Separation Of Church And State: The Foundation Of Democracy With Rachel Laser

Our guest is Rachel Laser, President & CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Episode 54: Separation Of Church And State: The Foundation Of Democracy With Rachel Laser

The Missouri Legislature enacted a total ban on abortion and were not subtle about writing and supporting it because of their religious beliefs. Rachel Laser, President of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is our guest. She will explain why her group joined with faith leaders in a lawsuit to block the ban why separation of church and state is the foundation of democracy and we learn about an upcoming Religious Freedom conference hosted by her group.

01:00 Intro/Missouri Abortion Ban Lawsuit
19:38 The Summit for Religious Freedom (SRF)
23:08 Johnson Amendment
28:33 School Vouchers

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Our Guest

Rachel Laser is a lawyer, advocate, and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive. As a religious minority – she was raised as a Reform Jew – she understands how much it matters that our laws treat everyone fairly and equally. Rachel has a proven record of uniting both faith and secular leaders and advocacy organizations to address some of the most important issues of our time.

Rachel served as deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC) and director of the Culture Program at Third Way. In these roles, she led interfaith campaigns across critical issues, including immigration reform, gun violence prevention, LGBTQ equality, and reproductive freedom. Notably, she helped draft the first common ground abortion bill to be introduced jointly by pro-life and pro-choice members of Congress.

As senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Rachel challenged pharmacies that refused to fill women’s birth control prescriptions in the name of religion, advocated for judicial appointments with a positive record on women’s issues, and educated members of Congress and others about the importance of reproductive health bills and perils of anti-choice legislation.

Rachel graduated from Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School. She also served on the national board of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Rachel lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, three children, and their dog, Teddy.


Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Abortion bans‎‎ ‎violate‎ church-state separation

The Summit for Religious Freedom (SRF) April 22-24, 2023

Sponsors of ‘backpack bill’ for per pupil Ohio school vouchers push back on $1 billion price tag

Portions of this interview was used on Glass City Humanist on WAKT


Read full transcript here

[0:00] This is Glass City Humanist, a show about humanism, humanist values by a humanist. Here is your host, Douglas Berger. The Missouri legislature enacted a total ban on abortion and were not subtle about writing and supporting it because of the religious beliefs. Rachel Laser, president of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, is our guest. She will explain why her group joined with faith leaders in a lawsuit to block the ban, why separation of church and state is the foundation of democracy, and we learn about an upcoming Religious Freedom Conference hosted by her group. 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.

[0:48] Music.

[1:00] Okay, our guest today is Rachel Laser. She is the president and CEO at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She is a lawyer and an advocate and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive. She’s also a religious minority, having been raised as a Reformed Jew. And so she understands personally how much it matters that our laws treat everyone fairly and equally. Thank you for being with us today. Great to be with you, Doug, and with everyone. Now, for somebody that has not heard of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, What do you do and what’s your mission? So Americans United for Separation of Church and State is nonpartisan and we’re not for profit. And we’re basically an advocacy organization that brings together religious and non-religious Americans every day to fight in the courts, in Congress, in state legislatures, and in the public square for everyone’s right to live as themselves, free from other people’s religious dictates, and to believe as they choose.

[2:14] And how important is separation of church and state to defending our religious freedom? It is the guarantee of religious freedom. And that’s why our founders were people of faith 75 years ago who gathered together from different ideological and theological backgrounds. There were Seventh-day Adventists. There were Methodist pastors. There was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. There were seminary deans. And all these folks came together because they were people who were religious and they understood how important it was, To be able to be free to have your own religious identity. And of course that includes the right to be, non-religious And is that important that you include all the different religious groups and the non-religious? Does that make your work easier?

[3:09] Absolutely. I mean for We are what our name says we are. We are Americans United. We represent everyone because this issue is at the core of everyone’s freedom and safety. And ultimately, without the separation of church and state, we would no longer have the American democracy. So for all patriots out there who value the American promise, they are church-state separationists, even if they don’t realize it yet. The Americans United recently joined a coalition of faith leaders in Missouri to file a lawsuit against the state’s ban on abortion. What are some facts about that case in particular that makes it a religious freedom case?

[3:56] That’s a beautiful case, Doug, because that case showcases that in order to have freedom, of religion in this country, we need to have reproductive freedom. And that’s because different beliefs advise us to take different actions when it comes to our reproductive lives. And abortion bans impose one narrow religious viewpoint on everyone, taking away our ability to make our own decisions about our own bodies based on our own beliefs. So this case, which Americans United teamed up with the National Women’s Law Center on and brought on behalf of 14 clergy from seven different religious backgrounds, really showcases how different religious groups believe that it’s a fundamental part of.

[4:50] Their religion, protecting their religion, and also America’s promise of religious freedom, to let people make that decision for themselves.

[5:02] And I can tell you a little more about it, Doug. I mean, it’s an incredible case because all the sort of stars aligned with this case and made it the perfect place to bring a case. In Missouri, in the state constitution, they have tremendously strong church-state separation protections. And so number one, those protections have been found by the Missouri State Supreme Court to be even stronger than our federal promise of church-state separation. Number two, the lawmakers in the state are such emboldened religious extremists, the one who passed this ban, that they said all the quiet parts out loud about the religious motivations for the bill. They used to hide it for a while, they got smart, right? Sort of back in the days where, you know, JFK ran for president and he had to give his church state separation bona fides and it was trendy, right? That wouldn’t have happened. But today, you know, given sort of the Trump era and the religious extremism that led to it and that’s ensued, these lawmakers not only boasted, about the religious underpinnings of the bill that was based on their private religious beliefs, but they inserted religious language into the bill.

[6:22] They said in the bill, for example, that the Lord Almighty is the author of life. And so, it was very easy to point to the violation of church-state separation there. And personally, I will never forget creating a little circle with all of these clergy on the day that we launched the suit in Christ Church Cathedral, which is the church of the Episcopal Bishop, who’s one of our plaintiffs in the case. And just thinking together how America is really at its best when we’re all joining together across our differences in order to support equality and each other’s rights. But it was a beautiful, I wish we could have had a humanist. We did have a Unitarian Universalist, but we didn’t have any humanists or sort of officiants of non-theistic denominations, not because we didn’t try, because we couldn’t find one. The head of the humanists, the officiant for the humanists had moved to England and we just were unable to find one, which I guess is its own statement about the state of certain parts of our country. I don’t know. Yeah, that’s true. And I do know the officiant, James Croft, I believe. Yes. Yes. And he was head of the Ethical Society in St. Louis. And he just recently moved back to England. Yes. How dare he?

[7:50] I don’t know. Maybe he knows. Anyway. Yes. Recently, a group of Christian Nationalist state attorney generals have gone to court, to force the Biden administration to withdraw a 20-year-old approval of a drug that happens to be able to be used in abortions. Now, my question is, I thought the goal of the anti-abortionists was to make it a state issue. So why are they trying to ban this medication? Because they have one goal, and that is to give supremacy across the land to conservative white Christians. That’s the goal. And to impose that view, to codify it in the law, and to impose that on all of us, restricting our freedom and attacking the equality, that our democracy is based in.

[8:52] So for them, ultimately, quote, state rights is secondary to the real goal, which is to give power and favor to themselves. And I think we saw that when the Republican-led Congress was talking about doing a national abortion ban. or we just got done getting rid of Roe v. Wade, now they want to do a national ban. Right, because abortion bans impose one narrow religious viewpoint on everyone. And that’s not allowed in America. In America, we have religious freedom, which means we get to make our own fundamental decisions based on our own belief systems.

[9:41] Also, abortion bans are horrific for women’s health, equality, and safety, and for the safety of our families. So I mean, there are so many problems. If you say you love America, if you say you love freedom of any sort, then you should be supporting the freedom to make reproductive decisions. And you can, by the way, choose not to have an abortion if that’s what your beliefs dictate. And how does Americans United decide what legal cases to take on? What kind of things do you think about or look for? So one exciting part of what we do that a lot of people don’t know about, and so I thought I’d mention it today, is we take reports of violations. So there’s a place on our website, right in that sort of upper right-hand corner, where you can click and you can report a violation. And we resolve many of those, hundreds of those, every year without needing to go to court.

[10:46] Because oftentimes, maybe it’s a government entity or maybe it’s a public school that just doesn’t understand that something that they’re doing is illegal. And we correct the record and they make that change. But when we choose our court cases, we have to choose them strategically and carefully. That’s in part because there has been a crusade to take over our Supreme Court by these religious extremists. And unfortunately, we are living in a world where the ultra conservative majority, is undercutting church-state separation and many of the promises of our constitution. Just last term, we saw this Supreme Court force the city of Boston to fly a Christian flag on their city hall flagpole against their will, force main taxpayers to fund religious education and discrimination with their own tax dollars against their will, force a public school in Bremerton, Washington State.

[11:55] To allow a football coach to pressure his students to pray with him at the 50 yard line after football games. Again, at a public high school where it was documented and on the record that students felt pressured to pray to play. And finally, reversed Roe v. Wade, 49 years of precedent that guaranteed freedom of religion, and reproductive freedom. Because that is the state of play, Doug, right now in the country, we have to choose our cases awfully carefully. Number one. The other side is so emboldened right now to be bringing as many cases as they can to further expand the right to discriminate in the name of religion, the right to codify one religious viewpoint into the law, that sometimes we’re put in a position where we’re just the best folks around to play defense. But someone’s got to, even if you’re going for, you know, reducing the losses, right? Someone’s gotta be playing that role and it matters. Sometimes dissents, which we help to inform in big legal decisions, end up becoming the majority viewpoint, you know, in future years. And then there’s other ways, like with our Missouri lawsuit.

[13:21] That we can use state courts and state constitutions to advance the ball and use church state separation as the shield to protect people that it’s supposed to be. So we’re also often busy sort of playing that role. And finally, there are areas where we can still make progress and where we have certainly not given up. I’m thinking of the Catholic woman who was discriminated against in South Carolina who wanted to work with foster kids who couldn’t because she’s Catholic and not evangelical Protestant, or the Jewish couple in Tennessee, the Rooten Rams, that wanted to foster to adopt a beautiful little boy in Florida, went to their local foster care agency that they fund with their tax dollars, turned away because they’re Jewish. And so those cases, we still feel like there’s some hope in order to enforce state religious freedom protections, and we’re moving forward with those. Yeah, you mentioned that case where you’re helping the woman that was Catholic. Probably not too many people know that Americans United is 75 years old and it was originally founded as Protestants United for Separation of Church and State.

[14:45] And William Donahue from the Catholic League gives you guys a hard time all the time about that.

[14:51] And it’s true. I mean, there was a lot of effort. I mean, you mentioned Kennedy, President Kennedy. He had to give a whole speech to tell people the pope was not going to tell him what to do. You know, so I just find it ironic that the shoe is on the other foot now that that they’re no longer the minority religion and being discriminated against. You know, they there are several Supreme Court justices who are Catholic and they seem to be anti-abortionists. They join in on the anti-abortion things, but then there’s this Catholic woman in South Carolina that’s getting discriminated against because she’s Catholic.

[15:34] Exactly. Let them take that case. And even better, Doug, I don’t know if you remember the name of that case, but it’s kind of an amazing serendipitous thing that the woman that we’re defending in the South Carolina case is Catholic. Her name is Amy Madonna. The lawsuit is called. So the lawsuit is called Madonna versus HHS, which is a mess. So let these justices take that case on and have to rule against Madonna, right? Right, right. The theme of religious freedom. I’d love to see that happen. Yeah, and unlike the Catholic League, you know, at least Americans United has evolved. Right. Since that time. Right. And takes on all cases of any kind of religious discrimination. Oh, absolutely. I mean, I think what’s evolved the wrong way is the Supreme Court. There’s a recent study that showed that in recent times under the Roberts Court, this Supreme Court has ruled in support of religion over 80% of the time, and almost always in support of the mainstream majority religion, Christianity. Whereas formerly, the court ruled much less of the time in support of religion, and almost always in support of those are more vulnerable religious minorities.

[17:02] Yeah, and I also find it ironic that a lot of the federal courts now accept religious people who are uncomfortable about something.

[17:13] And they have rejected secular people who feel uncomfortable about something. For example, if they walk into a courthouse and see a Ten Commandments monument, you know, the courts have said, well, you know, that doesn’t affect you. It doesn’t force you to pray or anything like that. But if a religious person says, well, if I bake a cake, I’m supporting a gay wedding. And they’re like, oh, sure.

[17:41] Yeah, I mean, we have this can’t touch that attitude towards religion in this country, and it’s leading us astray. I mean, look, I am, I have a religion, I’m proud of my religion, as a Jew, I’ve raised my kids in the religion, I have a wonderful husband who helps me teach them that religion, we’re both very proud to be Jews, etc. Right. But there is a huge difference between between having respect for religion and understanding the role it plays and allowing people to weaponize religion and to wield their religion as an excuse, a justification to harm other people. Like how does that work where America is intentionally diverse and willfully promoting that diversity? It’s part of the mosaic of who we are and what we created in the first place. It doesn’t work. And that’s why the logical endpoint of these white Christian nationalists or of religious extremists, is has to be to topple our democracy. That’s why you saw them all out there parading and actually co-opting the Christian flag at the insurrection. Because ultimately, if they’re trying to codify their power and privilege in American law, that can’t coexist with our democracy. They have to take it down.

[19:04] And that’s really dangerous for all of us. That’s why this country needs a national recommitment to church state separation right now, because it’s not too late, but before it’s too late, we all have to re-educate and recommit, to the separation of religion and government.

[19:25] For more information about the topics in this episode, including links used, please visit the episode page at And just to point out that your background there is for the Summit for Religious Freedom. Yes. coming up April 22nd to the 24th. And can you tell us a little bit about that and what a participant can expect from it? Absolutely. Thanks for asking. First of all, if you want to know more about it, go to, the S-R-F, Summit for Religious Freedom, right, Yeah, so it’s going to be super exciting. It’s a conference that will be the hub of the religious freedom movement because we all need each other in order to preserve religious freedom. If you think about the wall of separation between church and state and what rests on that wall.

[20:26] It’s all these freedoms and aspects of our society that we treasure. It’s the freedom to make reproductive choices. It’s LGBTQ equality. It’s thriving public schools. It’s science informing our public policy. It’s having books on the shelves of public libraries. It’s the rights of religious and racial minorities, because of course, there’s been lots of racism in the name of, you know, justified, quote, justified by religion, you know, across our past. So all these things topple when the wall of separation topples, and that’s why this is a project of AU in partnership. With so many allies who are taking part in the conference, putting on sessions, everyone from the Baptist Joint Committee to the National Women’s Law Center, and folks speaking about compassion and dying as a church state issue, about queer rights as a church state issue, about public school safety of our public schools in this country as a church state issue. We’ll have keynote addresses as well. One of them will just be on with Brad Onishi, who also runs a podcast, which will be on white Christian nationalism and how we fight back.

[21:49] Another panel will be on abortion rights and how that’s a church-state separation issue, and how we fight back. And that one will feature Katherine Stewart, who’s a renowned author and a journalist in this space and our plaintiff in the Missouri abortion lawsuit, Reverend Tracy Blackmon. So there are going to be so many exciting things. On Monday, we’ll take it to Capitol Hill and lobby, in support of the Do No Harm Act that says you cannot misuse America’s treasured religious freedom law to license discrimination and harm to others. So we’ll be taking that to the halls of Congress. So we’re very excited about it and invite everyone to join us because it’s very accessible online and if you feel that you need a scholarship, even in order to be able to afford that online fee, there’s a few spots left in person. And we want the whole thing to be so radically inclusive that for either online or in person, if you need it, apply for a scholarship and we’ll get it to you so you can take part.

[23:00] Music.

[23:08] I wanted to go back briefly or talk about one of the bedrocks of church and state separation has been what’s called the Johnson Amendment. Prohibits charities from getting involved in campaigns.

[23:29] Does it make your work harder that that particular rule Hasn’t been enforced in so many years and it doesn’t look like it’s gonna get enforced anytime soon, It’s very frustrating. It really is very frustrating I mean partisan politicking is bad for religion and bad for politics, you know and, Churches aren’t singled out. I mean all 501c3s have to abide. We do we’re a 501c2 They do abide by the same rules. So it’s definitely a shame in our society and it allows for some of the shenanigans to happen that happened during the Trump years. Some of these church rallies in support of candidates, you know, and the reality is Americans don’t want that. The super majority of Americans understand that that interferes with comedy and unity in our houses of worship and that eventually it can taint, our houses of worship too, because when you have ties with the government in that way, with candidates, it comes with strings attached. It should, but we don’t want that for religion. And also, everything is not disclosed when it comes to religion. So there’s a lot of problems with the fact that it’s not been enforced. And frankly, we think, especially with the increased funding to the IRS, that there’s really no excuse not to be better enforcing the Johnson Amendment.

[24:56] And do you think that the reason why that they kind of are dragging their feet on, it is that they don’t want to raise the hackles of the Christian nationalists? Cause they tend to get targeted that way. I know when they were doing, um, they were claiming that conservative groups weren’t getting tax exemptions, uh, several years ago. So do you think that might play a part in it?

[25:23] I don’t see it quite that cynically. Here’s how I see it. It’s part of that can’t touch this attitude towards religion in this country. I think church-state separation was founded in this country by people of faith.

[25:39] But today, religious extremists have gotten away with mislabeling it as being anti-religion and anti-Christian. You know what, Doug? If you got a hold of religious extremist playbook and you turn to page one, I think what you would see right there is call anything progressive that interferes with us codifying our power, call that anti-Christian or anti-religion. And so I think that they have been quite successful in waging that campaign, and it makes, I think, sometimes Democrats feel worried. You know, I think Democrats have also been labeled as being anti-religion. And so I think they get fearful, right, about looking anti-religion. And the irony is church-state separation protects religion just as much as it protects religious freedom for everyone. So that’s really a shame. So part of what we’re calling for in our national recommitment to separate church and state campaign is for faith leaders to join us. Because just like those plaintiffs in Missouri, it is vital that we, have those faith voices leading and joining with the non-religious to say, hey, in America.

[26:57] Church and state are separate, and that’s a good thing for all of us. Yeah, you were mentioning about maybe the Democrats being concerned about being targeted as well. I think too though that they use the pulpit themselves. I mean it’s not as, to me it doesn’t seem as, I don’t know, garish as how the Republicans do it. But I think maybe they’re thinking it might impede their work as well.

[27:28] Maybe. I mean, in houses of worship, you’re allowed to talk about political issues. You’re, just not allowed to endorse or oppose a candidate. Right. And that gives you a lot of latitude. You can even invite candidates to your church or synagogue or mosque or whatever you whatever you call yours. So long as you’re inviting folks from both sides of the aisle. And if those folks don’t show up, you can still have your event. So there are lots of ways that you can still legally, kind of discuss the issues of the day without going partisan. But no, I mean, it’s inappropriate for all of us and it’s short-sighted for anyone to think that they can get away with going partisan in a way that ultimately doesn’t harm both religion and our democracy. This is Glass City Humanist, a show about humanism by a humanist.

[28:27] Music.

[28:34] And I don’t know if you were aware or you probably were on the news today. I saw him at Metta, the friendly atheist was talking about it today, that there’s a sectarian school in Maine that is filing a lawsuit because they have to follow the Maine human rights code in order to get that tax money that the Supreme Court just said that they could get.

[29:05] Yeah. It’s a non-discrimination policy or something like that, but it applies to anybody that gets tax dollars for their school. That’s right. That’s right. I mean with public funds, public strings are attached. If you accept public money, you got to play by the same rules as everyone else. Guess what your choice is? You cannot accept public money. And do what you want. But once you do, you have to play by the same rules, period. And I think what’s unknown in this country is the war that religious extremists are waging on public schools. I don’t think people are aware that these same folks who are attacking abortion rights, undermining LGBTQ equality, they’re the ones that would be very happy to see public schools shut down and private Christian academies all funded with tax dollars. That is a stated goal, of these folks. And frankly, with this voucher movement that is thriving and being aided by recent Supreme Court decisions, they’re making some progress. And it’s very sad, because public schools are places where we can all count on being treated equally, no matter what background we’re from, no matter what we look like, no matter what our ability level, they are a glue for the American democracy and public funds must fund public schools.

[30:35] Yeah, here in Ohio, they just, they’re considering a bill right now to give three extra days off to public school students who are religious. And I contacted, they had one for the colleges and universities last session, and I contacted the sponsor of that bill and I asked him a question. I said, if my seventh grader wanted to take off Charles Darwin’s birthday, could they do that? And he said no, because Charles Darwin is not a deity.

[31:10] Yeah, here’s what religious freedom means. Religious freedom means you’re entitled to be treated the exact same way by the government, no matter whether you’re religious, nonreligious, no matter whether you’re a theist or a nontheist. That’s what the promise is. But Doug, I thought you were also going to talk about, because I did some research too, and I know our office is working to fight this proposed HB11 and SB11, which would expand one of your voucher programs statewide. Yes. Yeah. The universal universal voucher is what they’re calling it. Yeah. And that could ultimately cost taxpayers one point one billion dollars a year. And it’s not estimate one hundred and thirteen million in the first year. Right. And on top of that, they are wanting to change the whole way that local governments and schools are funded. So they’re on top of that. They’re going to have another budget cut. Right. Right. It’s very it’s very dangerous. And don’t forget that you all already have this voucher program that already costs an enormous amount of money every year. I actually looked up that number and I can’t find it right now because I wanted to talk to you about it. Oh, here, let’s see. So the existing EdChoice program that these bills would expand already cost an estimated $315 million just last year.

[32:31] Yeah, there was a local school district near me, Washington local school district, that they were going to lose a million dollars in the middle of a school year because kids going to private school. And that’s when they had to put, it raised such a ruckus that they had to put a stop to the EdChoice a couple years ago. And that’s devastating. And here’s the other thing. Vouchers don’t work. They don’t improve student achievement. They especially fail students with disabilities, low-income students and rural students. They don’t provide the same rights and protections for students that public schools do. And many private religious schools also discriminate. And don’t forget that voucher programs aren’t accountable to taxpayers, and they violate taxpayers’ religious freedom by forcing them to fund private religious education that’s not their own. So the bottom line as we talked about public funds belong in public schools. Right. And public schools can’t go out of business. Exactly. Like a private school can. Right. I mean, unless religious extremists ultimately put them out of business, which which would be a massive attack on our democracy.

[33:45] And if people are into this issue and they’re into fighting private school vouchers, if they’re into protecting reproductive freedom, they’re into protecting LGBTQ equality, if they’re into protecting democracy, they’re into protecting public libraries, if they’re into protecting science, then they should join Americans United at today. I really hope they do because Our movement needs to come together, be stronger, be more diverse so that we can take on the challenges that we’re fighting today because they’re big. Yeah, and in Ohio here we were hitting the trifecta on all those issues. Unfortunately, we have a lot of religious extremists running the state government and I feel bad. I’m a white cisgender man. And I don’t have a problem, but my friends and relatives that, you know, I feel for them, I really do. Yeah, it’s hard, it’s hard times. I have hope and what gives me hope are frankly Generation Z.

[34:52] My kids are Generation Z and Generation Z are activists. They care deeply about each other and about sort of the full population of people, not just sort of themselves as individuals. They step up, they vote, right? And I think that they can do wonderful things to save this country. That’s why Americans United is working with them a lot. We are running a youth organizing fellowship program. We have high school and college youth essay and youth video contest programs. And we’re even running a legal academy to fight back against what the Federalist Society is doing and make a long-term investment in the new generation of litigators, right? To form our own bench and to empower them in partnership with a lot of other impact litigation organizations. So people. Should not, cannot, and must not give up hope on church-state separation, because without it, America just wouldn’t be America, and it’s not too late to save it. Okay, and, you know, we talked about the Summit for Religious Freedom, that’s April the 22nd through the 24th, and you talked about some of the programs that Americans United does for people that are interested. Was there anything else that you wanted to make sure that we knew about, about the group and what’s coming up?

[36:19] Well, it’s going to be a, I’ve already hit on how it’s a collaborative, right, a collaborative effort. It’s also continuous. So we’ve already run a couple of webinars in advance. One of them was with my good friend, Robbie P. Jones, who did an amazing survey through PRRI and the Brookings Institute on white Christian nationalism. But we’ll continue to run webinars after the conference so that we can continue to come together and fight for church state separation. So that’s another thing that I guess I wanted to emphasize. And I just wanted to say that this is the first year, this is the inaugural Summit for Religious Freedom. I personally couldn’t think of a more important time to be coming together for this cause and partnering and we need everybody. So we’re excited to invite everyone to join us and we’re proud that we’re able to offer a whole virtual option. If you’re not able to make it in person, go to, to sign up.

[37:28] And if you can’t afford it, apply for a scholarship and we got you covered because we want this thing to be inclusive of everyone. All right, Rachel, I really appreciate you taking the time to visit with us today. And, and that summit sounds real fun. I think I’m going to probably check it out. And, I mean, it beats curling up in a ball and eating chocolate all day. That’s for sure. Or you can eat chocolate during the summit and have the best of all worlds. Think about that. Doug, thank you so much for having me on. I appreciate spending time with you and all of, your listeners. Thank you for listening. For more information about the topics in this episode, please visit the episode page at 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!

[38:49] Music.

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

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