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Press Release: "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" Rallies Are Religious Oppression

American Atheists, an atheist civil rights group dedicated to atheists’ civil rights and the separation of religion and government, announced today that the “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies to occur nationwide on June 8 are a misnomer and blatantly ignore the intent of the First Amendment. The coordinators and coalition of groups supporting the rallies are equally supporting theocracy and religious oppression: the opposite of what they are claiming to support.

Blair Scott, Communications Director, stated, “Religious freedom is guaranteed to the individual: not a collection of individuals or an organization. A church does not have religious freedom: the individual congregants do. A collection of religious persons do not have religious freedom: the individuals in that collection do. You cannot amass your individual freedoms to trump the freedoms of others.”

The rallies are being put together by a coalition of well-known groups who continually pursue ways to violate the separation of church and state, including the main coordinating group, the Pro-Life Action League.

Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists, said, “This demonstration is a protest against religious equality. The protestors are demanding equal rights to support their church’s position, essentially subjugating America’s secular law under their religious dogma. How can we have equality if the government changes its laws to suit one religion?”

Religious freedom applied to this situation means that women and their partners can decide whether to use birth control pills or any other legal contraceptive they and their doctors see fit. It does not mean that a religious-based business can deny these options.

AJ Johnson, Development Director, observed, “The rallies are not only a misnomer, but an insult to the secular principles embedded in our Constitution. These groups are not promoting freedom; they are using specific religious beliefs to restrict women’s rights and access to healthcare. This is an attempt to enforce religious oppression by these groups and should not affect our public policy.”

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a non-profit 501(c)3 national organization that defends civil rights of Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church-mosque-temple and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists



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