George F. Stowe III / tejano tribune
Terry Sunday, board member of Join Us For Justice and retired engineer, engages speaker Rob Boston via live video stream, thanks to EPCC's technical team.
George F. Stowe III
On Sept. 12, the EPCC Administrative Service Center hosted a streamed dialogue between Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU)’s El Paso chapter, Join Us for Justice (JUFJ), and those in attendance to discuss the First Amendment.
Originally, Stephen Baines was supposed to give the presentation, but due to sickness he could not attend. Rob Boston, director of communication of AU, replaced Baines with the help of an online stream from the headquarters of the organization in the state Washington D.C.
“We had a problem yesterday morning to where the initial speaker Rev. Stephen Baines could not make it because he came down with the flu,” said Jeryl Marcus, co-founder and board of directors member of JUSJ.
“Thankfully, Rob Boston stepped in and did an amazing job in his absence.”
The goal of the presentation was to talk about the separation of church of and state.
“I think every time JUFJ puts on an event and is able to present an opportunity to educate people on what the constitution really does say, even if we only reach one person, then we have succeeded in our mission,” said David Marcus, co-founder and board president of JUFJ.
“The biggest challenge to America today is the lie that the Constitution was divinely inspired or in any other way allows religion to have a free hand in government.
“If we don’t preserve that wall of separation, then everybody’s freedom of religion is at stake.”
David Marcus discussed that the government should not be spending tax money to educate about any religion.
“Faith based teaching and programs are fine as long as they are paid for by the faith doing the teaching,” Marcus said.
“When you start using my tax dollars to teach Christian bible philosophy, then you are going against my faith because you’re making me pay to teach a religious faith that I don’t believe in, which directly affects my ability to freely practice my faith, since my money is being used to teach someone else’s religion.”
In about two years, the local chapter has seen an increase in members.
“We started JUFJ in Aug. of 2012 with three people and now we have a membership list exceeding 250 and a solid board of directors,” Marcus said.
“As far as how this has impacted El Paso, I only hope that if we educate people about the truth about the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, then we can begin to counter some of the religious rights misinformation that they continue to put out there.”
For more information about Americans United for Separation of Church and State and Join Us for Justice, go to their website www.joinusforjustice.org.