On the Road: Sedona/Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers

Sedona Verde/Valley Freethinkers Briefed on 2015 Arizona Legislative Session

A high priority at Secular Coalition for Arizona (SC Arizona) is to inform citizens and groups across our state regarding the work we do at the Capitol on their behalf to protect and fortify a secular government.

On July 22, we hit the road to visit the Sedona/Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers Group (SVVSF) in Sedona, Arizona.   Tory Anderson, our Director of Government Affairs, presented the recent work of  SC Arizona during the 2015 Arizona legislative session.  She described a myriad of bills introduced this year that violate the strongly held principle of church/state separation.  Tory spoke about her struggle to oppose this legislation on behalf of the SVVSF and all other Arizonans who value secular government.   She also discussed some excellent secular public policy that was proposed during the legislative session, but was not made into law even with our support.   (For our complete 2015 Legislative Wrap Up report click here.)

Arizona as testing ground for religious right policy

During a lively follow-up discussion, the group asked pertinent questions about how to effectively oppose advocacy groups that push unfair legislation.  Ron Mohney, leader of the SVVSF, raised an excellent point.  “Arizona has become a sort of ‘political testing ground’ for the religious right to gain victory based on religious privilege under the law,” said Ron.  “National religious groups fund political action here, and then use the momentum gained in Arizona to push the ideas in other states.”  Audience members expressed their desire to support the work of SC Arizona through financial contribution, and by participating in our online action alerts, and live events held throughout the year.

The SVVSF represents 150 members who do not subscribe to religious beliefs or superstition.  They share values of the Secular Coalition for Arizona by advocating use of reason and science to seek the truth. As a liaison to Secular AZ, the SVVSF members believe that public policy free of religious preference is the best way to ensure freedom of conscience for Arizonans of all faiths and of none.

Founded in 2012, this group meets regularly for social interaction, idea exchange and community action that furthers organization goals.  They hold private events for members as well as public events to share with the larger community.   

Upcoming Freethinkers Event

On September 19, the SVVSF  will host Ken Bork, retired geology professor and expert on Darwin and evolution. This event is also open to Prescott, Phoenix and Flagstaff Freethinkers groups.  For more information on the group and all upcoming events, visit the Sedona/Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers Meetup group site.

The Secular Coalition for Arizona is proud to serve as the voice at the Capitol for the Sedona/Verde Valley Freethinkers. We thank them for hosting our recent presentation and look forward to continued coordination on issues of importance to secular government.

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