Pittsburgh Freethought Community
Promoting Science, Reason and Humanist Values
in the greater Pittsburgh area.

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Discussion Group 3: Are government and religion too intertwined in the U.S.?

  • Thursday, May 20, 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Virtual

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Despite the founding principle of Separation of Church and State, religion still permeates federal, state, and local governments in the United States.  It is still difficult for any candidate not espousing some religious belief to be elected to public office.  James Madison argued against chaplains in the military and in Congress, however these chaplains are still with us two hundred years later.  Court rulings have allowed government funding for religious schools.  Politicians feel free to flaunt their religion, assuming the public will respect them for it.  Christians are overrepresented in Congress, and Catholics are over-represented on the Supreme Court.   There have been attempts to roll back LBGTQ rights based on religious belief. 

Questions for Discussion

  1.  Is the Religious Right justified in changing the meaning of “religious freedom” and “freedom of conscience” to mean exemption from governmental mandates regarding health insurance coverage (birth control), Covid restrictions on churches, and related matters?
  2. Does it really matter that our government institutions seem to support religion?  Is civil religion acceptable?
  3. Now that more than a quarter of the U.S. population is religiously unaffiliated, what can be done to remedy the imbalance in religious belief between government and the general population?

PFC Monthly discussion groups are open to all - if the topic interests you, you'll be welcome! Discussion is moderated but informal - speak up as much or little as you wish.

This is our 3rd monthly discussion group. As usual, we will post the discussion topics in advance. Please feel free to submit discussion topics to: info@pghfreethought.org

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