Secular Democrats of America PAC prepared a document for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris called “Restoring Constitutional Secularism and Patriotic Pluralism in the White House.”
It is presented by Democrat Representatives Jamie Raskin and Jared Huffman. Raskin, who has served as a proxy vote for Congresswoman Cindy Axne, is co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus with Huffman.
“We urge you not to underestimate the institutional strength of what we refer to in this document as the ‘Christian nationalist movement’ or the ‘religious right,'” the document states. “This movement is extraordinarily well-funded and well-organized, and the manifestation of its extreme and sectarian agenda is on constant display under the Trump-Pence Administration. Its political ideology is anti-democratic and anti-scientific.”
This “Christian nationalist movement” provides “constant cover for white supremacy.” It hurts our ability to address the climate crisis.
Taxpayer dollars should not go to contractors or grantees that promote private religious schools, crisis pregnancy centers and abstinence-only education, the document states.
It calls for utilizing every mechanism at the administration’s disposal to ensure the Department of Education does not funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools.
It wants to dismantle the Department of Justice Religious Liberty Task Force, HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, repeal Executive Order 13798 (Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty), rescind and replace the DOJ’s memorandum “Federal Law Protections for Religious Liberty” and many other things.
The group urges Biden to incentivize states to increase vaccination rates by repealing all nonmedical exemptions.
Biden should also appoint an Attorney General who will “support Governors whose emergency declarations and/or executive orders require even-handed universal restrictions on indoor gatherings, including at houses of worship.”
It calls for the repeal of RFRA (Religious Freedom and Restoration Act).
The Attorney General should confer with the Department Office of Legal Counsel to issue a memo relating to the Establishment Clause in public schools, “including students’ protection from school-sponsored proselytizing and teaching accurate, evidence-based, secular curriculum rather than creationism in the schools.”
And, of course, it calls for the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to deradicalization programs aimed at hate groups — like the white Christian nationalists.
“Shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremists as terrorists,” it says.
Some other helpful suggestions from the group include:
*Avoiding phrases like “God and country” and any implication that service members as a whole are guided by faith.
*Ensure that humanist and nontheist chaplains serve in each branch of the military.
*Recognize that nonreligious Americans celebrate their own holidays. Many also celebrate Christmas because “by nature of being a federal holiday, (Christmas) is a secular holiday Americans of all faiths and none can take part in.”
*Quit using “In God We Trust” because it is a “relic of McCarthyism and the anti-atheist hysteria of the 1950s.”
If you are curious which Congressional members belong to the “Freethought Caucus,” here is a list:
Rep. Jared Huffman (Co-Chair and Founding Member)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (Co-Chair and Founding Member)
Rep. Dan Kildee (Founding Member)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (Founding Member)
Rep. Don Beyer
Rep. Sean Casten
Rep. Steve Cohen
Rep. Pramila Jayapal
Rep. Hank Johnson
Rep. Zoe Lofgren
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Rep. Mark Pocan
Rep. Rashida Tlaib
Rep. Susan Wild