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.

Continue reading

The Biggest Corrupter of Young Minds Are…Books?

Socrates, the famed ancient Greek philosopher, was put on trial for failing to acknowledge Athenian gods, introducing new deities, and corrupting the youth. The consequence of these actions was a death sentence. In The Apology of Socrates, he charges Athens for their anathema to philosophy, a discipline focused on attempting truth through reason, knowledge, and inquiry. The city-state abhorred the supposed godlessness and impiety of Socrates, so rather than engage in dialogue, they elected to consign him to oblivion. Continue reading

For God’s Sake, Keep Religious Dogma Out of Public Schools

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) has introduced a resolution to the United States Senate, supported by 17 Senators, that would designate the week of October 3rd to 9th as “Religious Education Week.” This Senate resolution, if passed, would affirm the importance of religious education in the “civic and moral education of the people of the United States.” Continue reading

SB8 is a Gambit to Circumvent the Constitution

Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote about a culture in which women who want to escape men’s violence flee into the country for women-only communes.  When they attempt to escape, they are chased by helicopters dropping nets from the sky and then men on the ground round them up like wild animals. Nothing Margaret Atwood wrote in The Handmaid’s Tale was fiction then or now. From the Taliban in Afghanistan to the Taliban in Texas, women’s freedom remains under severe attack. Continue reading

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