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Coalition of Atheists & Theists Urge Biden to Restore Religious Freedom for All (Friendly Atheist)

Yesterday [actually 19 November, 2020], more than 100 religious and non-religious group leaders published a letter urging Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to take certain steps to reverse the damage done by the Trump administration on faith-based matters.

Some of the suggestions are mild: Hire people from a variety of religious and non-religious backgrounds. Affirm our nation’s religious diversity.

Others are more serious: Repeal the Muslim ban. Prevent and prosecute hate crimes. Protect church/state separation. Stop taxpayer-funded groups from violating anti-discrimination laws and prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding religion at all.
There’s also this request regarding “religious freedom” — the actual kind, not the pro-Christian version advanced by Republicans:

… over the past four years the federal government has overreached in the name of free exercise, ignoring the harms that certain religious exemptions impose on other rights. For example, these exemptions have been used to undermine LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections and deny access to healthcare, particularly sexual and reproductive healthcare, with disproportionate impacts on people of color. These exemptions have even been used to discriminate against religious minorities and the nonreligious, using inconsistent standards to evaluate free exercise claims. These errors must be corrected. One critical way to do so is to restore the original intent of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) to protect religious freedom and also clarify the Act so that the statute is not misused.

These are straightforward suggestions that shouldn’t be controversial. There’s a reason the people signing this document represent a variety of religious and non-religious groups. These are also requests that Biden can do on his own without worrying about a possible GOP-led Senate getting in his way.

Read the rest here.


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What is at least as impressive as the letter itself (which I urge you to read) is are its signatories. There is Debbie Allen of the Secular Coalition of America, Nick Fish of American Atheists, and Annie-Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, among many other secular and atheist leaders, but there are also multiple religious representatives who have been as aghast at the actions Trump has taken to promote evangelical Christianity from the Oval Office as we are.  To me, this is a big deal, a VERY BIG DEAL indeed, and one which deserves both support and participation.

A few days ago, I drafted my own letter to President-Elect Biden, regarding the issue of State / Church separation and the damage done to it by Trump.  As I have neither email nor physical address information for him, I was going to hold that missive until 20 January, 2021, when he moves into the White House and both his electronic and conventional address become a matter of record.  If someone here knows a means of accessing them before that time by either method, I'd appreciate it.

Meantime, those of us on Atheist Universe who are US citizens should fire up their word processors and make your own thoughts and opinions known to Biden and Harris.  I'm fairly confident that THEY will listen, where their predecessors would not.

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Replies to This Discussion

Could you send it to your state politician, & ask that it be forwarded? I have no idea about finding an address like that, let alone there.

Loren just finished reading the letter. It's a good start

On behalf of all of us "sideline atheists", thank you, Loren, for your involvement. I, for one, appreciate it.

Randall, I'm not quite sure what it is, but with this issue, I CAN'T sit on the sidelines.  I suspect it's that I cannot tolerate the thought of our government being swallowed up by an unthinking Christian theocracy which really cares for NOTHING other than its own self-preservation and continuance. I Won't Have That ... and so I do what I do.

You might keep in mind: letter-writing always helps!

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