New “Essential” Religious Services Bill Threatens Public Health Beyond COVID-19

On Wednesday Feb 2nd, the State House of Representatives will begin hearing HB2507  which states that “during a state of emergency, religious services are declared essential services and are deemed necessary and vital to the health and welfare of the public,” and that religious organizations can continue to operate to the same or greater extent than any other organizations or businesses providing essential services are allowed to operate. The state government may require religious organizations to comply with neutral health, safety, and occupancy regulations that apply to all providers of essential services. Continue reading

We Are Not in Revolutionary America: Take Down the Damn Pine Tree Flag

During the first week of the legislative session, Secular AZ learned that a Christian nationalist Appeal to Heaven flag is being hanged in a public area of the State House building. The Pine Tree Flag dates back to the American Revolution. Colonists disobeyed orders disallowing the cultivation of pine trees, which Britain wanted for the construction of their navy fleet. The tensions exploded into what is known as the Pine Tree Riot, in which 20 men tortured a British official and maimed his horse. The flag became a symbol of independence.

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