Rachel Laser: State Department Declaring Secretary Pompeo a “Christian Leader” Mocks Church-State Separation

Oct. 15, 2019 – Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser issued the following statement in response to the U.S. State Department declaring Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “Christian Leader”:

It’s perfectly fine for Secretary Pompeo to be a leader who is Christian. But he cannot use his government position to impose his faith on the rest of us – that is a fundamental violation of the separation of religion and government. Secretary Pompeo’s speech on how being a Christian leader informs his decision-making and the posting of the speech on the State Department website send the clear message that U.S. public policy will be guided by his personal religious beliefs.

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This is yet another example of Trump administration officials catering to the president’s base of Christian nationalist supporters. Other recent examples include Attorney General Barr’s denouncement of secular Americans on Friday and President Trump’s declaration on Saturday that Americans will ‘forever and always’ believe in ‘the eternal glory of God.’

Church-state separation means that government cannot favor one religion over others, or religion over nonreligion. It means we are governed by our shared secular values, not the privileged religious views of some. Americans United will continue to hold this administration accountable to our country’s promise of religious freedom for all.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom. www.au.org