Let the Flags of Intolerance Fly

Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne PostShurtleff v. City of Boston is the flag case recently decided by the “Supreme Court” (I put it in parenthesis because it’s no longer supreme or an impartial body as a court is required to be). The city has three poles: one for the American flag, one for the flag of Massachusetts, and one for the city flag. Often, the city pole was used by groups having events in the City Plaza, a “public forum.” The city had no rules about the flags and had never rejected an application for a group to fly its flag before — including a Pride flag and a cooperative bank – until a Christian group asked to fly a Christian flag. 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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Help Guard a Secular Holiday Display at the State Capitol!

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

A Christian Nationalist Blitz is Still Assaulting Your Civil Liberties — Just Under a Low Profile

As U.S. Church membership falls, pushback is growing from traditionalists across the country. Christian nationalist groups remain at the forefront of this culture war. These coalitions dump massive amounts of money into state and local governments to influence power-hungry politicians. Their desired ends are the realization of America as a Christian nation; their means are dismantling civil rights. Continue reading

Religious Messaging on the Governor’s Official Social Media

Why does Governor Ducey appear to be using an official government Facebook page to promote explicit religious messaging?

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits government sponsorship of religious messages. All governmental actions must: 1) have a secular purpose, 2) not have the effect of advancing or inhibiting religion, and 3) not result in excessive entanglement between church and state. It is inappropriate for the state government to endorse a particular religion, one religion over another, or religion over non-religion according to both the State and Federal Constitutions.

Please read Secular AZ’s response.

Do We Need (Yet Another) Religious Endorsement in AZ Public Schools?

"God Enriches"? Which god?The Friendly Atheist can’t understand why the AZ Senate passed SB1289, allowing teachers and administrators to post a translation of the AZ state motto, Ditat Deus, in classrooms…. and Secular AZ agrees.

Historically, the motto has always been in Latin; the Englsh translation is “God Enriches,” which refers to a passage in the Christian bible. Not only is the English translation ahistoric, it’s needlessly divisive given that 30% of Arizonans do not identify as Christian, and violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and our state contitution. Posting this translation will likely result in wasteful lawsuits school districts can ill afford, as we’ve seen in past court cases that have ruled against religious signage in the classroom.

Read more about this harmful attempt to insert religious preference into public schools, and Secular AZ’s opposition to it, at the Patheos blog