Separation of Church & State

Phoenix New Times: Whose Higher Power?

The Phoenix New Times published an article on Republican House members' overreach after Rep. Athena Salman offered a secular invocation on the House Floor earlier this week. 

As Salman noted, "The Arizona House of Representatives is the people's house," she said, her voice cracking. "Opening prayers in the House should represent Arizonans of every faith's perspective. This includes the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who, like myself, who do not believe in a supernatural god, but do believe in the power of humanity to do good in the world."

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Religious Preference in the House: Rep. Salman and Secular AZ in "The Nation"

Secular Coalition for Arizona was featured in The Nation magazine this week. The article — entitled An Arizona Legislator Gave an Invocation that Didn't Mention God. You Won't Believe What Happened Next — detailed the controversy that erupted after Representative Athena Salman offered an invocation that didn't mention a "higher power" on the House floor this week.

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Weekly Update from the AZ Capitol

First: we're continuing to fight two subjective morality bills that just passed the Senate.

The CAP-written S1367 forces doctors to perform life-saving procedures on aborted and preterm births, even when it is clear resuscitation is futile and no matter the gestational age.  

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2016 Candidate Questionnaire Released

Today, Secular Coalition for Arizona sent a request to all candidates running for the State House and State Senate to complete our 2016 Candidate Questionnaire.  We will post responses exactly as received on our website.  Responses are requested by October 3, 2016.  We will only accept submissions from official candidate email addresses as listed on the Arizona Secretary of State's website.  Encourage your legislative candidates to submit their answers.

 

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The 2017 Legislative Wrap Up is here!

The Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) ignited our 2017 legislative work in a charged political environment colored by the general election. We started strong, locking arms in solidarity with over 40 anti-discrimination groups during an Opening Day rally. We began lobbying immediately on January 12th against regressive bills aimed at education, science, and women’s reproductive rights.

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DES Director uses state email system to proselytize to 7,700 state workers

“Director Jeffries has long been known for his ‘quirky’ style of leadership, which includes frequent mention of his religious views in DES all-employee meetings and on video presentations,” said Zenaido Quintana, chair of Secular Coalition for Arizona. “This latest all-employee email, which was sent to us by a DES employee disturbed by its contents, is particularly egregious and could have had him fired from many companies - organizations where policies are in place to prevent work email from being used to proselytize religion.    
 

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Secular Coalition for Arizona speaks up for Science in Committee

Secular Coalition for Arizona was the only group speaking up in committee Wednesday against SB1474: human fetus; embryo; prohibited actions; a bill motivated by the now-discredited infamous "Planned Parenthood" videos released last summer.

Our take: Government policy on the use of fetal tissue should be based on scientific and medical research.

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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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Secular Coalition Official Position on the Arizona Office of Faith and Community Partnerships

Send a message to Governor Brewer using our "Action Alert System".  Click here.

Full Text of Executive Order 2014-06 Here

Background
On August 29, 2014, Governor Jan Brewer signed Executive Order 2014-06, establishing the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships and the Arizona Council on Faith and Community Partnerships.

This new Office and Council replace the Arizona SERVES taskforce and website, established by Executive Order 2010-07 and 2010-16.  The current board of the Arizona SERVES taskforce includes:
-          Five Christian Pastors
-          Seven Leaders of Christian-based non-profit organizations (including the lobbying group “Center for Arizona Policy”, an organization which is well-known for its extremist religious agenda)
-          Three State Employees
-          Two Undefined “Public Advocates”
-          Two Leaders from secular non-profit organizations

ArizonaSERVES was tasked with five goals:

  1. Encourage foster care
  2. Facilitate free/reduced child care services
  3. Provide supervised CPS visits
  4. Promote elder independence/assist grandparents raising grandchildren
  5. Provide transportation to underserved

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