Fifth Anniversary: From our Founder

From Seed to Fruition:  The Secular Coalition for Arizona

by Matt Schoenley, Founder, Vice Chair, Secular Coalition for Arizona

Over five years ago I co-founded Secular Coalition for Arizona with two smart and passionate Arizona residents, Zenaido Quintana and Serah Blain. We all had exhibited the dual express purpose to provide a voice for Arizona's nontheistic community, as well as a desire to advocate for the separation of church and state. Our main goal was to champion secular public policy to Arizona's state government.
The need was clear as the religious right, and specifically the Center for Arizona Policy (CAP), had free reign at the Arizona Capitol, untethered by public outcry. Religion, and a particularly extreme form of Christianity at that, was being enacted into secular civil law with little pushback or public attention. Citizens, who had no interest in living by Biblical and religious dogmas, including most Christians, were unknowingly being coerced to comply with a fundamentalist ideology incongruent with the way they lived their lives.


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On the Road: Prescott Freethinkers

Emphasizing the importance of secular government down to the regional and local level is a primary function at the Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ).  To achieve that goal, we spend time in Arizona communities throughout the state educating citizens on the pertinence of church and state separation principles, and how they affect everyone, religious or not.   

We are highlighting each of our supporting groups in our "On the Road with Secular AZ" series of articles here at for our members to follow along.

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ANNOUNCING: NEW Secular AZ Membership Program!

Secular Coalition for Arizona lifetime membership now available!Sign of Growing Support for Secular Government in Arizona

Phoenix – August 22, 2015 – The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) has launched a formal membership program that will allow individuals, couples and families throughout Arizona to take a stand for secular government.   By becoming a member, supporters can join the rapidly growing organization that fights for secular public policy in Arizona, and will enjoy specific, members-only benefits.

“Our supporter base continues to grow, and this program is in direct response to supporters who wish to become official members of our lobbying and grassroots advocacy organization”, said Zenaido Quintana, chairman and acting executive director of Secular AZ. “They understand the threat posed by the Center of Arizona Policy and other religiously-driven organizations to promote bills which lessen equality for all citizens in our state.”

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On the Road: Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

Personal interaction with our liaised organizations and supporters is a priority. Each year when the Arizona legislative session closes, we hit the road to update them regarding the highlights of the most recent session. We discuss how we work within the legislature and engage the public to fight challenges and seize opportunities to protect and strengthen secular public policy in Arizona.   

We’re updating our wider audience of website visitors with a recap of each meeting. Your comments or questions are always welcomed. 

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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.

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Clearing the Confusion: What 'Secular' Is--and Isn't

What does it mean to be “secular”?  And how does that impact our growing list of supporters and our advocacy on behalf of Arizonans?  Let’s examine the common points of confusion.

What is Secularism?

The term ‘secular’ means ‘not of religion’— quite different from ‘anti-religion.’  In fact, a basic tenet of secularism is that citizens of all religions and beliefs are equal before the law.   

When applied to government, secularism represents a view that:

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The 2015 Legislative Wrap-Up and Scorecard are Here!

The 2015 Legislative Wrap-Up and Scorecard are here!  The wrap-up is a brief summary of Secular Coalition for Arizona actions and bills of interest during the legislative session, and the scorecard is a compilation of how your Arizona legislators voted on issues important to our secular community.  

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Determined Rep. Juan Mendez gives Secular invocation today despite attempts to stop him

March 26, 2015

Today, Representative Juan Mendez gave a Secular invocation, which was written for him by a Humanist constituent, as a 'Point of Personal Privilege."  Mr. Mendez had requested today's date to give an invocation back in January, and was originally granted the request.  He was later blocked by House Leadership, and the invocation was given to someone else.

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Secular Coalition for Arizona Harshly Condemns Chapel Hill Shootings

PHOENIX – The Secular Coalition for Arizona harshly condemns yesterday’s horrifying murder of three University of North Carolina students, all Muslims, purportedly by self-described “anti-theist” Craig Hicks.
Chapel Hill police are attributing a parking dispute between Hicks and the students as Hicks’ primary motive, but the victims’ Muslim faith and the alleged shooter’s negative comments toward all religions on social media have prompted speculation that the shootings were hate-based.

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Secular AZ Testimony on SB 1318: Prohibiting Abortion Coverage on Health Exchange

Good afternoon, Madame Chair and members of the Committee,
For the record my name is Tory Anderson, and I am here speaking on behalf of the Secular Coalition for Arizona.   For those of you not familiar with our organization, we represent a statewide constituency base of theists and nontheists who value the separation of church and state. 

I am here today, on behalf of my constituency, in opposition to SB 1318, and to ask you to vote “NO” on this bill.

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