Here we are, yet again, at the end of another year. And what a year it’s been!
As we have since our founding in 2010, Secular AZ spent 2022 fighting to keep undue religious influence out of Arizona’s legislative processes, public policies, and laws — a fight that was both more crucial and more difficult than ever before.
For years, we’ve been ringing alarm bells about the ever-increasing threat that Christian nationalism poses. This year, we saw this insidious movement — which is based on the idea that the U.S. should be a theocracy ruled by leaders who practice a single interpretation of Christianity (a.k.a. christofascism) — gain in strength. The movement has strong ties to white supremacy and anti-LGBTQ bigotry, relies on disinformation to gain influence, seeks to undermine and privatize public education, and is misogynist to the core. It’s also a well-funded, well-organized attempt to influence legislation at federal, state and local levels.
In 2022, more christofascist bills came through the AZ legislature than ever before. A flag tied directly to white Christian nationalism was displayed inside the AZ Capitol for months. Candidates who subscribe to hateful and twisted worldviews, often based on conspiracy theories, ran for leadership positions across the state. Trans youth were targeted by cruel policies. And lawmakers cheered as everyone with a uterus lost their bodily autonomy.
Secular AZ fought back on multiple fronts:
- Thousands of secular supporters across the state contacted their legislators through our Action Alert system, which makes it easy to speak out on bills that threaten church:state separation.
- Secular Studies brought experts in fields such as science, medicine, law, justice reform, education, and more to the state capitol to generate reasonable discussion with lawmakers.
- We hosted a panel on the dangers that medical refusals pose to LGBTQ+ people and those seeking reproductive healthcare; with generous support from the Proteus Fund. we disseminated key information to medical associations and personnel in Arizona and across the U.S.
- Our Legal Team responded to your reports of church:state violations across the state.
- Secular Speaker programming offered weekly presentations from a range of experts in law, academia, science, medicine, journalism, and government, all from a secular perspective.
- Candidate Forums highlighted candidates for elected offices from Secretary of State to local school boards.
- We hosted a series of educational presentations on the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments.
- Secular Summit and Secular Day at the Capitol brought supporters together — in-person and virtually — from around the state for education, inspiration, and activism.
As we look ahead to 2023 and the upcoming legislative session, we’re focusing on the priorities most important to our supporters, including education, discrimination, reproductive rights, healthcare, and more.
We can’t do it without you… and we thank you for standing with us as we continue to fight to (re)separate church and state in Arizona.
The Secular AZ Team