The State Department on Monday was accused of blatantly violating the constitutional principle of separation of religion and government by plastering the homepage of its website with an October 11 speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo touting his Christian faith.
“He cannot use his government position to impose his faith on the rest of us—that is a fundamental violation of the separation of religion and government.”
—Rachel Laser, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
Pompeo delivered his “Being a Christian Leader” address to a gathering of the American Association of Christian Counselors last Friday in Nashville, Tennessee. The Secretary of State’s trip to Nashville was funded by U.S. taxpayers.
Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said Pompeo’s speech and the State Department’s promotion of it were both clear violations of the Constitution.
“It’s perfectly fine for Secretary Pompeo to be a leader who is Christian,” Laser said in a statement. “But he cannot use his government position to impose his faith on the rest of us—that is a fundamental violation of the separation of religion and government.”
“Secretary Pompeo’s speech on how being a Christian leader informs his decision-making and the posting of the speech on the State Department website send the clear message that U.S. public policy will be guided by his personal religious beliefs,” said Laser. “This is yet another example of Trump administration officials catering to the president’s base of Christian nationalist supporters.”
After hours of criticism, the State Department on Monday afternoon changed the frontpage headline of Pompeo’s speech to “Secretary Pompeo at the America Association of Christian Counselors.” The speech was moved off the homepage entirely Monday night.
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