Americans United Sues Arizona Charter Schools

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has filed a lawsuit against Heritage Academy, a charter school in the Phoenix area. According to the suit, the lawsuit is a result of the school's "violation of the First Amendment by providing religious education to its students." The suit specifically names Earl Taylor Jr., who is the founder and principal of the school, which has campuses in Queen Creek, Laveen, and Mesa. Mr. Taylor is accused of teaching religious and religiously based principles in the mandatory American Government class, which he instructs.

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An important and growing group: The Religiously unaffiliated

Read more or click here to see the original post written by PRRI about their latest national survey, which highlights an important and growing group: The religiously unaffiliated.  This is why secular activism and political involvement is so important at all levels of government: local, state, and national.

Original post from PRRI, below:

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2016 Candidate Questionnaire Released

Today, Secular Coalition for Arizona sent a request to all candidates running for the State House and State Senate to complete our 2016 Candidate Questionnaire.  We will post responses exactly as received on our website.  Responses are requested by October 3, 2016.  We will only accept submissions from official candidate email addresses as listed on the Arizona Secretary of State's website.  Encourage your legislative candidates to submit their answers.

 

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Americans United vs Heritage Charter Schools

Americans United intends to file suit against an Arizona public charter school that has been providing religious instruction to its students in a mandatory American Government course. The course material claims that "America and its Constitution were established by the hand of God," and that the U.S. will prosper only when its leaders obey and implement God's law as described in the Bible.

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Prayer in Government Meetings

 
At the Arizona Capitol
Secular AZ holds that a government meeting is not an appropriate forum for prayer. However, the right to public prayer at government meetings has been upheld in 2014 by the Supreme Court of the United States. This ruling did specify that prayers and invocations offered should be inclusive of all religious and philosophical views represented by the population governed.

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The 2016 Legislative Wrap Up is here!

The second session of the 52nd Arizona Legislature saw several important victories in the quest to strengthen secular government, but also emphasized that obstacles remain before this ideal. Secular Coalition for Arizona stimulated some key victories at the legislature this year as we fought for inclusive policies that treat all citizens fairly and equally, protect public tax dollars from funding religious education and promote science-based med

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Sine Die Celebrations!

Secular AZ is celebrating the end of the 2nd session of the 52nd Regular Legislature with Happy Hour awards ceremonies in both Tempe and Tucson.  We'll be raising funds to continue our important work, recognizing lawmakers who went above and beyond just voting to support secular public policy and celebrating our victories in fortifying the wall separating church and state.  

Here are a few highlights of our accomplishments:

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DES Director uses state email system to proselytize to 7,700 state workers

“Director Jeffries has long been known for his ‘quirky’ style of leadership, which includes frequent mention of his religious views in DES all-employee meetings and on video presentations,” said Zenaido Quintana, chair of Secular Coalition for Arizona. “This latest all-employee email, which was sent to us by a DES employee disturbed by its contents, is particularly egregious and could have had him fired from many companies - organizations where policies are in place to prevent work email from being used to proselytize religion.    
 

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Full Text of Mendez Invocation 3-3-16

Today, Rep. Juan Mendez gave a secular invocation on the House Floor.  He was immediately attacked for not praying to a "higher power" by fellow lawmakers.  Please send him a thank you note by clicking here.  Read the text of his invocation here:

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Secular Coalition for Arizona speaks up for Science in Committee

Secular Coalition for Arizona was the only group speaking up in committee Wednesday against SB1474: human fetus; embryo; prohibited actions; a bill motivated by the now-discredited infamous "Planned Parenthood" videos released last summer.

Our take: Government policy on the use of fetal tissue should be based on scientific and medical research.

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