Today, Secular Coalition for Arizona sent a letter to Coolidge Mayor Jon Thompson, and copied all members of the Coolidge City Council, in response to the Council's unanimous decision to allow invocations before City Council Meetings.
Secular Coalition for Arizona’s (Secular AZ) newest board of directors has been elected and seated and new staff members are in place. Over the next few weeks we’ll introduce them to you in a series of posts. Each of these individuals has expressed a strong interest in the work of Secular AZ and have a multitude of talents they bring to the service of our organization. All value secular public policy and celebrate secularism as the best way to promote equal rights and freedoms for all Arizonans. Jim Lippard, Treasurer
Jim Lippard has been elected to serve as the new treasurer of Secular AZ. Prior to his election to the board he served for five years as the board’s liaison-at-large. He is a Phoenix based information security professional who has worked for five Fortune 500 companies across the telecommunications, financial services, and healthcare industries. Jim also has a long history working for nonprofit organizations dedicated to reason, skepticism and church/state separation.
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.
Emphasizing the importance of secular government down to the regional and local level is a primary function at the Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ). To achieve that goal, we spend time in Arizona communities throughout the state educating citizens on the pertinence of church and state separation principles, and how they affect everyone, religious or not.
We are highlighting each of our supporting groups in our "On the Road with Secular AZ" series of articles here at www.secularaz.org for our members to follow along.
There are complicated moral and ethical questions involved in women’s health issues and access to health care for theists and nontheists alike. However, setting public policy and making laws based on extreme sectarian religious beliefs and manufactured controversies is dangerous and reckless.
In the landmark case Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions, including her decision to have an abortion.
Personal interaction with our liaised organizations and supporters is a priority. Each year when the Arizona legislative session closes, we hit the road to update them regarding the highlights of the most recent session. We discuss how we work within the legislature and engage the public to fight challenges and seize opportunities to protect and strengthen secular public policy in Arizona.
We’re updating our wider audience of website visitors with a recap of each meeting. Your comments or questions are always welcomed.
Sedona Verde/Valley Freethinkers Briefed on 2015 Arizona Legislative Session
A high priority at Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) is to inform citizens and groups across our state regarding the work we do at the Capitol on their behalf to protect and fortify a secular government.
The 2015 Legislative Wrap-Up and Scorecard are here! The wrap-up is a brief summary of Secular Coalition for Arizona actions and bills of interest during the legislative session, and the scorecard is a compilation of how your Arizona legislators voted on issues important to our secular community.
Good afternoon, Madame Chair and members of the Committee,
For the record my name is Tory Anderson, and I am here speaking on behalf of the Secular Coalition for Arizona. For those of you not familiar with our organization, we represent a statewide constituency base of theists and nontheists who value the separation of church and state.
I am here today, on behalf of my constituency, in opposition to SB 1318, and to ask you to vote “NO” on this bill.