As the year comes to an end, I have found myself feeling a mix of despair and optimism. A new year brings new beginnings, but also uncertainty. I remember last New Year’s Eve thinking “thank goodness 2020 is over!” and then, less than a week later watched as Christian nationalists violently staged an insurrection at our country’s Capitol. Continue reading
Efforts to ban, censor, or even burn literature are the current political gimmick being exploited by the extreme religious right. Continue reading
Do you support separation of church and state in Arizona? Meet others who do, hear from experts, and be part of organizing for 2022!
Updated 10/21/21: Last week, Secular AZ constituents Ralph Atchue and Deborah Broome each individually contacted us to share letters to the editor they had published in their local newspapers. The topics: prayer at government meetings and the purpose of the 1st amendment . We’re proud to reprint the letters below.
Secular AZ is proud to introduce you to our new Executive Director, Jeanne Casteen! Among other things, Jeanne has been a lifelong educator and advocate, mother of four, middle and high school teacher, and school board president. We’re excited to benefit from her strength, ideas, and experience. Below, meet Jeanne in her own words.
Secular AZ is proud to introduce you to three new members of our Board! We’re looking forward to more of the fresh energy and perspectives they are already bringing to our movement. Continue reading
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.
Fulton v. Philadelphia.
Tandon v. Newsom.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson
Throughout the pandemic, the highest court of the land has favored religious adherents to the detriment of public health, LGBTQ+ people, and the Constitution’s Establishment Clause. I felt nauseous as I read majority opinions from the 2020-2021 term; arch-conservative Supreme Court Justices had institutionalized a complete disregard for the separation of state and church. Christian nationalism has taken hold of our democracy. Continue reading
Intersectionality is at the heart of activism.
That’s why we’re taking this month to commemorate June 28, 1969 — the day police raided the Stonewall Inn, a New York meeting place for LGBTQ+ people. When police demanded to do “sex verification” checks on trans women, a spontaneous protest erupted — led by trans women of color like Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Continue reading
Meet FFRF’s Dan Barker
Please join Freedom From Religion Foundation- Valley of the Sun Chapter and Secular Communities for Arizona for a special event featuring Dan Barker.
- Thursday, March 14
- Humanist Community Center
- 627 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa
Dan Barker, Co-president of FFRF National, will join us to talk about his new book Mere Morality.
“What drives us to be good? How do we even know how to be good? Philosophers and theologians have dealt with such questions for millennia, but Dan Barker thinks the answers are not so complicated. In Mere Morality, he argues there’s no need to appeal to supernatural commandments or the fear of some higher power when considering morality. Stripping “good” and “evil” down to the basics, he offers a simple compass for navigating life’s most difficult moral and ethical dilemmas.”
Nibbles and light refreshments will be provided. You may BYOB.
FFRF Valley of the Sun & Secular Communities for Arizona are co-sponsoring this special event. It is free and open to the public.
About Dan Barker / Minister Turned Atheist:
Dan became a teenage evangelist at age 15. At 16 he was choir librarian for faith-healer Kathryn Kuhlman’s Los Angeles appearances. He received a degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University and was ordained to the ministry by the Standard Community Church, California, in 1975. (See ordination.) He served as associate pastor in three California churches: Arcadia Friend’s Church (Quaker), Glengrove Assembly of God (Hacienda Heights), and Standard Christian Center, an independent Charismatic church loosely affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ tradition) in Standard, California. Dan was a Protestant missionary in Mexico for a total of two years.
Dan preached for 19 years. He maintained an ongoing touring musical ministry, including eight years of full-time, cross-country evangelism. An accomplished pianist, record producer, arranger and songwriter, he worked with Christian music companies such as Manna Music and Word Music. For a few years, Dan wrote and produced the annual “Mini Musicale” for Gospel Light Publications’ Vacation Bible School curriculum.
For more than two decades, Dan was accompanist, arranger, and record producer for Manuel Bonilla, the leading Christian singer in the Spanish-speaking world. He accompanied on the piano such Christian personalities as Pat Boone, Jimmy Roberts (of the Lawrence Welk Show), and gospel songwriter Audrey Meier, and was a regular guest on Southern California’s “Praise The Lord” TV show (Spanish). One of Dan’s Christian songs, “There Is One,” was performed by Rev. Robert Schuller’s television choir on the “Hour of Power” broadcast. To this day, he receives royalties from his popular children’s Christian musicals, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (1977), and “His Fleece Was White As Snow” (1978), both published by Manna Music and performed in many countries.
Following five years of reading, Dan gradually outgrew his religious beliefs. “If I had limited myself to Christian authors, I’d still be a Christian today,” Dan says. “I just lost faith in faith.” He announced his atheism publicly in January, 1984. He tells his story in the books Losing Faith in Faith (1992) and Godless (2008).
Dan was PR Director of the Freedom From Religion Foundation from 1987 to 2004. He was elected co-president of the Foundation with Annie Laurie Gaylor in 2004, with whom he is co-host of Freethought Radio, a national weekly talk show. He is a contributing editor of Freethought Today and is involved with the Foundation’s state/church lawsuits. He regularly travels the country and the world giving lectures, performing concerts, and participating in debates with theists, many at college and university campuses.
Join secular public policy supporters from around the state for the 4th annual Secular Summit!
Get inspired and engaged during this day of networking, advocacy training and education as we prepare for the 2019 Legislative Session.
- When: Saturday, December 8, 9a-3:30p
- Where: Humanist Society for Greater Phoenix, 627 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa AZ
Our keynote speaker this year is Freedom from Religion Foundation’s Andrew Seidel, a constitutional and civil rights attorney, activist, atheist and author.
Ticket price includes full day admission to the Summit, coffee & pastries, lunch and materials. Additional donations are always appreciated! You can also become a host for $100 and receive recognition at the event.
Limited seats are available, so RSVP soon and save your spot.
See you at the Summit!
Before you vote, peruse our 2018 Arizona Legislative Voter Guide.
Candidates running for Arizona State Senate and State House of Representatives received the Secular Coalition for Arizona’s “Candidate Questionnaire.”
The questionnaire consisted of 12 policy positions addressing subjects important to secular voters, from science education to anti-discrimination, access to reproductive health care to medical aid in dying, and much more.
This November, it’s more important than ever to know where candidates for Arizona House and Senate seats stand on these important issues that affect all Arizonans.
A September, 2017 study from the Public Religion Research Institute found that those identifying as non-religious are the largest demographic in 20 states, including Arizona. (Here in AZ, “nones” make up 26% of the population.) Of these, six in 10 identify as “secular” while just over 25% identify as “atheist” or agnostic. These numbers illustrate a significant generational shift, and highlight the importance of ensuring that our state’s policies are secular… and equitable for all!
Find the report here: https://www.prri.org/research/american-religious-landscape-christian-religiously-unaffiliated/