From Seed to Fruition: The Secular Coalition for Arizona
by Matt Schoenley, Founder, Vice Chair, Secular Coalition for Arizona
Over five years ago I co-founded Secular Coalition for Arizona with two smart and passionate Arizona residents, Zenaido Quintana and Serah Blain. We all had exhibited the dual express purpose to provide a voice for Arizona's nontheistic community, as well as a desire to advocate for the separation of church and state. Our main goal was to champion secular public policy to Arizona's state government.
The need was clear as the religious right, and specifically the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), had free reign at the Arizona Capitol, untethered by public outcry. Religion, and a particularly extreme form of Christianity at that, was being enacted into secular civil law with little pushback or public attention. Citizens, who had no interest in living by Biblical and religious dogmas, including most Christians, were unknowingly being coerced to comply with a fundamentalist ideology incongruent with the way they lived their lives.