Minors’ Rights in Health Care

Previously, the Secular AZ blog has featured articles about minors’ rights in school and their right to access information. Adolescents also have unique concerns regarding their right to privacy in healthcare settings. The COVID-19 pandemic, culture wars around vaccines, and recent changes in abortion law have made confidentiality and consent issues particularly critical. The international human rights community recognizes confidentiality in health matters as a component of a youth’s fundamental right to privacy. Continue reading

BREAKING: Magical sugar pills are not as effective as actual medicine!

This past September, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to eight companies for manufacturing or marketing unapproved eye drops in violation of federal law. The eye drops in question, which include the brands EzriCare, Delsam, and Similasan, claim to be “homeopathic eye drop solutions” that purport to relieve dry eyes, pink eye, cataracts, styes, allergy symptoms, and computer eyes.

The problem? Homeopathy is a nonsensical, unregulated junk science and these eye drops can actually harm people. Continue reading

Fearmongering in Camp Verde

By Adriana Clark

It all started with a Pride display in June. Every month, the staff at the Camp Verde Community Library puts together a display of library books and media highlighting a particular theme. The display gathers materials from all areas of the library, including adult fiction and nonfiction, teen fiction and nonfiction, and audio-visual materials. The June theme was “Read with Pride” and featured books by and about the LGBTQ community. Continue reading

Phoenix’s Washington Elementary School District folds to ADF lawsuit

A few weeks ago, we accomplished something big. We called on Phoenix’s Washington Elementary School District to end a teacher training contract with the discriminatory Arizona Christian University, over its policies of hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

Unfortunately, it seems high-powered lawyers from hate group Alliance Defending Freedom have pressured the school district into reversing the decision. Continue reading

What connects evangelicals to QAnon?

Secular AZ recently sat down with Dr. Mia Bloom, author of Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon to talk conspiracy theories in Christian socio-political movements. (Watch the full talk here.)

The conversation illuminated not-always-obvious connections between conspiracy theory culture and religious belief—as well as racism, mental illness, and more. Her conclusions illustrated that separating church and state is becoming an increasingly intersectional issue. Continue reading

Experts: pulling people out of extreme belief hinges on relationship building 

During our Annual Secular Summit, we hosted a panel called Leaving Cults and Conspiratorial Thinking Behind. We gathered three experts with deep backgrounds in the subject, including two which fled extreme beliefs themselves. They discussed what motivates people to become victims of high control groups—including Q-Anon, evangelicalism, MAGA, and ultra-fundamentalist sects—and how we can pull people out. Continue reading