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June 10, 2004

Republicans Proclaim America a “Christian Nation”

Listed in: Separation of Church and State, NJDC News, Press Releases

Washington, DC: The Austin American-Statesman reports that at the recent Texas Republican Convention, "religion and politics commingle with comfort, purpose and zeal. Delegates on Friday [June 4th] approved a platform that refers to 'the myth of the separation of church and state.'" The article notes that the Texas GOP platform "offers tangible evidence of how religion -- a specific brand of religion -- guides Texas' party in power. A plank in a section titled 'Promoting Individual Freedom and Personal Safety' proclaims the United States a 'Christian nation.'" The news account closes: "At a 7 a.m. Friday prayer rally, thousands of delegates turned the convention floor into a house of prayer. As delegates prayed and sang, oversized religious images, including Jesus on the cross, were displayed on the hall's giant video screens. Christian clergymen took turns leading the prayers, some with political overtones."

"The Jewish community could not find a better indicator of the radical differences between the two parties than by looking closely at the Texas Republican convention," said National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Ira N. Forman. "At the very least, the religiously exclusivist nature of this convention helps one understand why George Bush has initiated such an unprecedented array of faith-based policies and executive orders -- measures that continually erode the separation of church and state that guarantees religious liberty for every American. The tenor of such a convention makes it clear even to Texas conservatives of other faiths that they are not welcome in the Texas GOP. President Bush and his fellow Texas Republicans simply cannot understand that ours is not a Christian nation -- it is a nation for all Americans, of varying types and degrees of faith. This convention is yet another indicator that the GOP and its Christian conservative base just don't get it," Forman added