For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Couch, 202-238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, D.C., October 13, 2017) The American Humanist Association (AHA) denounced, in the strongest terms, President Trump’s speech at today’s Values Voter Summit as un-American and an attack on all who don’t subscribe to his right wing religious political extremism. Hosted by several organizations listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Trump used that platform to call this a “nation of believers” strengthened and sustained by the “power of prayer.”
“Trump’s blatant contempt for the Establishment Clause and the First Amendment should alarm every American, regardless of their political affiliation or belief,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “This isn’t only an assault on nontheists, but lays the groundwork to further discriminate against those in the LGBTQ community, those who support women’s reproductive rights, and many others committed to improving our nation.”
Trump’s apparent disregard of Jefferson’s Wall of church-state separation was on display today as he referred to the Johnson Amendment, designed to prevent government/religious entanglement, as “horrendous” and he vowed to, “not allow government workers to censor sermons or target our pastors, our ministers, our rabbis. These are the people we want to hear from and they’re not going to be silenced any longer.”
Speckhardt explained that, “The Johnson Amendment is a key protection for everyone’s constitutional right to be free from religious coercion in government. And Trump’s false claim that it’s silencing ministers is just a smoke screen for his real agenda of setting aside the Johnson Amendment so he can open up churches to be used as political action committees. Trump knows it’s to his personal benefit to have his rich cronies be able to support his re-election via unlimited, anonymous, tax-deductible donations through churches. For all his rhetoric, he really just wants to use churches and tax payers as pawns in his attempts to extend his own influence.”
“Today the President openly attacked established law, disregarded the fast growing demographic of nontheist Americans, ignored religious minorities, and endorsed the agenda of the religious right to discriminate against all they disagree with by using religion as a shield for their bigotry,” Speckhardt concluded.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.