Secular Democrats urge Biden to pounce on U.S. Christianity
Sweeping agenda calls ‘In God We Trust’ a ‘relic of McCarthyism’
By WND Staff
Published December 2, 2020 at 7:53pm
A Democratic political action committee representing “secular values” issued a sweeping agenda for Joe Biden to reverse many of President Trump’s advances for religious liberty and “restore a vision of constitutional secularism.”
The Secular Democrats of America PAC and Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif. – members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus – were behind the 28-page document, which was issued Monday.
The document declares the “rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat.”
It recommends to Biden that he “encourage the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to deradicalization programs aimed at hate groups, including, but not limited to, white nationalists; increase monitoring of such groups, including the online environment, and take action to address increased hate crimes toward minority faith communities; and shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremists as terrorists.”
The PAC wants to rid the nation entirely of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was adopted in 1992 to protect religious expression and has been integral in several religious-liberty victories in court.
It targets dozens of presidential executive orders for elimination, including those that promote free speech, provide for “equal participation” by faith organizations, encourage the strengthening of black colleges, allow employers to be exempt from Obamacare’s abortion funding mandates based on their faith, protect health care providers from being forced to violate their faith, and protect the faith of federal program participants.
The plan calls America’s motto, “In God We Trust,” a “relic of McCarthyism and the anti-atheist hysteria of the 1950s” and says references to “Judeo-Christian values” should be condemned.
And it insists politicians should not be allowed to say “God and country.”
It calls for “nontheists” as chaplains in the military and the appointment of a “nonreligious representative” to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Further, judges should be appointed to overturn precedents such as the Hobby Lobby case, because they are “new and ungrounded privileging of corporate religious power over essential civil rights and civil liberties.”
The document says attorney general should support governors who restrict gatherings at houses of worship, and any display of religious symbols on public grounds should be forbidden.
The plan repeatedly references a return to the policies and practices of Barack Obama.
“We urge you to champion America’s original constitutional secularism and the separation of church and state as core governing principles that protect religious freedom for people of all faiths—and none at all,” the authors tell Biden.
“We implore you to help educate the American public by reasonably defining what religious freedom really means: that every American has a right to practice his or her religion without interference, but no religious group can impose religious dogma or orthodoxy on other citizens and other faiths and belief systems.”
The document insists on “science” prevailing in issues regarding sex education, stem cell research and health care.
RNS said the organization “hopes to represent secular Democrats and mobilize nonreligious voters, a complex but growing group.”
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According to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of data from the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, 9% of Democratic primary voters said they were atheists, 8% said they were agnostics and 18% identified as “nothing in particular.” However, about half of those in the last group said they still attend worship occasionally.
The Daily Wire reported Raskin charged: “Trump’s ministers and judges have turned religious free exercise into a weapon against anti-discrimination law, and this essential fallacy must be corrected. The Biden administration should quickly debunk the right-wing myth that personal free exercise of religion is a license to discriminate against other people in the provision of services in government and the marketplace.”
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