Separation of Church & State

Our core principles of inclusion, equality, and tolerance cannot exist under a non-secular Government.

 

I was raised Catholic, and the values I was taught in Catholic school are the basis of all the values that I live by today – feeding/clothing the poor, housing the homeless, sheltering the refugee. Very Democratic values as well. But the church has no place in legislation. Laws should be made to serve and protect our citizens, not to allow discrimination under the guise of “religious freedom”.  Abortion is a huge wedge that divides our country, mostly stemming from miseducation around actual facts, and the inability to have a civil, philosophical discussion that should begin with “when does life begin”? Many of the anti-choice crowd have been fed misinformation with doctored fake videos, making them believe that late term and partial birth abortions are the norm. The reality is, partial birth abortions have been illegal since 2003. And “late-term abortions” (anything after 20 weeks) is illegal in most of the US (43 states). Only 1% of abortions take place after 20 weeks, many of which are due to fetal anomaly or a threat to life of mother. And no federal funding is allowed per the Hyde Amendment for tax dollars to pay for abortions through Planned Parenthood. Tax dollars can only go to women’s reproductive and health care, excluding abortions.

It is time we have an open conversation about abortion, and stop letting good people on both sides of the issue be at war with one another. As a Catholic, I am morally opposed to abortion myself, but I strongly believe that the government should not be the final arbiter in a heart-wrenching decision that will affect that woman, whether she is Catholic, non-Christian or athiest, for the rest of her life.

“Separation of Church & State” is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson to express the intent of the First Amendment of the Constitution – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”…. and now we have an administration who seems intent on making extreme-right Christianity the driving force behind our country’s laws and policies. When Church & State become intertwined, people’s civil rights are at risk - the right of women to have access to reproductive care, the right of the LGBT community to have the same right to marry as straight people. Imposing Christian morality on non-Christians and athiests in the form of discrimination is un-American.

This is what I will do when I am your Congresswoman:   

  • Don’t let the “other side” own God or the flag. I am tired of Democrats being painted as unpatriotic or unChristian, as if the other side is the only one with God & country on their side. Democrats are the ones fighting for the poor, the sick, the elderly, the ones fighting for freedom of the press, for freedom of a woman to have control over when and if she will become a mother.
  • I will push for federal policies that place women’s health, including maternal and reproductive health as a top legislative and fiscal priority.  
  • Fight for the Marriage Equality Act, Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and any bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBT people.
  • Advance policies that ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying to reduce suicides among LGBT youth.
  • Strongly oppose legislation that calls something “religious liberty” but is actually the liberty to discriminate at the expense of another’s rights.

 

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