FFRF cites Reagan in Cleveland message to GOP

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is citing to GOP convention attendees the party’s patron saint on the importance of keeping religion out of government.

FFRF is greeting convention-goers this week with a 14-by-48 message on a Cleveland highway billboard from President Ronald Reagan, possibly the most revered figure in the Republican Party: “We establish no religion in this country . . . Church and state are, and must remain, separate.”

The board went up a few weeks ago (with the help of FFRF’s Northern Ohio chapter) prominently on Highway 71 north of 480 and will remain there till the end of this month.

Reagan made the remarks in a speech on Oct. 26, 1984, to the Temple Hillel leaders in Valley Stream, N.Y. 

The quote, in full, reads:

“We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”

FFRF wishes to thank Loren Miller, a member of the Northern Ohio chapter, for suggesting the Reagan quote.

“Republican Party members need to be educated about how much emphasis an idol of theirs placed on keeping state and church separate,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “They should follow his advice on this issue so that they can reconnect with the roots of the Grand Old Party.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national organization with 24,000 members all over the country, including more than 600 in Ohio. The organization, a nonpartisan nonprofit, will also be taking a message to the Democratic National Convention.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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