By Sam Madden
The organization American Atheists, which is the largest most well funded Atheist Organization I believe to be in the United States came out not to long ago with a report, “2019 State of the SECULAR STATES, A Review of State Law and Policy Affecting the Separation of Religion and Government.”
The report includes all 50 States and is broken down into four categories.
1.) State Constitutional Protections
2.) Education and Youth
3.) Health Care and Wellness
4.) Special Privileges for Religion
No matter what faith you practice this is a very important piece of research. The phrase “Separation of Church and State,” actually does not appear anywhere in the United States Constitution. Rather the phrase is traced back to 1802 in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote.
However, according to a Time Article published in 2018 it was put way, “Rather, the First Amendment ensures both that the government does not show preference to a certain religion and that the government does not take away an individual’s ability to exercise religion. In other words, the church should not rule over the state, and the state cannot rule over the church.”
To see how your State stacks up regarding religious equality. Here is a link to the report.
Sam Madden is a Board Member with the Center For Pluralism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org