Eat Pizza, Support Separation of Church and State

How? Simply eat at Blaze Pizza on Thursday, August 29th between 4 and 8 pm!

Show the flyer (below) when you pay (you can pull it up on your phone or print it), and Blaze will donate 20% of the bill to Secular AZ. It’s a great way to support separation of church and state in AZ while enjoying yummy pizza, salads and drinks.

Visit either of these two Blaze locations to participate:

Blaze Pizza Fundraising Flyer

Happy Hours in Tucson and Phoenix/Tempe

Join us in Phoenix/Tempe or Tucson (or both!) for our annual Happy Hours with the Secular Stars

Enjoy drinks and appetizers as you learn about Secular AZ’s successes, meet our Secular Star lawmakers, and mingle with other Arizonans who want church and state to remain separate.

Come support the fight against religious influence in our state’s public policy. Please purchase tickets by September 15. See you at Happy Hour!

Tucson Happy Hour

When: Tuesday, September 24 from 5-7pm

Where: Dante’s Fire  2526 E Grant Road, Tucson

 

Phoenix Happy Hour

When: Thursday, September 26 from 5-7pm

Where: Boulders on Broadway 530 W. Broadway, Tempe

 

Get your tickets here!

In Memoriam of Mike Steiner

Secular AZ mourns the loss of our dear friend Michael Steiner, who passed away last week. Mike was a constant presence in the Arizona secular community, serving on the Boards of Secular AZ, Freedom from Religion Foundation – Valley of the Sun Chapter, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State – Greater Phoenix Chapter. He was also an active member/volunteer in the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. 

Mike was deeply committed to separation of church and state and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place. He was always willing to help by sharing his knowledge, ideas and time. We all knew that we could count on Mike to be there when we needed something done… and especially when we needed it done right. His attention to detail was legendary!

Most of all, we will miss Mike’s smile and quirky sense of humor. As one of our Board members said, Mike was so often the spark that lit a smile. 

A memorial service for Mike will be held at the Humanist Community Center in Mesa at a date and time to be announced.

This is a great loss for our community. His absence will affect us all.

We Did It!! Bill Funneling Taxpayer $ to Fake “Women’s Health Clinics” Defeated

GOOD NEWS! Late night, the AZ Senate voted down a terrible bill that would have funneled taxpayer money into fake “women’s health” clinics that were, in reality, fronts for pro-life groups that seek to thwart access to safe, legal abortion.

 

HB 2759 got just 15 votes, one short of what’s needed -thanks in large part to secular supporters like you who raised their voices loudly in opposition to this bill.

As Secular AZ’s Tory Roberg says, “We are strong, but we are mighty!”

We want to thank those who spoke out, attended the rally at the State Capitol, and contacted their lawmakers to voice their opposition to this clear violation of separation of church and state.

Secular AZ took your voices to the House and Senate, where Tory stood up and testified in front of both appropriations committees. Secular AZ was alone in providing public testimony… and these efforts made the difference!

But this is just one of many such battles. Did you know that Secular AZ is the only group with a paid lobbyist, full legal team, and active board of volunteers that fight tirelessly for separation of church and state at the Capitol?

We don’t receive funding from any national groups. Instead, we rely solely on the generosity of Arizonans like you who understand the value of this work.

When the lines between church and state blur, we see attempts to:
  • limit access to reproductive health care
  • restrict women’s right to choose
  • install policies that discriminate against LGTBQ individuals
  • pass bills that harm sound science and medicine
  • decrease funding for public schools

With more than 4,000 supporters around the state, we amplify the voice of reason at the Arizona State Capitol as we fight for secular public policies that benefit allArizonans.

Help us keep fighting! Now, more than ever, we need your support. Please donate today to help keep religious influence out of Arizona’s public policy.

TAKE ACTION NOW Against Bills That Funnel Taxpayer $ to Anti-Choice Fake Health Centers

Mirror bills HB2759 and S1547  just passed committee and will likely be heard on the floor this evening. We need your voice to stop them on the floor.
Please contact your own legislators as well as targeted Republicans Rep. Steve Pierce (LD-1) [602-926-5584 | spierce@azleg.gov] and Sen. Kate Brophy McGee (LD-28) [602-926-4486 | kbrophymcgee@azleg.gov] before the bill is heard on the floor this evening.
You may use Phone2Action here or call your lawmakers directly.
What are these bills? They appropriate $2.5M for three years (total $7.5M) to anti-abortion organizations providing services to pregnant women and women with young children. Read for yourself: apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/GetDocumentPdf/471431
We oppose the bills on these grounds:
  • They give away $7.5 million in taxpayer funds to unlicensed fake pregnancy centers— faux healthcare facilities designed only to convince women not to have abortions, often with misleading or inaccurate information.
  • The bills are only a few paragraphs long. They do not require the state to provide any oversight of how the money it is being spent, or how effective the programs are (even in stopping abortions).
  • The bills do not require the facilities to be licensed. (Most fake pregnancy centers are not.)
  • Similar programs have already proven extremely wasteful and ineffective, even from a pro-life standpoint. A similar Texas program providing millions to an anti-abortion organization known a Heidi Group was shut down last year and faces investigation into questionable billing after the group only served 5% of the number of women it promised.

Please make sure to indicate in your message any areas of expertise you may have. Keep in mind lawmakers are already familiar with anti-abortion rhetoric; our most effective messages this time will be about the bills’ extreme fiscal irresponsibility.

10 Ways Fake Women’s Health Centers Cause Harm:

  1. LYING ABOUT MEDICAL FACTS: Fake women’s health centers give women false, incomplete, or inaccurate medical information, including claiming that abortions pose health risks such as infertility, breast cancer, and birth defects in future pregnancies. As the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has repeatedly stated, there is no evidence whatsoever to support these medically inaccurate and deliberately misleading claims.
  2. SETTING UP SHOP NEAR REAL HEALTH CARE FACILITIES: Many fake women’s health centers set-up near comprehensive clinics that offer abortions, and choose similar names for themselves to confuse women and their families.
  3. PUSHING WOMEN PAST IMPORTANT DEADLINES: Decisions about a pregnancy are time-sensitive. Fake women’s health centers postpone appointments or give women inaccurate due dates, hoping to push people past the legal limit for abortion. They also tell women that they may not even need an abortion because 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage, suggesting they wait it out.
  4. DECEPTIVE INTERIORS: After fake women’s health centers have successfully lured pregnant women to their facilities, they disguise their interiors to further deceive women that they will receive comprehensive care. Anti-choice leader Johnson also advised centers: “that waiting rooms should feel like ‘professional environments’ instead of ‘grandma’s house,’ and discouraged crucifixes, fake flowers, and mauve paint before showing slides of Planned Parenthood waiting rooms and encouraging staff to make their centers look just as ‘beautiful and up-to-date,’ especially if they have a ‘medical model,’ meaning they offer sonograms and other medical services. Johnson also said pregnancy center staff should mirror Planned Parenthood’s language.”
  5. DECEPTIVE WEBSITES: ​Fake women’s health centers use deceptive websites to trick women into believing they are comprehensive health care clinics, and particularly target
    women seeking out abortion services. Lauren Chenoweth, a former media specialist at Heartbeat International said, “[Women are] going to Google ‘abortion,’ or they’re going to Google ‘abortion services’ or ‘pregnancy help,’ and that’s why we want to focus on our websites…We want to be strategic in getting them to our centers​.”
  6. DECEPTIVE ADVERTISING: Fake women’s health centers use aggressive advertising tricks including geo-targeting and search optimization to lure women into their clinics. Anti-choice movement leader, Abby Johnson, said at a training for fake women’s health centers: “Women seeking abortions, women that are pregnant, that are vulnerable, they are going into Google and they are typing ‘pregnancy symptoms.’ There’s a way in Google where you can basically set that search to your website… We want to look professional… business-like. And, yeah, we do kind of want to look medical. The best client you ever get is one that thinks they’re walking into an abortion clinic.”
  7. HIDING AVAILABLE SERVICES: Even when directly asked, fake women’s health centers do not disclose that they do not offer abortion services. Instead, fake women’s health centers staff are trained to deflect the question. Some fake women’s health centers even market pre-abortion appointments, offering free ultrasounds to draw people to their clinics. However, in many states the pre-abortion ultrasound must take place at the abortion provider. Many also advertise that they provide “abortion counseling,” leading women to believe that they may be an abortion provider or refer women for abortion care.
  8. UNNECESSARY AND INVASIVE ULTRASOUNDS: Even the “licensed” fake women’s health centers provide minimal medical care – just pregnancy tests and invasive ultrasounds that are used to manipulate women by showing the fetus or detecting a heartbeat. Though the FDA warns that there are risks associated with ultrasounds and they should only be performed for medical purposes, fake women’s health centers ignore those risks and commonly subject women to unnecessary or duplicative ultrasounds, just for show. Some fake women’s health centers consider higher-energy Doppler or trans-vaginal ultrasounds — which provide audio or clearer imaging — their “Hail Mary” tool, even though these procedures are not routinely done by real doctors except when medically necessary. During the ultrasound, fake women’s health centers misrepresent how far along a pregnancy is as a way to mislead the patient on their options. The farther along you are the harder it is to get an abortion.
  9. SHIRK MEDICAL LIABILITY: Fake women’s health center clinics specifically avoid taking responsibility for women’s health outcomes after their initial appointments. In fact, fake women’s health centers are careful not to set up a formal “patient-physician relationship” in order to avoid liability. Heartbeat International, one of the largest Fake Women’s Health Center networks, advises its affiliates to avoid giving women the “expectation of continued services” and “clearly state that no follow-up care will be provided, and that the patient-physician relationship is terminated.” Other fake women’s health centers have required women to sign waivers that release them from any responsibility to provide accurate medical diagnoses.
  10. FOLLOW-UP HARASSMENT: After deceiving and scaring women and their families, some fake women’s health centers make women promise to not get an abortion. And, fake women’s health centers have been known to harass women who express an interest in abortion. “The woman from the [Fake Women’s Health Center] began calling her almost daily and telling her aggressively that she would die, or end up in hell, or get very sick, if she were to go through with the abortion. This woman would hide under the guise of ‘checking up on her.’”

#StopTheBans National Day of Action

Georgia. Ohio. Kentucky. Missouri. Alabama. ALL of these states’ Republican majorities have voted to effectively ban abortion in their states. And there are other states lining up to the be next state to “nearly or effectively ban abortion.”

Abortion bans impact everyone: women, transgender patients, people of color, LGBTQ people, undocumented folks, men, people with disabilities – the list goes on!

 JOIN US TO ON A NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION to #StopTheBans

 

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019 – 9:30 am

Arizona State Capitol

1700 W. Washington Street

Phoenix, AZ

 

Show up in PINK or your favorite vibrant Tuesday color and fight with us!

Secular AZ Asks AZ Congressional Delegates to Support Do No Harm Act of 2019

The Secular Coalition for Arizona requests that Arizona’s Congressional Delegates sponsor and support the Do No Harm Act of 2019, sponsored in the Senate by Senator Kamala Harris (S. 593) and in the House by Representative Joseph Kennedy (H.R. 1450).

What is the Do No Harm Act? Since our nation’s founding, the freedom to practice faith or non-faith as one desires has been a fundamental American value that provides a vital shield from discrimination and persecution, particularly for persons of minority faiths and non-believers. Unfortunately, employers, businesses and the courts are increasingly interpreting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) in opposition to our shared values and using RFRA as a license to discriminate and impose their personal religious views on others.

The Do No Harm Act restores the original intent of RFRA, protecting personal religious freedom from undue government influence, while also ensuring RFRA cannot be used by private entities to discriminate against or harm others. The Do No Harm Act makes clear that we do not need to sanction discrimination to protect the faith community.

We ask that all Congressional Delegates from Arizona join with their colleagues to sponsor and support this key piece of legislation.

Click here to read our letter.

 

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.

“Be the Curators of Inspiration”: Listen to Robert People‘s Secular Invocation

Follow this link to watch Robert Peoples of the Affinis Humanity Coalition deliver a moving secular invocation before the AZ State Senate as a guest of Sen. Andrea Dalessandro and Secular AZ.

https://youtu.be/xHvVnrprETQ

For a transcript, visit Patheos Friendly Atheist Blog at: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/04/02/humanist-delivers-invocation-in-az-senate-be-the-curators-of-inspiration/?fbclid=IwAR07YMntqGvHQOcTk-1XdC-C8zfSEKJ7Z25YnXoTy3EVdwauaKG6ET5-2X0

“Be the Curators of Inspiration”: Listen to Robert People’s Secular Invocation

Follow this link to watch Robert Peoples of the Affinis Humanity Coalition deliver a moving secular invocation before the AZ State Senate as a guest of Sen. Andrea Dalessandro and Secular AZ.

https://youtu.be/xHvVnrprETQ

For a transcript, visit Patheos Friendly Atheist Blog at: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/04/02/humanist-delivers-invocation-in-az-senate-be-the-curators-of-inspiration/?fbclid=IwAR07YMntqGvHQOcTk-1XdC-C8zfSEKJ7Z25YnXoTy3EVdwauaKG6ET5-2X0

Your Donations Doubled & a Grant Competition

Right now, you have two unique opportunities to support Secular AZ! 

  1. Thanks to a generous Secular Supporter, all gifts will be matched up to $40,000

    and

  2. We’re participating in the “A Community Thrives” grant competition. Each week until April 12, non-profits compete to raise the most funds; winners receive additional grants!

Please help us by donating today; simply visit crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/secular-communities-for-arizona/secular-communities-for-arizona-inc.

Each week brings a different competition, so check back to see what’s going on until the competition ends on April 12th! Funds will go to support our new program, bringing civics education to AZ schools.

Remember, each gift you give will be doubled by a generous supporter. THANK YOU for supporting Secular AZ!