Laser Interview – Podcast November 15, 2021

Fighting For Freedom of Religion And A More Inclusive America. Steve Williamson and Karen McClelland welcome Rachel Laser, CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Laser begins by noting that Americans United has been around for almost 75 years, explaining, “We bring together people of all religions, and none, to protect the right of everyone to believe as they want. And to stop anyone from using their beliefs to harm others.”

In truth, it’s amazing that such an organization is needed given that the freedom of, and freedom from, religion are the first of the freedoms mentioned in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Yet a minority of would-be autocrats continue to claim that the US should be a Christian nation as evidenced by former National Security Advisor and Trump confidant Michael Flynn’s recent rallying cry at a meeting of conservative Christians, “If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” he said. “One nation under God and one religion under God, right? All of us, working together.”

Contrary to Flynn’s statement, Laser says that the Framers of the Constitution, folks like Thomas Jefferson, knew how important it was to protect freedom of religion for all. Regarding the First Amendment’s separation clause, she explains, “…it protects religion from the government co-opting it or interfering with it. In America, where we have freedom of religion, we have one of the most religious populations in the world. So, it’s actually as much to protect religion as it is to protect the non-religious.”

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