Letter From The Other Side, by J.D. Erickson

Terrible Ten of the religious right
Jerry Erickson, South Dakota Republican Party
Jerry Erickson, South Dakota Republican Party

Letter From The Other Side, by J.D. Erickson

I have to wonder how I came to receive a fundraising letter from the other side—Americans United—but short of a restraining order, there’s no percentage in worrying about it. Americans United wants money to fight the “terrible ten of the religious right.” Of interest is AU’s listing of the assets of organizations like The American Family Association, the Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, and Focus on the Family, Liberty Counsel, and others, and I have to say I’m happy to know we “terribles” are in good shape financially.

We usually hear about the other side through conservative media, and here I am in my living room reading about defending Thomas Jefferson’s “critical wall of separation between government and religion.” According to their fundraising letter, Americans United has had that wrong since 1947. I doubt it’s a proofreading problem. What Jefferson said in his letter to the Danbury Baptists was that the government would make no law establishing a religion and would not prohibit the exercise of religion. How the AU and others have twisted his simple statement into a battle cry against religious guidance in government is between them and God.

Their letter is written for their faithful by a leadership of whom Ronald Reagan said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” The letter misrepresents the so-called “separation” between church and state, and that’s the letter’s main slant. Apparently, or so the letter states, the religious right is hell-bent on destroying Democracy. Americans United lists our liberties—freedom of speech, expression, thought, privacy, et al, and states that the religious right is praying they’ll disappear.

A book from 1940, “Seven Years that Change the World 1941-1948,” by Wing Anderson, asserts that Christians have been trying to take over the world almost forever by praying “Thy will be done on earth as it in Heaven.” It’s not like the other side just popped up over night; they had Wing and his book nearly eighty years ago.

In paragraph after paragraph AU promotes its tolerance of freedom of religion, but then there’s this:
“The US Supreme Court ruled in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that many for-profit corporations don’t have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate if their owners have religious objections to it.
This ruling has created a slippery slope, so slippery that employers might next object to covering vaccines, psychiatric treatment or even blood transfusions, claiming these health care treatments violate their religious beliefs.”
AU wants it both ways, apparently.

The religious right’s perfidy is gospel to Americans United. The RR’s sins in AU’s view amount to a crusade backed by a massive war chest, used to “gain control over every aspect of your life.” AU cowers and shakes, apparently, at the thought of a bunch of right wing Christians “helping to elect (RR) candidates to public office,” or sponsoring a Value Voters Summit, or “(a school) meddling in partisan politics.”
It’s downright creepy to read, according to AU, that “Pulpit-based electioneering not only violates federal laws, many believe it corrupts the true mission of our faith communities.” Americans United claims it is defending freedom of religion. To them the RR’s views are narrow and discriminatory, and yet they’ve made it harder for AU to save the country, necessitating a three-page fundraising letter listing nearly every upside down Progressive thought.
I wonder what “our” faith community’s true mission might be if they shouldn’t pray Thy Will Be Done on the one hand, and they shouldn’t influence with the other. It seems the AU argues both for and against the Christian religion, or just religion, depending on how one votes, but I could be wrong about that. Naw, I’m right. They used “our” when referring to faith communities.

About Jerry Erickson

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