEIR interpretation of the Bible written into secular law. This is not democracy, it is theocracy, and it impacts every corner of your life - political, social, religious, and moral.
What Does The Religious Right's Agenda Mean To You?
Think about it. You've already seen the Religious Right influence such vital issues as:
o reproductive freedom o speech and expression o human sexuality o the environment o public school curricula o the arts and humanities o partisan platforms o foreign policy o religious liberty o AIDS policy and health careThe influence of fundamentalist militants goes far beyond expressing an opinion about these matters. In many instances, Religious Right activists have mobilized to
DICTATE public policy to meet the demands of THEIR particular beliefs.
But the Religious Right's public policy goals do not end with these issues. What do religious militants want? You can tune into Pat Robertson's "700 Club" program any evening to find out:
o mandatory prayer in school o legislation barring homosexuality o a ban on ALL abortion o restricted access to contraception o public funding of religious schools o pro-industry environmental policy o pro-military defense policy o censorship of music lyrics, books, art, film and video, television programs, the press. "Satan uses the evil in the occult new age witchcraft lessons in our classrooms to divert our children's faith away from the true and loving god toward the new age God of 'Mother Earth' while our school teachers ... are saying 'It's good environmental ecology.'" - Robert Simonds, C.E.E. (Citizens for Excellence in Education)In contrast to the Religious Right, Americans United's goal is to keep government religiously neutral - just as the CONSTITUTION dictates. By mandating a wall of separation between church and state, our Constitution guarantees religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all Americans, religious or not. America's richly diverse religious fabric exists BECAUSE of that wall - not in spite of it, as leaders of the Religious Right claim.
Why Should You Care About The Separation Of Church And State?
Because the separation of church and state protects liberty.
o It protects freedom. o It protects tolerance. o It protects values. o It protects diversity. o It protects equality. o It protects individuality. o It protects the Christian, the Muslim, the Jew, the Baha'i, the Humanist, the Buddhist, the Hindu, the atheist, the Mormon, the Existentialist ... It protects YOU.For nearly 50 years Americans United has fought to uphold the first freedom our Constitution guarantees: freedom of religion.
"You say, 'You're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists ...' - nonsense! I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the anti-Christ!" - Pat Robertson, Christian CoalitionIs that freedom really under assault?
Could we lose our constitutionally-guaranteed liberties?
Can one person's church become everyone's government?
Can a wealthy, radical activist group be so effective in advancing its agenda that it jeopardizes your personal freedoms?
THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS BETTING ON IT. WE ARE FIGHTING IT. JOIN US.
About Americans United
Since 1947 Americans United for Separation of Church and State has promoted the principle of church-state separation as an essential guarantee of individual liberty. A nonpartisan, nonprofit education organization, we welcome as members all Americans who share our concern about freedom of conscience.
In our effort to protect First Amendment religious liberties, Americans United:
EDUCATES the public about the importance of church-state separation.
PUBLISHES CHURCH & STATE magazine, considered the authoritative source for current trends in religious freedom.
LITIGATES cases involving church-state infringements, files friend-of-the-court briefs before the Supreme Court and lower courts, advises educators, commissions and boards about church-state matters.
TESTIFIES before the U.S. Congress, state legislatures and other governmental bodies, drafts language for legislation.
ORGANIZES grassroots activism, mobilizes faith communities.
SUPPLIES the media with expert opinion on matters relating to church and state.
MONITORS the activities of the Religious Right.
SPONSORS an annual national conference to bring together people from all walks of life to address vital issues, share information, provide training and rejuvenation.
If you would like more information about the work of Americans United, or would like to join our efforts, contact our national office.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State
1816 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC 20036-2505
202-466-3234; FAX 202-466-2587
If you are in the Rochester, NY, area (or even in another part of New York):
For information or membership reply to
Rochester Chapter Americans United
for Separation of Church and State
31 Appian Drive, Rochester, NY 14606-4717
(716) 334-2989, 247-5587---