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Twogaa Sunday Post – 9.8.2019

Submitted by Diana Roberts on September 8, 2019

Historically and as much so today as ever the First Amendment protective right of Separation of Church and State is under attack. The religious right would have us compelled under Christian theocracy by government statutes (state and federal) and government funding of Christian sects.

This is truly dangerous and certainly not what the drafters of the Constitution had in mind. But every time we elect a fundamentalist president, or as today fundamentalist president and vice-president, the danger flares up again. This time is particularly intense, as the executive branch keeps chipping away at the First Amendment protection of freedom to worship through our own conscience. That’s pretty hard to do if your government passes laws that support only one sect’s interpretation of only one religion.

There are now numerous nonprofits that fight for our religious freedom, such as Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to name a couple. They have done a magnificent job in courts and calling out the religious right. What they haven’t done is get the broad backing and participation of Millennials. Why?

While 23 percent of Americans claim no religious preference or are Nones, which equates to 75.67 million people, no “national movement” organization has even 100,000 members, according to Free Inquiry editor, Tom Flynn. The reason is there is a huge shift in the view of organized religion. Baby Boomers fought to reach unbelief despite their upbringing and the negative stigma that came with unbelief. Younger generations following them, however, were born into an era of religious diversity and more open tolerance.

It is true that national secular organizations focus their efforts on serving people who see creeping governmental theocracy and are fascinated with religious controversy. To millennials and younger it is not so fascinating, in fact not particularly interesting. It is more a core attitude of “I don’t have time to worry about whether there is a god or not.” Putting food on the table, covering household financial decision and paying off consumer and educational debt, while raising kids and working is all they can handle. Yet, churches, particularly those bent towards evangelism, have done a great job of bringing in many millennials, because they offer needed social context, entertainment and an upbeat atmosphere. Then, there is that thing of offering a force outside the body that if they believe hard enough can pull them out of the rut they are in.

If the great nonprofit constitutional institutions that we have are to when the battle against religious domination, they must bring in the younger population for support. The majority of that population are not particularly religious and would truly rebel if religion were to be pushed down their throat. Somehow, we must offer more than join the battle with us. We must offer social context, entertainment, and an upbeat atmosphere, as well, but we must also let them know that we know what they are going through, and we can work together. Now is the time to start; now is the time for our brilliant thinkers to come up with ideas as to how we do that. It must be an effectively designed approach. Yes, now is the time!

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