- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is erecting a billboard that features a Ronald Reagan quote stressing the importance of separation of church and state ahead of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next month.

“We establish no religion in this country … Church and state are, and must remain, separate,” the billboard will read, Raw Story reported.

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

“Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism,” the late conservative said. “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.”

The billboard is going up this week in Cleveland on Interstate Highway 71 north of 480 and will remain up for a month, the foundation said in a press release.



“The RNC needs to be reminded that our nation is predicated on a godless and entirely secular Constitution,” foundation Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement. “The fate of our Establishment Clause hangs in the balance of the election. We’re not voting for the next president — we’re voting for the next Supreme Court justice.”

Marni Huebner-Tiborsky, the director of the Northern Ohio Freethought Society, a chapter of FFRF, agreed.

“This billboard couldn’t be any more timely, and is definitely needed to remind our political leaders and the public that political campaigns should stick to a secular platform, where real change can happen,” she said.

In 2012, Reagan’s 58-year-old son, Ron, was named to the FFRF’s Honorary Board of Distinguished Thinkers. In an ad he taped for the foundation, Mr. Reagan described himself as a “lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

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