In light of US Senate candidate Katherine Harris’s comments on her bias against the constitutional provision of church-state separation and her support for the bogus claim that America was founded as a “Christian Nation,” The Interfaith Alliance offers the following to all reporters, editors, voters, candidates, and current elected officials:
The Interfaith Alliance helps all Americans understand and appreciate the religious liberty clause of the Constitution. The founders of our nation believed that all Americans should have the right to worship according to their own beliefs, or not to worship at all. So strong was their commitment to religious freedom that they enshrined it in the first sentence of the Bill of Rights. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” In order for society to benefit, religious belief and practice must be free and voluntary. And in matters of faith, government must not take sides and must serve all citizens regardless of their religious belief or non-belief. Because the United States is one nation of many faiths, no citizen’s rights or opportunities should depend on religious beliefs or practices. If there is not freedom from the imposition of religion, there is not freedom for the free practice of religion.
NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS:
Ms. Harris’s comments are almost exactly that of David Barton on this issue, promoting the historically incorrect concept that the separation of church and state is a “myth.” It may be worth investigating and letting your readers know about this movement in our country. Also in 2004, the Republican National Committee paid for Barton to travel the country to give closed-door talks to select groups of religious leaders on the so-called “myth of separation of church and state” and his views on the “role of pastors and Christians in civil government.” Our Director of Public Policy, Kim Baldwin, has a copy of the invitation that can be faxed. Barton was also at that time Vice Chair of the Texas Republican Party and led the effort to add the “Christian Nation” language into the state party platform.
David Barton’s Wall Builders
A Critique of David Barton’s Views on Church and State – the Baptist Joint Committee