Humanists Commend Congressional Pressure on AG Sessions and Religious Liberty Task Force

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Humanists Pressure AG Sessions on Religious Liberty Task Force

For Immediate Release


Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088,

Matthew Bulger, (202) 238-9088,

(Washington D.C., September 20, 2018) – The American Humanist Association commended members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus for their recent letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, addressing serious concerns about the Religious Liberty Task Force.

Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Jerry McNerney (D-CA), co-founders of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, are signees on the September 19, 2018 letter. They are joined by 5 additional members of Congress. The letter explains that “government entanglement with religion can be a great threat to individual rights, often leading to religious oppression and tyranny.” It continues, “The principle of separation between religion and government is grounded in the understanding that freedom of belief is an essential component of religious liberty.” It also lays out 12 questions aimed at learning the goals of the Religious Liberty Task Force.

American Humanist Association leaders were disturbed by the creation of the Religious Liberty Task Force in late July 2018 because of its potential to enable religious bigotry. A follow up to the May 2017 Executive Order on religious freedom and October 2017 Justice Department guidance on that order, the Task Force is of serious concern to church-state separation advocates.

“It is frustrating to see Jeff Sessions attempt to use the Department of Justice to create and enforce special rights for the Religious Right,” states Roy Speckhardt, AHA executive director. “I am hopeful that answers to the recently submitted questions will clarify the intent of the Religious Liberty Task Force and address our concerns that the Task Force is purely a continuation of the Trump administration’s attacks on our freedoms of and from religion.”

The September 19, 2018 letter can be viewed here.


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

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