Americans United for Separation of Church and State Lashes Out at Church Militant

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by Christine Niles, M.St. (Oxon.), J.D.  •  •  February 24, 2017   

The overwrought piece gets just about everything wrong

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In a display of verbal histrionics, Rob Boston, communications director for the left-wing non-profit Americans United for Separation of Church and State, wrote a blog post against Church Militant accusing us (and our alleged partner in crime Steve Bannon) of being "bent on nihilistic destruction."

"The idea that you can simply blow up a government agency or program — even if it has been around for a long time, even if it works and even if people rely on it — seems to be much in vogue in right-wing quarters these days," Boston complained. "Sadly, Bannon is far from the only one out there bent on nihilistic destruction."

He continues, "This group, called Church Militant, has ambitious goals: It wants to tear down the wall of separation between church and replace our democracy with a far-right Catholic king who will decide what's best for us."

"But if it can't get a king," Boston warns, "Church Militant is willing to settle for Trump."

Americans United boasts of its legal victories won for its client The Satanic Temple, which is in the habit of putting on bizarre, pro-abortion demonstrations like the above.

Ominously titled "Unrepentant Theocrats in Michigan Seek Church-State Union — And Monarchy," Boston goes on to charge Church Militant with espousing a way of thinking that "leads religious leaders to embrace dictators, strongmen and autocrats. It persuades them to trade their souls for a few policy crumbs. It convinces them that the government doesn't have to respect the right of conscience."

With all due respect: What a load. The rest of the piece similarly misses the mark, and is not worth quoting.

Americans United is known for its anti-Christian bigotry, promoting secularist ideals in the public square while shoving religion aside.

Americans United is known for its anti-Christian bigotry, promoting secularist ideals in the public square while shoving religion aside (or at least, those religions with which they disagree; the group's selective outrage is notable — more on this below). Read the group's policy positions on marriage and "reproductive rights" (a.k.a., abortion), and it declares, "Laws in this area should reflect secular rationales ... ."

The group boasts, "Since the early 1960s, Americans United has successfully opposed every proposed constitutional amendment designed to reintroduce official prayer and other forms of mandated worship in public schools."

It also proudly declares: "Americans United has aggressively fought against taxpayer subsidies for religious schools since the organization was founded," insisting that atheist, gay and satanic clubs be allowed equal time on school property alongside Christian clubs. 

Headed by longtime executive director Rev. Barry Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Americans United claims as "victories" the times they've successfully stripped religious non-profits of tax-exempt status, including one church that ran an ad against a political candidate, as well as Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, denied tax-exempt status after Americans United reported the group to the IRS.

Lynn's organization has also strongarmed private hospitals to act against Catholic principles. "In 2000, AU intervened in a case in Florida to prevent a public hospital [inaccurate; the hospital was private but leased some public property] from falling under restrictive Catholic guidelines that would have curtailed or ended certain medical services," the website states. "A settlement was reached out of court, and the public [sic] hospital decided to remain public."

That case involved Bayfront Medical Center, which had agreed to join a consortium of eight hospitals, two of which were Catholic. One of the conditions of joining the consortium was that the hospital would follow Catholic ethical directives. Sister Pat Shirley, a Catholic nun, was given authority to oversee end-of-life policies at all eight hospitals.

When Shirley discovered that Bayfront had aborted a Down Syndrome baby, she insisted that the hospital keep to its agreement to follow Catholic guidelines — an order with which Bayfront complied, later refusing to kill the unborn child of another pregnant woman seeking an abortion.

Americans United — along with radical leftist groups ACLU, Planned Parenthood and National Organization for Women — sued the hospital for alleged Church-State entanglement — and won. After Bayfront decided it could no longer agree to the terms of the Catholic directives, the consortium voted to oust it from its ranks. Ever since, Bayfront has struggled to survive.

Although Americans United claims to oppose religion in public life, that philosophy only applies to Christian groups. Wiccans, pagans and satanists? They've got their back.
"Americans United represented a war widow whose husband, a Wiccan, was denied the right to have a Pentagram on his memorial marker," the website details. "After AU filed suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2006, the VA quickly moved to settle the case and approved the Wiccan emblem."


The non-profit also has a page dedicated to its work defending The Satanic Temple, whether it's pushing for after-school Satan clubs or the right to erect satanic displays on state property.
Referring to a 2014 satanic display in the Florida state capitol depicting Lucifer falling from Heaven, Americans United wrote, "Although officials had previously labeled the display 'grossly offensive,' they reversed themselves after AU threatened to file a lawsuit on the Temple's behalf."
"The only reason we got this display up here in the first place — [the state] denied it again this year, and once Americans United brought their lawyers into it, they buckled," said Satanic Temple member John Porgal. 
Church Militant reported on the Satanic Temple's unveiling of a statue of the demon Baphomet in Detroit, Michigan in 2015, a ritual that involved lewd homosexual acts on the statue's lap, followed by a night of loud music and orgiastic reveling. Among its stranger exploits, The Satanic Temple has put on pro-abortion demonstrations in front of Planned Parenthood, including a milk bath ritual where satanists were doused with gallons of cold milk.
Americans United — your trusted, go-to source to do war against decent Christians while defending the rights of perverts and devil-worshippers.
Keep all this in mind when reading Boston's overwrought screed against Church Militant. We thank them for the free publicity.


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