Arizona's Voice for Secular Government

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SC Arizona Engages Legislators on New Bills, Constitutional Oath

It has been an incredibly exciting week at the Arizona State Capitol! With the glamorous ceremony of last week’s Opening Day at the legislature fading into the background, Secular Coalition for Arizona is getting to the nitty gritty work of sifting through all of the new bills as they are introduced, meeting with legislators on both sides of the aisle, collaborating with other policy groups, and advocating reason and compassion in our political process. Several of the bills that have been introduced already have piqued our concern—and we have been contacting bill sponsors and working on solutions accordingly. One such piece of legislation has already drawn quite a bit of media attention, and secularists from around the country have been reaching out to SC Arizona to make sure we know about it—and indeed, we do!

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Arizona's Fifty First Legislature is Now in Session!

After a wonderful legislative off-season in which Secular Coalition for Arizona was able to tour the state, connect with many of our communities, talk to our constituents, and engage the public both through media and our Secular Voters town hall meetings, the legislature is back in session—and SC Arizona is there, representing nontheistic Arizonans at the State Capitol fulltime for our second year.

The Fifty First Legislature – First Regular Session opened last Monday, January 14 with the swearing in of 30 Senate members and 60 members of the House of Representatives, along with Governor Brewer’s State of the State speech. Capitol events included a rally of hundreds of individuals and dozens of organizations focused around ending the theocratic encroachment into women’s reproductive rights—and our Executive Director, Seráh Blain, was among the speakers, calling for legislators to stop the dangerous descularization of our state government.

The first week back at the legislature, and Opening Day in particular, made evident how far we have come as an organization and as a movement. Last year, everything was new. We had no relationships with legislators, few connections with allied organizations, and SC Arizona was simply unrecognized beyond our own community. This year, we were invited to speak at a very visible, important, and well-attended rally; we were asked by legislators and other organizations to participate in policy discussions; dozens of people came up to our Executive Director to thank us for our work and to ask how to participate. Phone calls come in daily with new supporters, both from the State Capitol and beyond. Nontheists have a real place at the table in legislative discussions this year.

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Secular Coalition for Arizona Calls on Governor Brewer to End Government Support for Misnamed Religious “Liberty” Day

(January 16, 2013) Phoenix, Ariz.—The Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) this week sent a letter to Governor Brewer expressing consternation over the governor’s continued support for Religious Liberty Day, today, January 16. The letter requests that the Governor withdraw official government backing and promotion for this annual event, now in its third year.

“Calling this Religious Liberty Day is disingenuous,” says Seráh Blain, Executive Director of SC Arizona. “While the Governor’s intention may have been to emphasize the constitutional freedoms of all Arizonans, too many misinterpret the day as an opportunity to justify their own agendas and unsubstantiated claims that somehow Americans of faith are better citizens than nonbelievers. The Governor’s proclamation failed to highlight the importance of secular government in safeguarding religious liberty, or of the value of the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who are not religious.”

“Religious ideology is having a direct influence on legislation in this state, which runs contrary to the constitutional principle of separation of church and state,” says Blain. “From tax exemptions to reproductive health care to educational policy, our laws are being approved or denied according to specific religious doctrine from a small but vocal group of believers. That’s not liberty.”

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Secular Coalition Speaking at the Opening Day Rally at the Capitol

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Announcing Spring 2013 Internship

Secular Coalition for Arizona is pleased to offer a paid part-time internship position for spring 2013. SC Arizona is seeking a highly motivated undergraduate student with a demonstrated interest in being active in the nontheistic movement. The student must live and attend school within the state of Arizona and have reliable transportation for travel to the State Capitol for daily lobbying activities.
 

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Secular Coalition for Arizona's 2012 Legislature Scorecard is Here!

This past legislative season, the theocratic super-majority in the Arizona State Legislature showed no regard for the kind of separation between church and state that is necessary to safeguard from religious oppression the rights of nontheists, women, LGBT people, and other politically vulnerable groups of people. It’s time to put a stop to this religious tyranny in Arizona!

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National Voter Registration Day! Make your Secular Voice heard!

National Voter Registration Day is TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th! Secular Coalition for Arizona is dedicated to making sure Secular Values Voters are heard this election season--and that means making sure Secular Arizonans are registered! In Arizona, voter registration is a fairly easy process and can be done online here: Service Arizona EZ Voter Registration.

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SC Arizona Calls on Governor Brewer to Boycott Values Voter Summit

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Serah Blain Discusses Atheism and Morality on Huffington Post Live

Secular Coalition for Arizona's Seráh Blain recently joined Chris Stedman of the Humanist Community Project, Ron Lindsey of Center for Inquirey, and Cara Santa Maria of Huffington Post, on Huffington Post Live to discuss where ethics come from.

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Focus on the Swing Districts: LD 18

by Karen Cook

The upcoming election will be a crucial one for secularists in Arizona. Fifteen of the 30 legislative districts are highly likely to be won by Republicans with strong ties to the religious lobby organization, Center for Arizona Policy, and only 10 by Democrats, so the 5 remaining swing districts— if won by Democrats— could give our legislature a new and rare status: parity. Having a balance between the parties would have many possible outcomes, the most positive being a decrease in religiously motivated legislation.

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