SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

5 Awesome Ways to Survive on Ramen

College Guide 2013: Nearly every college student has lived off of ramen noodles at one point or another. What a lot of them didn’t know was that the classic just-add-water... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

The QueQue

Q&A with Eric Lane, president of the San Antonio Chapter for Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Photo: , License: N/A

When Americans United was founded in 1947, some in power were pushing to fund certain private religious institutions with public tax dollars. In a patriotic response, many AU chapters opened quickly across the country. It wasn't until 2006, however, that a group of five formed what would become a San Antonio chapter with local photographer Eric Lane serving as president. Lane — a former soccer star and world traveler who likes a good fight — has tangled with expressions of apparent religious favoritism at both Medina Valley High School (where an agnostic student successfully sued the district for supporting government-sponsored prayer) and Texas A&M at San Antonio (where the school was forced to take down crosses on its tower). But it's not anti-religion that motivates Lane or the AU. “The First Amendment doesn't simply defend individuals, it defends houses of worship, as well, from unnecessary intrusion and interference by government,” Lane said this week. “A lot of us feel this is one of the most fundamental issues facing our country. The Founders were not naive when they put that as the first of the First Amendment. Without separation of church and state you can't have any of the others.”

Lane spoke to the Current about his involvement with AU and the free 2nd annual First Amendment Day Celebration being held from 12:30-4:30 p.m. at the TriPoint Center (3233 N St. Mary's) Saturday, April 28.

What happened in your life that makes defending the First Amendment so vital?
What has happened to this country that a small but very vocal minority of religious right groups believe they can force their very narrow beliefs on the rest of us? It goes against everything the Founders stood for and bequeathed us with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. So the real question is, why isn’t every American standing up in defense of the First Amendment and especially the separation of church and state?

Do you think this city understands the First Amendment in ways that NYC or your hometown (San Francisco, Calif.) does?
I don’t think so. I can’t speak for NYC but certainly in Northern California keeping church and state separate is in our DNA. I think part of the problem here is that people believe that standing up for separation of church and state is somehow opposing Christianity or God or supporting atheism.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The Founders were brilliant men. For the first time in history, they created a government where true freedom of conscience was protected. You have the right to believe or not believe as your conscience dictates, not what government dictates. At Americans United we come together, people of deep faith and no faith, to defend each other’s right to believe or not believe as each one sees fit. 

You are a photographer and a man of many trades, why do you care so much about the First Amendment?
You know, Barbara, I don’t think I would be a photographer or a “man of many trades” as you call me if the First Amendment did not exist. It is the First Amendment that gives me the greatest freedoms in human history. We all need to stand up and not only defend the First Amendment but celebrate its freedoms as well. 

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus