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!

 

Secular AZ Responds to Camp Verde H.S. Bible Instruction

Please read Secular AZ’s letter to the Camp Verde Unified School District re: proposed bible instruction at Camp Verde High School.

It is well-settled that public schools may not advance or promote religion; the government must not encroach on personal religious freedom, which necessarily includes both the right to choose a religion or no religion at all. The Supreme Court has held that “the preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere.”  Further, school involvement in religious activity remains illegal even though the students’ attendance is “voluntary.”

(tl/dr: Allowing access to schoolchildren during school hours to proselytize and recruit for religious activities is a violation of the Establishment Clause)

Secular AZ’s letter to the Camp Verde Unified School District

Why is AZ Taxpayer Money Funding a Hate Group?

Hey Arizonans… Ever seen those “In God We Trust” license plates? Did you know that $17 for each plate sold goes to the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ, anti-reproductive rights organization designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center? Over the years, almost $1million in taxpayer money has been funneled to ADF!

Why are taxpayer dollars going to a hate group?

According to the SPLC, ADF:

  • supports the recriminalization of homosexuality in the U.S. & criminalization abroad
  • defends state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad
  • links homosexuality to pedophilia
  • claims that a “homosexual agenda” will destroy Christianity & society
  • works to develop “religious liberty” legislation & case law to allow the denial of goods & services to LGBT people on the basis of religion

Arizona taxpayer money should not be funding hate and we are working to stop it. Together with the American Atheists, we’ve erected billboards in Phoenix and Tucson to raise awareness of this issue. 

Will you help us spread the word?

Your gift will help us spread the word accross the state! Together, we can end this despicable practice.

Read more:

Newsweek: License Plates In AZ Saying “In God We Trust” Found to Fund and Support Anti LGBTQ Group

Huffpost: Arizona’s ‘In God We Trust’ License Plates Found to Fund Anti-LGBTQ Group

Phoenix New Times: Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group Claimes it’s the Victim of Atheist Arizona Lawmaker

The Hill: Arizona Dem Introduces Bill to Stop License Plates from Funding Anti-LGBTQ Hate Group

 

Meet FFRF’s Dan Barker

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
  • 6p-9p
  • Humanist Community Center
  • 627 W. Rio Salado Pkwy, Mesa
Please RSVP here

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Director Position at Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

The Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix, one of Secular AZ’s liaised organiztions, seeks an Executive Director. Please see attached file for more information.

If you are interested in this position, please email your resume and any additional information you would like to provide to hiring (at) hsgp.org.

Executive Director Position at Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix

Secular Summit: RSVP Today!

Keep Gods Out of Government Secular Summit 2018Join 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!
 

YOU DID IT! AZ Science Standards to be Based on Actual Science

Diane Douglas' standards rejectedGive yourselves a hand, Secular Supporters! You spoke out en masse, and your voices were heard. 

Thanks in large parts to your activism, the AZ Board of Education voted 6-4 to adopt science standards that recognize evolution and climate change, rejecting Superintendent Diane Douglas’ suggested standards that privileged religious belief over fact-based information. 

In the words of our Board Chair, Zenaido Quintana: “We’ve been very concerned about Diane Douglas’ efforts to push her religious views on more than a million kids in Arizona’s public schools. Our students deserve to be taught science in their science classes, and to be free from religious indoctrination at school. The State Board of Education made the right decision in adopting science standards approved by highly-qualified science teachers. We appreciate that the Board listened to the voices of science experts and secular allies in making their decision. We are grateful our community was heard.”

Nice job! We’re so glad that Arizona students will receive a science education based on facts, not dogma.

Read more: Phoenix New Times; AZ Central

Help us keep fighting for secular public policies! Make a donation to the Secular Coalition today