Official News

Official Secular Coalition for Arizona news.

Secular AZ to Corporation Commission: All or nothing when it comes to prayer

In a January 10, 2017 press release, the Corporation Commission announced that it will start a new practice: starting meetings with a prayer. Contrary to the statements of Chairman Tom Forese, prayer in any form does not encompass all faiths and beliefs. In fact, prayer before government meetings is a divisive act that only serves to set people apart.

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Opening Day Rally & the Anti-Hate Pledge

On Monday, January 9, 2017, Secular Coalition for Arizona stood in unity with over 40 groups at an anti-hate rally for the opening day of the 53rd Arizona State Legislature.  

Watch video of our Government Affairs Director, Tory Roberg, as she represented Secular Coalition for Arizona and our constituency.

Lawmakers were asked to sign the following pledge: 

People’s State of the State Pledge

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AZ State Legislature - A Look Into 2017

The Secular Coalition for Arizona is dismayed about the results of Tuesday night's election.  We're especially concerned about preserving secular public education, equal rights for all, safe and affordable access to women's reproductive health services, and religious freedom for all.

While these are concerns nationally, we are especially concerned regarding the new leadership at the Arizona State Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

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Open Letter to State Elected Officials

November 11, 2016

Dear Arizona State Elected Government Officials:

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) was founded to advocate for separation of church and state as guaranteed by the US and Arizona Constitutions.  We take our role as defenders of freedom, equality, inclusion and knowledge in the state of Arizona very seriously. 

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Does your legislative candidate value secular government?

Arizona early voting ballots arrive in mailboxes across the state over the next few days.  In-person voting is less than 4 weeks away, on November 8.  Many of you have asked us if we know anything about your legislative candidate's stance on secular government. If your candidate is a returning lawmaker, you can find his or her "Secular Score" on our "Secular Scorecard" from 2015 and 2016.

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Americans United for the Separation of Church and State Sues Arizona Charter Schools

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU) has filed a lawsuit against Heritage Academy, a charter school in the Phoenix area with campuses in Queen Creek, Laveen and Mesa. 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 school founder and principal Earl Taylor Jr. Mr. Taylor is accused of teaching religious and religiously based principles in the mandatory American Government class, which he instructs.

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The Religiously Unaffiliated: An Important and Growing Group

Read more or click here to see the original post written by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) about their latest national survey that 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  for Separation of Church and State (AU) intends to file suit against an Arizona public charter school that has been providing religious instruction to 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. While the right to public prayer at government meetings has been upheld in 2014 by the U.S. Supreme Court, this ruling specified that prayers and invocations offered should be inclusive of all religious and philosophical views represented by the population governed.

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