Banner with large Secular AZ logo being held aloft at a rally for separation of church and state

Secular Studies

Elected officials should not allow religious principles to influence policy; rather, policy decisions should be based on accurate, factual information. Secular Studies provides that information.

Launched in 2015 as a counterpoint to the multiple existing Bible Studies programs at the State Capitol, Secular Studies presents evidence-based approaches to problems so legislators do not automatically default to sectarian, doctrinaire solutions.

We offer all elected officials the opportunity to participate in a weekly presentation followed by open, civic (and civil) discourse.

Presentations are by experts on topics like education, end-of-life choices, immigration, reproductive justice, science, LGTBQ equality, healthcare, law enforcement, and more. Feedback is positive across the board, with lawmakers making comments such as “I love these weekly discussions, because it’s the only chance we get to discuss each other’s perspectives and understand where the other side is coming from.”

Secular AZ Legal Committee

Led by attorney Dianne Post, known for an international law career with a focus on human rights and freedom from violence, our legal team fights for separation of church and state. Together, our attorneys work to ensure that secular values—rather than religious beliefs—inform government actions. Read about our legal team's activities here.

If you have a question or suspect a potential violation of church/state separation, please contact our legal team.

Secular Speaker Series

The Secular Speaker Series offers virtual and in-person presentations by experts in fields such as education, science, medicine, reproductive health, immigration, LGBTQ rights, law enforcement, Constitutional law, death with dignity, civics and more.

Find a list of upcoming presentations  and recordings of past events here.

School Board Action

In recent years, school boards across the county have become battlegrounds, thanks to efforts by the white Christian nationalist movement to pack boards with extremists that push religious ideology, racism, bigotry, and conspiracy theories. Secular AZ is pushing back. We let our supporters know when they can speak out and stand up at meetings in their districts, and we  summarize the misbehavior, incompetence, ignorance, and, unfortunately, hatred espoused by many Christian nationalist board members on Secular AZ’s Substack.

 

Fighting Religious Hate

Each time an AZ “In God We Trust” license plate is sold, the DMV pays $17 to an anti-LGBTQ, anti-reproductive rights organization that’s been identified as a hate group.

Since 2012, the Arizona-based group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has received about $1m from purchases of “In God We Trust” license plates. The ADF supports the criminalization of LGBTQ relationships, claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy society, and links homosexuality to pedophilia. ADF also works to develop so-called "religious liberty" legislation and case law that would allow the denial of goods and services to LGBTQ people on the basis of religion, and advocates for restricted access to reproductive health care.

Taxpayer money should not fund a group that actively seeks to undermine the constitutional demand of separation of church and state and seeks to codify discrimination in the name of “religious freedom.” Arizona should not be fundraising for an extreme organization on a mission to undermine the separation of religion and government.

Secular AZ is taking a stand against state-sanctioned hate. We’ve partnered with American Atheists to erect billboards in Phoenix and Tucson that alert Arizonans to the truth about where their money is going, and launched the licenseplatehate.org website to educate the public. We urge Arizonans to purchase license plate designs that support other important causes, rather than supporting a religiously based hate group.