By Andrew L. Seidel
Freedom From Religion Foundation
The First Amendment is in danger. The hallowed protector of our secular government, of free speech, of the right to assemble is vulnerable. Perhaps it is more vulnerable now than at any time since the Alien and Sedition Acts or McCarthyism.
Theocrats will now control the White House, the House, the Senate, and get to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, 103 other federal court vacancies (including 13 at the appeals court level), and, with four years to govern, probably get to fill another Supreme Court seat. That means a six justice pro-religion majority for a generation.
This new landscape poses serious problems. We are facing previously unthinkable policies: that global climate change is a hoax and that creationism should be taught to children in public schools. The push to redefine religious liberty, which actually seeks to enshrine Christian privilege, is likely to see big gains. If fulfilled, the promise to allow churches—which are tax-exempt and have no accountability to the IRS or the people—to endorse political candidates from the pulpit, will destroy an important bulwark on the wall of separation. Media outlets have been threatened with lawsuits, compromising the freedom of press.FFRF is preparing for this legislative and judicial onslaught. The fight is going to be difficult. We’re going to need your help and your support. We need your voice to join ours. In his second State of the Union address to Congress, Abraham Lincoln said, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. . . . We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.” We will.
Maya Angelou wrote something similar in her poem, “Still I Rise”:
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Dark and difficult times may lie ahead, but know this:
We are going to fight like hell.
We are going to fight like hell to defend the wall of separation.
We are going to fight like hell to protect the First Amendment.
FFRF is going to fight like hell, for you.
FFRF is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping state and church separate and educating about nontheism. For more information and a copy of our paper, Freethought Today, please click here.