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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!
 

2018 AZ Legislative Voter Guide

Want to know where the candidates stand on the issues?

Before you vote, peruse our 2018 Arizona Legislative Voter Guide.

Candidates running for Arizona State Senate and State House of Representatives  received the Secular Coalition for Arizona’s “Candidate Questionnaire.”

The questionnaire consisted of 12 policy positions addressing subjects important to secular voters, from science education to anti-discrimination, access to reproductive health care to medical aid in dying, and much more.

This November, it’s more important than ever to know where candidates for Arizona House and Senate seats stand on these important issues that affect all Arizonans.

 

“Nones” Now Largest Religious Demographic in 20 States

A September, 2017 study from the Public Religion Research Institute found that those identifying as non-religious are the largest demographic in 20 states, including Arizona. (Here in AZ, “nones” make up 26% of the population.) Of these, six in 10 identify as “secular” while just over 25% identify as “atheist” or agnostic. These numbers illustrate a significant generational shift, and highlight the importance of ensuring that our state’s policies are secular… and equitable for all!

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Find the report here: https://www.prri.org/research/american-religious-landscape-christian-religiously-unaffiliated/

Opening Day Rally & the Anti-Hate Pledge

On Monday, January 9, 2017, Secular Coalition for Arizona stood in unity with over 40 groups at an anti-hate rally for the opening day of the 53rd Arizona State Legislature.  

Watch video of our Government Affairs Director, Tory Roberg, as she represented Secular Coalition for Arizona and our constituency.

Lawmakers were asked to sign the following pledge: 

People’s State of the State Pledge

I PLEDGE on this first day of the 53rd Session of the Arizona State Legislature, January 9, 2017, that I commit to protect the human and civil rights of all people of the State of Arizona. I believe that every individual is entitled to dignity and respect, without prejudice toward race, color, gender, identity, disability, language, religion or lack thereof, creed, national origin, age, sexual orientation, and economic status. 

I will do everything in my power to discourage prejudice and hate by others at every opportunity, personally and politically. Under my leadership, I ensure that I will advocate and encourage my colleagues to advocate for legislative policies that promote dignity and respect, and discourage any type of legislative policy that institutionalizes any practice of social injustice.  I will strive daily to honor this pledge, accepting responsibility for my leadership and its influence over national, state, and local policy. 

– United Against Hate Coalition, January 9, 2017

The Religiously Unaffiliated: An Important and Growing Group

Read more or click here to see the original post written by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) about their latest national survey that highlights an important and growing group: The religiously unaffiliated. This is why secular activism and political involvement is so important at all levels of government: local, state, and national.

Original post from PRRI, below:

As religion in America experiences a period of seismic shifts, a new PRRI/RNS national survey highlights an important and growing group: The religiously unaffiliated.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=0018K87A_Kk5NriwBFP6fKdto3gVPjWVxnBY8WqG2wwR8zWQYjoDjHKFQHfbcrWFZChnEAvRMPnAs46RbAoWgP8VIEIjlW1WQ5IrXpF34xVB6AHQOgc6BVTGNs2bqKvsZu2XoNwdXhG0W5uBM6u_jBIAfLBeltPUAoUPucijPmoSGdkREJ5y5moOOAuZNkxP_3zoudaa3dJ7BeMr_RlC6tE6w4OGDKXF6x4Rq2yZKEQ0lXRxlNezJO-wJhNjOzS-tK7&c=b7FjK4C15VSy3szqHHOkBtK0dp4aq40m1tXxCYaE1SUW8vedcAYhng==&ch=rOHj85lfn2_bxxS6QYW5P2WojjFHb9nGdzOWBq07KKS381L5Z5hziQ==

Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion — and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

 

A new PRRI/RNS survey finds one out of every four (25 percent) Americans — and nearly four in ten (39 percent) young adults (age 18-29) — now identify as religiously unaffiliated, a group that has quadrupled in size since the early 1990s and accounts for the fastest growing major group in the American religious landscape. The survey chronicles the growth of the unaffiliated, investigates factors behind the group’s growth and resiliency, and parses out three distinct subgroups within the unaffiliated: Unattached Believers, Apatheists, and Rejectionists.

 

The growth of the unaffiliated: At 25 percent, the religiously unaffiliated now constitute the largest group in the national religious landscape. The growth of the unaffiliated began in the 1990s: in 1991, only six percent of Americans identified with no religion in particular. By the end of the decade, that number had climbed to 14 percent and eventually reached 20 percent in 2012.

 

Factors behind the growth of the religiously unaffiliated: The most common reason unaffiliated Americans cite for leaving their childhood religion is a lack of belief in religious teachings: 60 percent say they stopped believing in their childhood religion’s teachings, while 32 percent say it was because their family was not that religious growing up, and 29 percent cite negative teachings about or treatment of gay and lesbian people by religious organizations.

Why the unaffiliated are unlikely to come back to organized religion: Only seven percent of the unaffiliated report they are searching for a religion that would be right for them, compared to 93 percentwho say they are not. Religiously unaffiliated households are also on the rise. A majority (54 percent) of unaffiliated Americans who are married today report that their spouse shares the same religious background as they do.

Who are the unaffiliated?: The religiously unaffiliated are distinct from religious Americans in important ways, but there is also considerable diversity within this group. Using two separate questions that measure the personal relevance of religion and the social benefit of religion, PRRI identified three distinct groups among the unaffiliated: Rejectionists, Apatheists, and Unattached Believers.

Read the entire report, including a detailed breakdown of the three subgroups of the unaffiliated, here.

Rise of the religiously unaffiliated recent poll by Public Religious Research Institute