New Thoughts To Protect A Vital Old Principle.

Author:Laser, Rachel K.

Spring has sprung in Washington, D.C., and along with the blooming cherry blossoms, Americans United has some fresh thoughts about how in these modern times we can best achieve our vision--an America where everyone can freely choose a faith and support it voluntarily or follow no religious or spiritual path at all, and where the government does not promote religion over non-religion or favor one faith over another.

AU's Board of Trustees and staff have spent much of the last year thinking about and planning for this future we want to create. We know that the clock is ticking, with the opposition chipping away at our freedom every day --in our private lives, workplaces, schools and health care systems.

We acknowledge that the next generation, whose energy could exponentially raise the profile of our issue and who are critical to the future of religious freedom in America, has not connected the dots between church-state separation and their priority issues like LGBTQ equality and reproductive freedom. The exciting news is that AU, with your help, is ready to address these realities, knowing every moment counts.

You'll hear more over time, but in this column, I'm excited to share some of the highlights of our plans.

While Americans United has known for a long time that we need to shape and ensure the enforcement of public policy concerning church-state separation, now we want to make sure that we are simultaneously igniting a national movement behind our issue to bolster this work.

How can we best achieve our policy goals if we aren't building an effective, powerful voice across the country to advance them? And, given that the president and U.S. senators play a pivotal role in judicial appointments and confirmations, how can we hope for the best outcome in the courts if we don't have the influence to make church-state separation an important issue in every election and nomination?

It's time for AU to focus strategically on our outreach and engagement throughout the country and to ensure that we and our issue are highly visible. We have thoughts about how to accomplish this, and they start with building state networks that offer our supporters a ladder of engagement.

We know, for example, that younger Americans are not keen on joining anyone's chapters, and engaging them digitally is a first critical step. We also recognize that...

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