A Democratic political action committee dedicated to representing secular values submitted a 28-page document to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ transition team calling on the incoming administration to “champion America’s original constitutional secularism” and to reverse some of the main religious liberty protections set in place by the Trump administration.
In its “Restoring Constitutional Secularism and Patriotic Pluralism in the White House” document, the Secular Democrats of America (SDA) PAC argues that the United States was founded as a “secularist nation” rather than a nation founded largely on Judeo-Christian values. Therefore, the group suggests the country’s national motto should be “E Pluribus Unum”— meaning “Out of Many, One”—instead of the current motto, “In God We Trust.”
Yet Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, countered by quoting John Adams, the second president of the U.S.
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” wrote Adams to the Massachusetts Militia in 1798. “It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
“ … You decide who you will take as the authority about the founding of the nation,” Mohler challenged, “the Secular Democrats of America or one of the founders of the United States of America.”
Democratic Congressmen Jamie Raskin and Jared Huffman—both co-chairs of the Congressional Freethought Caucus—presented the document, while Rep. Jerry McNerney, who aided Raskin and Huffman in launching the caucus, endorsed the SDA’s agenda.
Much of what is proposed in the “Restoring Constitutional Secularism and Patriotic Pluralism in the White House” document rolls back the pro-life, pro-family and religious freedom protections of the Trump administration. In fact, the preamble of the document plainly states that the SDA’s recommendations will “reverse the damage done by the Trump administration.”
Those recommendations include dismantling the HHS Conscience and Religious Freedom Division; defunding any government aid to private religious schools, crisis pregnancy centers and abstinence-only education programs; and enforcing the Johnson Amendment, which would threaten the tax-exempt status of nonprofit organizations that endorse political candidates.
Mohler warned that while some consider the word secular to be just a convenient buzzword for members of the progressive left, “It’s actually far more radical than many might recognize.”
“[The SDA’s document] is about Constitutional secularism, and secularism is an ideology,” he explained. “It’s not just something that happens. It’s an ideology, it is a worldview. It is a picture of all reality that is based in the fundamental assumption of a secular cosmos.”
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