A skim-through of their website makes it clear: the faith group that Americans United most
loves to hate is the conservative Christians. (They prefer to say "Religious Right.") But there have been other dispicable
enemies of Separation of Church & State. Here are a few.
Christian Abolitionists Evangelist
Lloyd Garrison and his followers demanded an immediate end to slavery, and he called the Constitution - so long as it accepted
slavery - "a sham and a pact with the devil." To make things worse they probably didn't even pay income taxes (most people
didn't) so government had no way to punish them for this crime.
In northern states Methodists and Baptists shamelessly took a stand against people
owning other people, and promoted the shameless "underground railroad" to slave freedom!
The Quakers (Society of Friends) If you think of them as
quiet, gentle folks think again. They were the only major religious group to comit the detestable crime of opposing the
U.S. government's locking up of whole families for three years as punishment for having the wrong ancestors.
FDR, the dean of the liberals, with the prodding of California Attorney General Earl
Warren (later to lead the ultra-left Warren Supreme Court) tore the Constitution to shreds and ordered 120,000 Americans
of Japanese descent (mostly American citizens) to spend World War II behind barbed wire - except those who volunteered
for the enlisted ranks of the army where they formed the most decorated regiment in U.S. Army history, with a casualty rate
exceeding 100%, so many of them were wounded and then came back to fight again and be wounded again, or killed, while their country
still imprisoned their families in tar-paper barracks in a western dessert.
It was declared legal by a Supreme Court including civil rights-minded William Douglas
and Hugo Black (who later reincarnated the phrase "separation between church and state" from a 147 year-old letter and implied
it merited more rigid enforcement than the U.S. Constitution), the latter writing the majority opinion. After crushing
Emperor Hirohito's fleet at Midway our navy determined that the Japanese-Americans' internment served no military purpose
but the internment continued until V-J day.
In direct conflict with the "Separation" slogan the Quakers spoke out
against the internment. This no doubt still enrages Reverend Lynn and his Americans United.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Religion, (says Reverend Lynn) must vigorously shun politics.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a bad guy by
Though a clergyman, he started
some government conflicts so they tried to get him back in the corral.
Many Christians , like Lynn, leave government alone.
mind their own business. They stick to theology.
like ol’ Dietrich, who, it is known
against government without an apology.
this tale ends quite happily, Barry Lynn, have no doubt!
got the comeuppance his trickery engendered.
had him hanged (then blew his own brains out )
a few days before Lynn’s
(Shortly before his execution Bonhoffer sent a final message to a friend in London "This is the end, for me
the beginning, of life.")
Rosa Parks On Dec 1, 1955 she was arrested in Burmingham
AL for not standing up and giving her seat to a white rider when ordered to do so by the bus driver as required by city ordinance.
Blacks had had enough, and that Sunday black churches helped organize a one day bus boycott for the next day, Dec 5,
1955. It was a success and a meeting was held that day at Mt. Zion AME church, Rosa's lifelong place of worship, to make plans for
extending the boycott. At the suggestion of Ralph Abernathy they appointed a young unknown preacher, Martin Luther King
Jr., to lead the boycott.
The boycott lasted 382 days, nearly bankrupting the bus company but bringing about nationwide
- (nay worldwide, for it inspired a bus boycott in the eastern cape of South Africa) - improvements in race
The actions of the churches did not violate the First Amendment or any other law but
definitely violated the "Separation" slogan, injecting churches into the middle of a political issue.
It's interesting to conjecture where American race relations might be today had not
black churches chosen, on several occasions, to violate "Separation of Church & State."