What Do You Miss (and Not Miss) About Religion?

Secular AZ Board member and activist Sami Al-Asady was recently featured in Secular Symphony, a series in which secular voices spark discussion around intriguing questions. 

This week’s question: What do you miss – and not – about religion?

“I do not wish to suggest that living a life without faith is unchallenging—of course it is. I would be dishonest if I wondered, despite my atheism, how I would find absolute meaning in religion out of simplicity and convenience. If nature is indifferent to humanity’s suffering, then life would be meaningless, yet I created my own meaning by liberating myself from the allegorical cave and leading a life of reason.”

Read  Sami’s entire essay here 

The Startling Truth About Religious Refusals: What Your Healthcare Providers Aren’t Telling You

The intersection of law, medicine and so-called “morality” in the U.S. healthcare system poses a serious threat to patients’ access to healthcare and information. That’s the overarching message sent by a panel of experts in medicine and law we convened in December of 2021. As part of our annual Secular Summit event, Secular AZ organized a discussion on refusals of service based on religious beliefs, featuring the following experts and moderated by Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne Post:

  • Atsuko Koyama, MD, MPH, Clinical Asst Professor University of AZ, COM, Creighton University; Dpt of Child Health and Emergency Medicine, Valleywise Health Medical Center
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix

You can see the full video here. Let’s summarize what these experts working in the fields of medicine and law have to say about how refusals of service based on religious beliefs affect patients.

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Secular Day at the Capitol: March 14, 2022 (Pi Day)

 

Eight years ago, we were told that legislative leadership and members thought that our advocacy group for people who believe in separation of church and state was “just a few people sitting in a room” and not to be taken seriously. We decided it was time to organize “Secular Day at the Capitol” to show that support for secular government is more than just a few people sitting in a room, it’s a movement!

Save Your Spot: Reserve Tickets Today

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Help Guard a Secular Holiday Display at the State Capitol!

Our friends at Freedom from Religion Foundation have a long history of helping local secular groups counter Christian displays on government properties. Last year, a nativity banner was displayed on the AZ Capitol lawn. This year, FFRF’s local chapter wants to respond! Their plan is to display a banner like the one above for four days: December 21st-24th. Secular AZ is lending its support as a partner in the project. Continue reading

Hear from Experts at the Dec. 11th 2021 Secular Summit!

 Do you support secular public policy in Arizona? Meet Arizonans that share your beliefs and be part of the discussion how Secular AZ will fight for them in 2022!

The event will feature a keynote address from US Rep. Jamie Raskin: chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, co-chair/co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, and lead impeachment manager for the second impeachment of President Donald Trump!

Secular AZ leadership will report on how we’ve been fighting for your rights this year; recognize outstanding secular activists and leaders; and discuss what we can look forward to in 2022.

We’ll also hear from sitting school board member Lindsay Love on the subject of Christian nationalism at schools, and a panel of experts that will discuss medical refusals, including:

  • Lindsay Love: Governing Board Member for Chandler Unified School District
  • Dr. Deshawn Taylor: OB/GYN, professor, reproductive rights advocate, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix
  • Dr. Atsuko Koyama: abortion provider and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health
  • Professor Elizabeth Sepper: nationally-recognized scholar of religious liberty and health law

This event is usually members-only, but is being opened up to the general public this year! (That said, we encourage you to join Secular AZ at secularaz.org). We also deeply appreciate donations to help pay for speaker fees and ongoing organizational costs. Be recognized as an event sponsor by kicking in $100 or more!

 

Hatred, Bigotry, Anti-Science and Conspiracy Theories Do Not Belong at School Board Meetings

At the October 27, 2021 Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) Governing Board meeting, several speakers gave public comments regarding mask wearing in schools. While this topic wasn’t up for vote or discussion on the agenda, such comments from community members have become a regular occurrence in CUSD, and the angry, anti-science, antisemitic rhetoric coming from these individuals has increased since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Continue reading