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 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.
Secular AZ testified in committee about the below bills last week, each of which sought to advance the interests of Christian nationalism. Here’s what each bill did and what happened:
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
Secular AZ attorneys helped shut down an illegal campaign event planned to be held at a public school last week by right wing gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and GOP Senate hopeful Jim Lamon. Continue reading
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
If you’ve been following us, you may already know that it’s common in Arizona for lawmakers to open government meetings with a prayer. Inadvertently or intentionally, many of these invocations have the effect of marginalizing religious minorities and even violating constitutional law. Continue reading