lmost 250 years ago a group of dreamers came together and sketched out a revolutionary vision. No longer would they be shackled to the whims of a distant government, nor bound to the religion of an idiosyncratic king. They set out to forge their own futures, determine their own destinies, and follow their own faith. In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference.

Over the past generation, however, this separation has been quietly eroded. Legislators openly use their personal religious beliefs as a pretext to limit access to reproductive services, to target the LGBT community for discrimination, and even as justification for their inhumane positions on healthcare and other social safety nets. The very essence of the American dream, that all men are created equal, is being sacrificed on the altar of politics; as each legislator bends that dream to fit his or her own religious narrative.

As our ancestors fled from persecution, they dreamt of a nation free from a state religion, recognizing that would be the only nation in which all religions would flourish. We must wonder then, as politicians invoke their God while making decisions in the halls of government if the Founding Fathers would recognize our nation today?

We must be free to forge our own futures, to determine our own destinies, and to follow our own faith, including no faith at all. The Constitution enshrines these freedoms as the highest law of the land, and we cannot stand idly by as those claiming to love the Constitution dismantle them.

We must stand together, no matter our background, to affirm that all men and women are created equal and experience the same freedoms.

We must stand together to ensure that our elected leaders, who are free to practice their faith in their own lives, never use their positions to trample on ours.