(Sept. 12, 2012) Phoenix, Ariz.—The Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) today called on Governor Brewer to cancel her scheduled speaking appearance at the Family Research Council’s 2012 Values Voter Summit this coming weekend in Washington, DC. In a letter to Governor Brewer, SC Arizona argued that the Values Voter Summit focuses on legislating the values of a particular religious worldview rather than values shared by all. SC Arizona asked that instead of attending the Summit, the Governor “stand in solidarity with the majority of Arizonans who do not belong to a faith tradition that is represented by the Family Research Council.”
“The Family Research Council’s agenda is to use the authority of government to enforce the sectarian morals of a narrow interpretation of Evangelical Christianity on all Americans,” said Seráh Blain, Secular Coalition for Arizona’s Executive Director. “According to the Pew Religious Landscape Survey, Evangelical Christians make up something like 20% of adult Arizonans. To endorse the FRC’s agenda is to endorse imposing the religious beliefs of 20% of people in our state on the other 80% of us through public policy. The Governor really ought to be advocating for all Arizonans, not just those who share her faith.”
The Family Research Council has been criticized by secularists for its efforts to dismantle the wall of separation between church and state as well as by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center for FRC’s persistent and harmful campaign of misinformation against gay and lesbian people.
“For the Governor to publicly support an organization that marginalizes so many of her constituents is really disappointing, to say the least,” said Blain. “At a time in history when LGBT people, and youth in particular, are facing so much abuse from religious fundamentalists, we are really hoping the Governor will take a stand against the FRC, which is basically an anti-gay propaganda machine. Using religion to spread lies and deny basic rights should be something all Americans oppose.”
The Governor has not yet responded to Secular Coalition for Arizona’s request. The text of Secular Coalition for Arizona’s letter to Governor Brewer is below:
Dear Governor Brewer,
On behalf of your nontheistic and secular constituents, Secular Coalition for Arizona respectfully requests that you decline the invitation to speak at the Family Research Council’s 2012 Values Voter Summit. While values are certainly an important part of public discourse during an election season, the focus should be on values that promote the common good for all Americans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief, not those that seek to establish the sectarian morality of one particular religious perspective.
The Family Research Council attempts to use the authority of government to make all of society conform to its narrow interpretation of the Judeo-Christian worldview, thus marginalizing the millions of Americans who identify with other faiths or no faith. We ask you not to attend the Values Voter Summit, but instead to stand in solidarity with the majority of Arizonans who do not belong to a faith tradition that is represented by the Family Research Council.
Secular Coalition for Arizona