This amusing cartoon lamenting the constant undermining of U.S. church-state separation by Christian evangelicals is only half right.
It’s true that evangelicals labor relentlessly to remove the pillars that keep religion out of government — that would be the guy pulling the pickets from the fence in the cartoon — but, as the illustration proposes, the state isn’t the one trying to make the barrier stronger. No, the state is doing the opposite.
In fact, in the current Trump administration, government is crowbar-in-glove with evangelicals to loosen the pillars of church-state divide. This administration, Congress, state governments and the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, have all conspired to make government far more amenable to religious incursions. Whether it be granting religious people the right to discriminate against others based on religion, whether it be children’s Bible classes allowed in schools, whether it be laws requiring schools to prominently display “In God We Trust” signs so students can’t avoid them.
That leaves the rest of us — nonreligious, nongovernmental, non-Republican patriots — to push back against these assaults on the Constitution.
The bottom line is that Americans need to be aware that highly organized, lavishly funded evangelical organizations every hour of every day are trying — with notable success — to insinuate Christianity deeper and deeper into the nation’s cultural fabric in the public square. Hoping we won’t notice before it’s a done deal.
If we aren’t vigilant, before we know it the “wall of separation” might be just a limp phrase.