(RNS) — The Secular Coalition for America, a nonpartisan group that advocates for the separation of faith and authorities, has issued a letter in response to derogatory remarks about atheists made by aged President Donald Trump final month on the Faith and Freedom Coalition gala in Washington.
Trump, the keynote speaker of the three-day Street to Majority convention, declared, “Together, we’re warriors in a righteous campaign to end the arsonists, the atheists, globalists and the Marxists,” stirring up the estimated crowd of 2,000 conservative evangelical leaders. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and aged Vice President Mike Pence also attended the convention’s 14th annual gathering.
Of their letter, the 21 groups that develop the Secular Coalition for America denied having any links with Marxism or promoting globalism. In addition they reasserted the coalition’s commitment to fighting hatred focusing on religious minorities worldwide and called for added admire and tolerance relating to atheist citizens.
“Lawful because we don’t accelerate to church, doesn’t mean we are unpatriotic,” read the assertion.
The attack didn’t shock Steven Emmert, the coalition’s executive director, nonetheless the affiliations the aged president suggested are what struck him.
“He has aged nonreligious of us as a punching procure, as he has with many totally different groups for quite lots of years. This staunch appeared recognize an distinctive series of of us to accelerate after. I mean, we are opposed to arsons as smartly,” Emmert said.
Trump has long loved the enhance of conservative evangelical voters. In 2020, he received 76% of the white evangelical vote, 59% of whom said his administration had served evangelicals’ ardour, in response to a 2020 Pew Research Center ballot.
The look on the gala, his eighth, signaled Trump’s eagerness to rep over evangelical leaders again as he faces a crowded traipse for the 2024 Republican Rep together presidential nomination. In his 90-minute speech, the aged president reminded his target audience of all his efforts to relieve the religious honest, particularly his realization of a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Trump’s declaration goes alongside a rising disdain Republican politicians maintain proven towards nonreligious of us all the scheme through the last years, said Emmert. A longtime point out for the separation of church and verbalize, he eminent that the coalition labored extra with out complications with Republicans in Congress 25 years ago than lately. But overlooking atheists as an citizens is a political mistake, Emmert said, as 17% of atheists take be aware of themselves fair voters.
“Nonreligious of us made up almost 30% of the population. We’re now not exactly some fringe neighborhood,” he said.
Emmert said the atheist-Marxist affiliation is a typical trope dating reduction to the Fifties, noting Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s 1950 Wheeling, West Virginia, speech, by which he called for an “all-out battle between communistic atheism and Christianity.”
“I mean, I’ve that’s continually been (Trump’s) goal, to raise us reduction to the Fifties, on lots of phases,” said the director, who hopes conservative leaders will became extra responsive to their nonreligious constituents.
The Washington-based fully fully group comprises groups equivalent to the Ex-Muslims of North America, the American Humanist Affiliation and the Society for Humanistic Judaism. It counts over 100,000 people.