Official News

Official Secular Coalition for Arizona news.

Abe Lincoln Could Not Get Elected Today

As a young man Abraham Lincoln rejected religion and questioned the existence of god. He said “The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” Such a statement by a modern day politician would surely draw well-funded attack ads and probably bar him from election. Imagine the loss to our country if the radical religious minority of today were as powerful during Lincoln's times!

Yet agnostics, atheists and those who choose not to affiliate with a religious organization now comprise one fifth of the population. In fact we outnumber evangelicals.

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SC Arizona Names Director of Development and Marketing

Linda Brown has joined the Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) as Director of Development and Marketing. She brings with her a depth of experience in non-profit management and advocacy havingserved most recently as Executive Director for the Arizona Advocacy Network and Foundation where she led a legal effort to overturn voting barriers, spearheaded statewide election protection programs and produced their acclaimed bi-annual guide to Arizona’s ballot measures. She currently serves as Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Community Forum.

Prior to coming to Arizona Linda created award-winning marketing and media literacy campaigns as Director of Educational Marketing and Programming for Discovery Networks in Bethesda, Maryland.

“We are thrilled to have Linda join us,” said Seráh Blain, Executive Director for SC Arizona. “Attracting someone of her caliber and expertise is another signal that Arizona’s nontheist communities are on the rise in both numbers and clout.”

Brown said she was drawn to the organization because of the need for Arizona’s elected officials to hear the perspective of nontheists. “SC Arizona represents some of the most thoughtful, compassionate and pragmatic Arizonans you’ll meet,” Brown said. “With at least one in five Arizonans identifying themselves as atheists, agnostics or religiously unaffiliated, we’re your neighbors, colleagues and familymembers. We have long needed a professional, effective voice at the Capitol and Seráh Blain has been very impressive in that role. I couldn’t be more pleased to be joining her!”

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SC Arizona Hires an Atheist Combat Vet as Spring Legislative Intern

Secular Coalition for Arizona is pleased to announce the newest addition to our team: 2013 Legislative Intern Josiah Nosek. Josiah is an Environmental Science and Research Meteorology student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. He is an engaged community member, committed to educating the public and advocating for responsible governmental decision-making processes--particularly those concerning the environment and social justice issues.

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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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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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