Obama Takes On "Christian Nation" Fiction, Secular Coalition Cheers
Constitutional-Scholar-in-Chief Highlights American Secular Values
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2009
Contact: Anne Singer, 202-271-4679
Washington, DC – The Secular Coalition for America heartily endorses the words spoken by President Barack Obama during a press conference in Turkey this week: "One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
Although the President has previously described America as a nation of not only Christians but Jews, Muslims and nonbelievers, his April 6 statement goes beyond an inventory of religious sects to a unifying theme of shared American secular values. "The President has got this one exactly right," declared Ron Millar, acting director of the Secular Coalition for America. "Not only did he reject the Christian nation canard; he said we are above all a nation of citizens with shared values. This has always been our message. We couldn’t be happier."
"The insistence that the United States is a Christian nation is one of the Religious Right’s most persistent, dishonest and dangerous ploys," said Millar. "They’ve been trying to rewrite our history through legislation introduced by their collaborators in Congress. The President delivered an important history lesson in Turkey; we hope he’ll do the same thing here at home."
As the Secular Coalition and its allies have repeatedly pointed out, the word "God" does not appear in our constitution, and volumes of documents demonstrate that the Founders intentionally drew a bright line between religion and government to guarantee freedom of – and from – religion for every American citizen. With a Constitutional-Scholar-in-Chief now occupying the White House, the Secular Coalition hopes America can once again celebrate its proud secular history and put the myth of a Christian nation behind us.
The Secular Coalition for America is a 501(c)4 advocacy organization consisting of nine member groups which serve atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers and other nontheistic Americans. Its purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States. The Coalition works to protect the civil rights of nontheists and lobbies the U.S. Congress on issues of concern to its constituents. The group's website is www.secular.org.
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