Defending Church-State Separation: A Conversation with Andrew Seidel

Join us for a captivating conversation with the esteemed Andrew Seidel, vice president of strategic communications for Americans United.

Episode 68: Defending Church-State Separation: A Conversation with Andrew Seidel

Join us for a captivating conversation with the esteemed Andrew Seidel, vice president of strategic communications for Americans United. Andrew, a seasoned attorney and ardent defender of the First Amendment, takes us through his remarkable journey in law and his dedication towards upholding the separation of church and state. He offers intriguing insights into the legal concept of ‘standing’ and the pivotal role of this church-state separateness in shaping many contemporary issues.

Our discourse further unravels the NOT subtle weaponization of religious freedom, a disconcerting trend that threatens democracy by privileging a select few such as the new speaker of the US House Michael Johnson, a Christian Nationalist of the first order. As we weave through the integral threads of church-state separation within the fabric of our republic, the significance of authentic religious freedom and the strive for unexceptional equality becomes evident. Andrew concludes our engrossing dialogue on a positive note, expressing optimism in the growing awareness of people towards this significant struggle. Eye-opening and enlightening, this conversation is a must for those keen on comprehending the profound correlation between religion, state, and the fight for equality in America.

01:43 Origin Story
05:10 How Are 1St Amendment Cases Litigated?
09:14 Christian Nationalists Attack On Public Schools
15:09 Weaponizing Religious Freedom Harms Democracy
19:28 1st Amendment Doesn’t Just Protect The Religious
24:01 Speaker Michael Johnson Is Christian Nationalist Of The 1St Order.
31:14 Ending with Some Optimism

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Our Guest

Andrew Seidel

Andrew Seidel is Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an author, and an attorney who’s defended the First Amendment for more than a decade. Andrew is the author of two books: The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American (2019) and American Crusade: How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious Freedom (2022).

A Senior Correspondent at Religion Dispatches, Andrew is a prolific author of op-eds, has written several scholarly articles, has debated the utility of the Johnson Amendment, and organized and contributed to the groundbreaking report, “Christian Nationalism at the January 6, 2021, Insurrection,” which was published by the Baptist Joint Committee and the Freedom From Religion Foundation and aroused congressional interest. Andrew is a recognized expert on Christian Nationalism, which he’s spent the last decade fighting in and out of court. He’s appeared on Fox News to debate Bill O’Reilly, MSNBC, and hundreds of other media outlets.


Andrew Seidel’s website

Americans United for Separation of Church and State (report 1st amendment violations)

Rob Boston refuting Prager U Video (October 2023)


Read full transcript here

[0:02] This is Glass City Humanist, a show about humanism, humanist values, by a humanist. Here is your host, Douglas Berger. Our guest is Andrew Seidel, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Andrew is a seasoned attorney and ardent defender of the First Amendment. He’s author of the book, American Crusade, How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing Religious freedom. And he has some interesting thoughts about our new Speaker of the House, Michael Johnson. Glass City Humanist is an outreach project of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie, building community through compassion and reason for a better tomorrow.

[0:44] Music.

[1:00] Our guest today is Andrew Seidel. He is the vice president of strategic communications for Americans United He’s an author and an attorney who’s defended the First Amendment for more than a decade He’s the author of two books the founding myth why Christian nationalism is un-American and, the American Crusade how the Supreme Court is weaponizing religious freedom He also writes for religious dispatches and he participated in the Baptist Joint Committee freedom from religion Foundation report on religious freedom, which was really good. I watched the webinar on that. So thank you for joining us today, Andrew. Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on.

[1:43] How did you get interested in defending the separation of church and state? Oof, got to get to the origin story of first. Yeah, that’s good stuff. So I, there’s kind of a couple different things happening at the same time. While I was in law school, I was really realizing I’m not at all religious. I kind of knew that my whole life, but really more assuming the atheist label and being out about that not being shy about it. And that was sort of happening at the same time that I was learning about the First Amendment, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, separation of church and state. And as we were kind of in the Bush years, like really seeing a lot of issues along that front kind of coming to a head.

[2:33] And the more I read about it, the more I learned about it, the more I talked about it, the more interested I got. And I actually, I went to law school to save the world. Okay, like I was good. And I mean that literally, like I wanted to do environmental law, specifically, I wanted to do international environmental law, I wanted to help us fix the climate crisis, then one of the things that I was noticing while I was in law school and then graduating and getting my second law degree was that a lot of the issues that I cared about, but almost all of the issues that I cared about were tied to the separation of church and state in some way, shape, or form. And I think that’s probably not something that a lot of people realize, but it really is true. That so many of the issues that we care about today.

[3:28] Are tied to that separation, whether it’s public education or LGBTQ rights or abortion rights, or just basic democracy and equality, right? Like, the separation of church and state is a through line that just drives right through all of these issues that we care about. So I was kind of at this crossroads in my career where I had the ability to kind of build this environmental practice at a law firm, which wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing, wasn’t nonprofit work, or I could go work for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and do state church work.

[4:01] And I was talking with my sister about this, And she was like, well, how many lawyers out there do environmental law? And I was like, well, I don’t know, hundreds, thousands, and plenty of them are smarter than I am. And she was like, well, how many do this church state stuff? And I was like, well, the answer to that is very few. I know all of them right now, like, at least on our side. Um, and she’s like, well, it sounds like you’d have a bigger impact there. And she’s like, and you’re always talking about, like, how, like, religion allied with government and then government officials using their government power to impose their personal religion on other people is this big problem, like, maybe you should go do that. And I was just like, you are right. Like, I will have an impact on all the issues that I care about and a bigger impact generally if I get into that fight. And so that was 2011, and since then, I have not looked back. I have been in court fighting for the separation of church and state for true religious freedom. I’ve been writing about it everywhere, talking about it across the country, you can’t shut me up.

[5:10] Now, this might be probably pretty easy for you to answer, but it might be a little bit in the weeds, but how exactly are First Amendment cases supposed to be litigated? I understand that federal courts really want you to have an actual injury, right? It’s not that you just don’t dislike something, you actually, you had to have something happen to you? Is that how it goes usually, or supposed to? That’s the way it’s supposed to go. And so this is something that’s called standing. And standing is a, it’s a judicially created doctrine, right? So judges made this up. And the whole point of standing is.

[5:54] To make it so that the people who are litigating these cases have a stake in what is actually going to happen in the litigation itself, right? So it’s not just some anybody who says, well, I think what the government did violates the Constitution. You actually have to have some stake in what you are litigating. So the way that has shaken out in the jurisprudence, the court says, okay, well, standing says you have to have an injury.

[6:21] You have to actually be injured by what’s happening and that is fairly traceable to the action that you’re challenging and that the court can alleviate that injury in some way, shape or form. Okay, so it’s like you have to have those three. So it has to be a real case or controversy that the court can sink its teeth into and decide. And part of the reason is because our legal system is set up as an So you have people on opposite sides arguing over what the law should be. And that’s not all systems are set up that way. Some are set up to kind of get to the truth and it’s more collaborative, things like that. But ours is set up for that argument. And that means that both sides really have to be invested in it. And for years, for years, the courts used standing to avoid deciding politically cases that might have been politically unpopular, that might have upset the Christian majority, for instance. So the court would often kick out non-religious Americans, kick out people who were trying to support the separation of church and state, and say, sorry, we’re not even going to hear that case. Nobody can bring that case before this court. This is what happened with, for instance, the National Day of Prayer. And the National Day of Prayer is a pretty good example because.

[7:38] The first amendment says congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion And the national day of prayer comes from a federal statute a law, Respecting the establishment of religion, right? Let’s make you can’t you kind of don’t have a clearer example of a first amendment violation than that So what the court said was oh, well, nobody can challenge it. Nobody has standing. Nobody’s really injured Yeah, I mean they even had a supreme court justice say No law means no law. Yeah so But now, now that the court has been captured by Trump and Leonard Leo, the federal courts really, but the Supreme Court in particular, that is changing.

[8:21] Really, the Christian nationalist groups that are litigating a lot of these cases up to the Supreme Court, they are litigating these cases as if they are entitled to victory. They ignore the rules of procedure, the rules of evidence, even reality to spin what one judge warned were deceitful narratives. And then the court will rubber stamp those deceitful narratives. So put another way, the court ignores reality and facts to decide cases that it has no business hearing in the first place. The simple fact is that this court wants to decide these cases, that this court will jump at any chance to privilege conservative Christians. And that’s really what my newest book, American Crusade, how the Supreme Court is weaponizing religious freedom. That’s what that book is really all about.

[9:14] Here in Ohio, we’ve seen a large push by Christian nationalists into the release time religious education classes, where kids go off campus to have Bible school. And I’ve been hearing personally stories about obvious violations where teachers promote it, superintendents send out emails.

[9:35] Schools let these LifeWise Academies, one group, let them set up tables at school to recruit students. If somebody observes those kinds of violations, what should they do to fight back against that? Well, the best thing to do is to report it to Americans United. So you go to and we have a tab where you can report state church violations. We have an attorney in Smith on staff who will look into that. He’ll reach out to you. He’ll either explain what is happening, why it’s a problem, why it might not be a problem. It often is. And what we can do at Americans United for Separation of Church and State to help you. And we really do rely on folks on the ground who are experiencing these violations to tell us about them, to let us know what is going on. You know, we can’t do what we…

[10:27] The important work that we do without you on the ground, the vocal local activists who are letting us know what is happening in their schools and that this is a problem. You know, we just launched an investigation of the PragerU videos being used in Oklahoma and Florida public schools. In fact, after this call, I’m going to have a meeting with some local folks who reached out to us after we launched that investigation. They heard about it and they reached out and said, hey, we know some things that you should probably know about, which is exactly what we’re hoping for. But our investigation is into how those videos, PragerU videos, for people who don’t know, are these.

[11:10] It’s conservative Christian nationalist propaganda videos that targets children. And they were approved for educational use by the Florida Department of Education and the Oklahoma Department of Education. And we were wondering, well, how, how is it possible that these videos were approved? So we were doing an investigation into that and looking for records and things like that. But, you know, I mean, really all of this is and what you’re talking about with the release time education. I mean, this is an issue that’s been going on for some time in the church state separation movement. There is an assault on public education. By Christian nationalists. It’s been going on since at least Brown vs. Board of Education. In fact, a lot of it ties to our attempts to desegregate public schools. I don’t think people realize how tied up church-state separation is with racial justice.

[12:06] But, you know, you have Jerry Falwell, back in 1979, writing in his book, which was published by, I believe it was called Sword of the Lord Publishers. You know, he writes that he hopes to see the day when we don’t have public schools. The churches will have taken them over, and Christians will be running them. And you get things like vouchers, and you get this idea of school choice, which is all part of the same attack, right? Kyle Olson is the guy who helped create and chair National School Choice Week through its 2011 birth, right? So National School Choice Week was started, It helps, started by Kyle Olson. And he wrote, I think that, yes, Jesus would destroy the temple of public education to save the children from despair and a hopeless future. They want to either destroy the public schools and funnel kids into Christian schools, or they want to take them over and turn them into Christian schools. And so, just the last thing I’ll say about this assault on public education is Americans United is litigating a case right now in Oklahoma, not about PragerU, we’re doing that too, but about a public religious school that was just recently approved in the state of Oklahoma. And I know people are thinking, Andrew, you said something wrong. You said public religious school. That makes absolutely no sense.

[13:29] It makes absolutely no sense, but that is what we are talking about. The Catholic Church applied for a charter for a charter school, and charter schools are public schools. They’re defined that way under Oklahoma law. Everybody that runs a charter school knows they are public schools. They’re regulated like public schools. They are public schools. So we’re going to have a Catholic public school in Oklahoma. It was approved. That’s why Americans United, with our allies at the ACLU and FFRF and OKPLAC, a local group, have sued to stop that from happening. And this is just part and parcel of this much larger assault that we are seeing on public education by these Christian nationalist groups.

[14:07] Yeah, we have one of those classical academies that’s connected with Hillsdale College. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it’s it’s you know, you look at their material and their social media and they are religious, but they fly under the radar. It’s not like the catholic church taking out a charter, but it’s almost the same to me anyway Yeah, yeah, I mean it there there’s not a lot of of difference in the way there. Let me say this The assault on education is like this many-headed, hydra and whenever you chop one off in court and and just knock it down As unconstitutional they come up with two or three different schemes um to replace it I mean, they are intent on this assault. And part of it is also because the public schools are really the last bastion of church-state separation in the United States, especially under this new Supreme Court that has been captured. So it really is. It’s their number one. Public schools and public education are their number one target right now.

[15:09] In your book, American Crusade, How the Supreme Court is Weaponizing a Religious Freedom, you explain that there’s been the systemic agenda by those on the right to flip separation on its end. Making Christian nationalists the victim. How has that harmed not only secular people, but democracy itself?

[15:27] Yeah, such a good question. There’s so I mean, that’s such a deep question, because I don’t think people really fully understand how important the separation of church and state is to the bedrock of our democracy, that shielding our laws from the influence of any one religion is what allows Americans to come together as equals to build a stronger democracy. And without that separation, there are always going to be religious in-groups.

[15:56] That the law favors, and then disfavored out-groups. And really, this is the goal of Christian nationalism is to create precisely that. So that conservative, white, cishet Christian men are favored by the law, and everybody else is disfavored. So that they are protected under the law, but not bound by it. And anybody who’s not in their group is bound by the law, but not protected. So shielding our laws from any religion’s influence really does allow us to come together and build that stronger democracy. Or let me put it another way. Our democracy is stronger when the government doesn’t subsidize anyone’s religious beliefs. So American democracy rests upon the wall of separation between church and state. And our democracy crumbles when that foundation is undermined and attacked. And you could really see this on January 6. I think a lot of people don’t understand that connection. It’s not as obvious. In fact, the fight to to save our democracy is really, really well-funded.

[16:53] And people are paying attention to it. But we have taken the separation of church and state for granted. And that is the foundation of our democracy. I mean, the framers of our Constitution understood that. Because in a pluralistic democracy in which the government depends on understanding and compromise to function, religion divides us. And that’s one of the reasons that they chose to separate church and state. And it’s no coincidence that as the tide of white Christian nationalism has been rising, our country seems more divided and even more violent than ever. So church-state separation is really what enables that thriving democracy in the first place. And there’s a piece in the book.

[17:41] I talk about, I explain how religious freedom is becoming the weapon to undo that, almost to undo our democracy. There is a well-funded and powerful network of Christian nationalist organizations and judges, this billion-dollar, shadow network that has been working to turn the protection of religious freedom that’s enjoyed by all of us into a weapon of privilege and supremacy for the chosen few. That’s been, this network has been waging a crusade to weaponize religious freedom. And religious freedom normally is what protects everybody who’s listening to this. It’s what guarantees my right to be a blasphemous godless heathen or, you know, a listener’s right to join a temple or a mosque or a church to worship no gods, to worship one god, to worship every god in every holy book. Religious freedom is a shield. It’s this hallowed protection against government overreach. The minority’s protection against the tyranny of the majority. And it’s a right that is guaranteed by the strong separation of church and state. But not anymore, because this packed Supreme Court is turning it into a weapon. And the crusade that they’re on, it really is a war of conquest. It’s not a, not of land, but these crusaders are looking to conquer our constitution and remake it in their image.

[18:57] America’s not a Christian nation, but they would make us so. And like Sauron and the One Ring, or Voldemort and the Elder Wand, or Thanos and the Infinity Stones, they’re seeking a weapon to kind of bring about that constitutional apocalypse and the weapon they are forging is religious freedom. For more information about the topics in this episode, including links used, please visit the episode page at

[19:28] One of the arguments that I’ve heard recently from opponents of separation of church and State, and it was new to me at the time when I heard it, was that they claim that the First Amendment, the religious clause in the First Amendment, applies only to people who are religious and not atheists. How would somebody who’s not religious or who supports separation of church and state respond to an argument like that? Yeah, I mean, there’s there’s so much bad information out there about. Both the separation of church and state and the First Amendment. You know, but for instance, the separation of church and state is in our entire Constitution. It’s written into the fabric of our republic, not just the First Amendment. So another thing that people often hear, and we have a great rejoinder of this up on our AU’s website is, well, you know, the words separation of church and state aren’t actually in the Constitution.

[20:29] But that phrase, separation of church state is a convenient shorthand. And again, it summarizes a concept that is woven into the fabric of our republic. Our constitution guarantees a secular government. And in fact, that’s one of the ways that we protect religious freedom for everybody, for believers or non-believers of any stripe. There is no freedom of religion without a government that is free from religion. So it’s not just the First Amendment or the religion clauses in the First Amendment. Our constitution was the first to declare that power comes from people, not gods. Right? The words, we the people, are poetic, but they’re also so much more. They are a declaration of power. And our Constitution was the first governing document in the history of the world, not to mention a god or a deity. And it is godless by choice, not by accident. In fact, some people in the founding generation objected to that choice. Our Constitution was the first to ban religious tests for public office. It does this in Article 6, Clause 3. And that was actually the only mention of religion in the original unamended document, right? Because the First Amendment’s amended the Constitution.

[21:40] And Article 6 bans religious tests with some of the most clear and emphatic language in a document that is often deliberately vague. It says that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust, right? No, shall, ever, any. I mean, these are strong, emphatic words in a document that’s often vague and waffly. So, the wall of separation between church and state is an American original. It is an American invention. The idea was floating around in the Enlightenment, but it was first implemented in the American experiment. Until then, no other nation in the history of the world had sought to protect the ability of its citizens to think freely by separating religion and government. And we should be proud of that fact. And we certainly shouldn’t let people undermine it with disinformation and myths about only favoring Christians or found it as a Christian nation or any of those kinds of things.

[22:43] Yeah, your colleague Rob Boston, I just saw they had a video on social media where he refutes the idea. It was from a PragerU video that the government was created based on biblical, on the Bible. And he really went to town on it. And so I’m gonna have that up in the show notes. I’ll have a link to that. I’ll find it because I really liked how he went through and explained how there’s no record of of the Founding Fathers saying, hey, let’s consult the Bible and see what we can do with this. We have the records from the Constitutional Convention, and the Bible was not mentioned. I mean, look, there’s a whole lot that’s wrong with our Constitution, but those secular foundations are what made our Constitution unique and original, and they are genuine contributions, not just to political science and political thought, but to all of humanity.

[23:39] And this is one of the things that I, I mean, this is what I wrote about in The Founding Myth, my first book, The Founding Myth, Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. It refutes that entire argument. You know, I don’t just go after the idea that we were founded as a Christian nation, but that deeper claim that we were founded on Judeo-Christian principles. And I really try to put it to rest in that book. And just this week, we saw another separation of church and state issue arise when the Republicans in Congress finally found someone that they could all support for Speaker of the House. It’s Representative Mike Johnson from Louisiana. Why is he a bad choice for religious freedom? How much time do we have left? Tell us about Mike Johnson. I mean, listen, so first of all, Americans United has been battling with Mike Johnson and the Christian nationalism that he has been pushing for more than a decade and a half. You just mentioned Rob Boston’s video. We have a video from 16 years ago of Rob Boston on Fox News debating Mike Johnson about some of these very issues, right? We’ve been fighting this guy for a long time. We know who he is. We are on the forefront of this, and if you want to support, if you’re worried right now and you’re wondering, what do we do about this guy? Go to and support our organization.

[24:59] So before he was elected to office, Johnson worked for years as the senior legal counsel and spokesperson of Alliance Defending Freedom. And Alliance Defending Freedom is an aggressive and very well-funded member of that shadow network of Christian nationalist organizations that I was mentioning earlier, right? It’s maneuvering in the courts and in the legislatures and behind closed doors to impose narrow, this narrow religious viewpoint on all of us. I mean, it brought the 303 Creative case, it brought, it drafted the law that banned abortion, which became the subject of the case that overturned Roe versus Wade. They’re bringing the Myth of Pristone case, which would effectively ban contraception. They brought one of the Hobby Lobby cases, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which is the gay wedding cake case out of Colorado, right? And so this is Mike. Mike Johnson was with them for a decade, for a really long time. He’s also aligned with other Christian nationalist groups that are part of this shadow network like the Family Research Council and the Louisiana Family Forum. So while he was at ADF, Johnson just, I mean, vehemently opposed LGBTQ rights, marriage equality. He defended Louisiana’s ban on marriage equality in court. He blocked access to abortion and birth control.

[26:21] He, in a case that Americans United was litigating, he actually defended a North Carolina, a board of North Carolina commissioners who opened their meetings with sectarian prayers. Defended the display of a portrait of Jesus in a Louisiana courthouse. He advanced that false war on Christmas narrative that we’re due to start hearing any day now. Yeah. And he started like his first speech from the podium. Oh, yeah. Included biblical references. And then they have like a prayer or something at the end or something. I saw a picture. They had a prayer after he was elected. He was praying on the floor with some of the other representatives a couple of days ago. I mean, this is a guy who, when he first became a state legislator in Louisiana, he introduced a bill that would create a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people. He introduced the Pastor Protection Act, claiming it would protect clergy that refused to serve to perform same-sex and interracial marriages even.

[27:20] You know, I mean, this is he’s been doing this this time and time again. He worked to co-sponsor a bill that would repeal the Johnson Amendment, because he wants to allow houses of worship to get involved in partisan politics. I mean, it’s just time and time again, when Americans United sued Bossier Parish schools, because they were proselytizing, and violating the religious freedom of every single student in those public schools, and trampling the separation of church and state. Johnson repeatedly inserted himself into the media voicing his support for the schools that were doing the violations. Um, I mean, this goes on and on and on. I mean, we’ve got him, um, blaming mass shootings on teaching evolution in schools. Uh, it looks like we’re still developing that. So I mean, this, this is, this is a man who is part of the Christian nationalist movement in the United States. And we haven’t even gotten to the stuff that he did while he was in Congress, like trying to overturn the 2020 election. But you’ve got a guy who’s a constitutional attorney, tried to overturn the 2020 election, like led the legal charge for that in the House, and even wrote and filed a brief with the Supreme Court on that end. Allied to this Alliance Defending Freedom, this Christian nationalist organization, which now brings in more than $100 million a year. That organization has ties to Amy Coney Barrett and Josh Hawley.

[28:49] And now he is second in line of succession for the presidency and is going to be in charge if he maintains that position of certifying future elections. I mean, we are just in an incredibly dangerous spot as a country right now. And if you are freaked out about it, and you should be, I’d really encourage you to go to and support the work that we are doing. So I know, just kind of speculating, but do you think it was a push by the ADF and other people in that community that got him appointed.

[29:26] I mean, anything I say there would be pure speculation right now. But I can say confidently, that this shadow network of these Christian nationalist organizations that I’ve mentioned several times, and that I detail quite a bit in American Crusade.

[29:42] Has constantly been pushing for more and more and more power. There’s, there’s no doubt about that. And that they’re, they’re never gonna, there’s no amount of power or privilege that is going to satisfy this movement. They are going to continue to push and push and push. And they’re going to continue to take and take and take until we stop them.

[30:05] And was ADF, was that the group that got Southwest Airlines in their lawsuit, religious freedom lawsuit, where they have to go to religious freedom classes or something like that? It was, and this is the version, this is that weaponized version of religious freedom that I was trying to talk about earlier. It’s the same group, but I mean, you know, these, their understanding of religious freedom is religious privilege, that they, and there’s actually, I mean, this is really fascinating. This is what all of what American crusade is, is really about. So if people are curious here, I’d encourage them to pick up a copy of that book. But the questions that are posed when religious freedom cases come before the Supreme Court, and the ADF is bringing a lot of these cases, are actually really, really easy to solve. You can solve most of them by drawing three easy lines. But unless there’s some, of course, some ulterior motive behind the opinions, and that’s what we’re seeing shake out in a lot of those cases, the ulterior motive is, how can we privilege conservative Christians above everybody else?

[31:14] Okay, and as we kind of wrap things up for today, what have we talked about or not talked about that you would like our audience to take away from your visit with us today?

[31:26] Oh, man, I mean, what a time to be alive. Uh, I mean, I think I’d say two things. Um, one is that I know this is kind of a little bit of a depressing talk, but I do have hope. And I actually have a tremendous amount of hope. And I think people need to understand that. Um, so if you could give me a moment to talk about why I do, I’d like to do that. Sure, go ahead. So the wellspring of my hope is this basic definitional truth. It is that the Christian nationalists and the crusaders who are working to weaponize religious freedom, their power-hungry aggression is growing our movement, right? Their wins in that abortion case that I mentioned, and the coach who was imposing his prayer on other people’s kids, and all of these religious freedom cases that I detail in American Crusade and that threaten the separation of church and state. Their wins are swelling our ranks. They’re creating a feedback loop. But the whole reason for this crusade in the first place is their loss of status and the changing demographics. And white Christian nationalists are working to privilege the chosen few. So every legislative and legal victory that they notch alienates more people and it wakes more people up to the danger and it drives more people away from their movement. Their power hungry aggression is growing our movement.

[32:51] And let me put it another way, they are crusading because we are working to meet the unmet promise in the American Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, right? The self-evident truth that all are equal.

[33:03] That we the people means, all the people. And now previous generations have failed to realize those aspirations, and they’ve left it to their children to contend with human tragedies like slavery and segregation and the subjugation of women and discrimination against LGBTQ people and now the climate crisis. And as we continue to march toward progress, Christian nationalists are fighting ever harder against it. They are not going to go gently. They’re going to rage against the dying of their privilege. But in the end, we are going to win because they fight only for themselves. And where they are selfish, we can be selfless. They want supremacy, we want equality. And that’s why in the end we will triumph, not because our principle is better than theirs, though it absolutely is, but because the math is on our side. We have the numbers. And that’s what they’re fighting against. That’s what they’re raging against. And again, this is the battle that I fight every day at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

[33:58] And AU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, Educational and Advocacy Org, we bring together people of all religions and none to fight for these principles, for true religious freedom, for the separation of church and state, and to stop people from using their beliefs to harm others. So we fight in the courts and the legislatures and the public square for freedom without favor and equality without exception. And this is just one reason I’m so proud to be part of Americans United, because we build these bridges, because because the organization’s ethos and its very name embody a path to a better country. We’ll get there as Americans United.

[34:35] Okay, well, on that note, I really thank you for your time, Andrew. And yeah, I’ve been a member of Americans United for quite some time, and I’m always amazed at the work that you guys do. Thank you. And so hopefully I share your optimism. Good. I hope I hope it’s not misplaced put it that way. I hope I hope I see that I see that kind of like in the horizon people are starting to wake up a lot more and I mean to it Thank you very much. My pleasure. Thank you Thank you for listening, For more information about the topics in this episode, please visit the episode page at glass city humanist show, Glass City Humanist is an outreach of the Secular Humanists of Western Lake Erie. Surely can be reached at Glass City Humanist is hosted, written, and produced by Douglas Berger, and he’s solely responsible for the content. Our theme music is Glass City Jam, composed using the Amplify Studio. See you next time!

[35:55] Music.

Transcript is machine generated, lightly edited, and approximate to what was recorded. If you would like perfect transcripts, please donate to the show.


Written, produced, and edited by Douglas Berger and he is entirely responsible for the content. Incidental voice overs by Shawn Meagley

The GCH theme is “Glass City Jam” composed using Ampify Studio

This episode by Glass City Humanist is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.