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Religious Liberty or Religious Coercion?

Steven Baines, Director of Religious Outreach Americans United for Separation of Church and State, will examine the arguments that are being used to undermine the Affordable Care Act, specifically the contraception mandate; attack current state LGBT non-discrimination laws; devalue the growing religious pluralism in America; and polarize the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections.

He will address the key question, “Is the fundamental principle of the religious liberty guaranteed in the US Constitution really being attacked or is this the latest political tactic being used by the far right in America?”  He will examine the arguments that are being used to undermine the Affordable Care Act, specifically the contraception mandate; attack current state LGBT non-discrimination laws; devalue the growing religious pluralism in America; and polarize the upcoming 2014 mid-term elections.

for more information go to keepthemseperate.org


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  • Helen D. L.

    Actually, it's the separation of church and state that is not explicitly stated in the Constitution. But freedom of religion is right there in the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF." (all-caps added)

    1 · April 10, 2014

    • Oliver

      Doh! What a mistake. I probably could have recited that from memory too. Sorry folks.

      April 10, 2014

  • Oliver

    I asked a question after the talk that he didn't address as I'd hoped, which was about the use of the word "freedom" to refer to what our society grants to religious people. I was thinking ala George Lakoff about policing the language of our political rhetoric and purging the slyly tendentious word choices of our adversaries, so as not to sew our own defeat. In hindsight, "freedom" is a fine word for what we "separatists" have in mind, but it's a narrower thing than what the anti-separatists have in mind. But if both sides say they want "religious freedom," the fight becomes whose idea of religious freedom will prevail. That's a murkier debate than I like. Also it obscures the important point that "religious freedom" isn't in the Constitution. With regard to church-state separation, I think I'd rather hear us talking about the fine American tradition of "religious tolerance." I think far fewer people celebrate subway preachers than tolerate them--even among the Christian right.

    April 8, 2014

  • Oliver

    Good speaker. Partly it was just interesting to hear from someone religious, but also since I arrived uninformed about what the AUSCS does, I appreciated what he had to say about that, as well as his sketch of the political landscape relating to church/state separation. It was my first event with this group and a nice introduction.

    April 8, 2014

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