On January 23, 2014, the Delaware Valley Americans United Chapter (DVAU) hosted a conversation about church-state separation and the threat to religious freedom posed by separation opponents in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Our guest speaker was Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia). Mark Cohen represents the 202nd Legislative District in Philadelphia County and is the Democratic Chairman of the State Government Committee. Representative Cohen is in the unique position of being the most senior member of the PA House of Representatives.
Over the last few years there has been a worrisome shift in the makeup of Pennsylvania elected officials. A rash of bills have been introduced that can only be described as strongly Religious Right including the Year of the Bible, Month of Prayer, In God we Trust, and the Student Religious Liberties Act. Of most concern to me is the proposed Academic Freedom bill which is nothing more than another back door attempt at sneaking creationism into our public schools.
During DVAU’s recent visit to Harrisburg, one representative told Ed Joyce that she was “being bold for Jesus” in her fight to get a religious perspective introduced into our public school science classes. Another told Ed “it was because of groups like Americans United that our country had abortion and promiscuously dressed women.” Another representative shouts the words “Under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each legislative session. Divisive comments and actions like these from elected officials should concern all Pennsylvania residents.
The audio is low, so turn up the volume and enjoy these videos of Mark Cohen’s talk to DVAU!