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1. Secular Coalition for America Mission and Purpose 2 Our mission is to increase the visibility and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United.

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Presentation on theme: "1. Secular Coalition for America Mission and Purpose 2 Our mission is to increase the visibility and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Secular Coalition for America Mission and Purpose 2 Our mission is to increase the visibility and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. Our purpose is to advocate on behalf of nontheistic and secular Americans. The Secular Coalition for America was founded in 2002

3 Who We Represent % of Americans think political leaders should NOT rely on religious beliefs when making decisions. Source: ABC News/Washington Post poll, April 2005 and the Association of Religion Data Archives

4 Who We Represent 4 Americans with no religious affiliation, “Nones” represent 16.1% of all Americans

5 SCA Organizational Structure 5 Board of Directors One representative from each member organization Board Officers Non-voting members of the Board of Directors Executive Director SCA Staff State Chapters Endorsing Organizations Allied Organizations and Coalitions Advisory Board

6 Secular Coalition for America Member Organizations 6

7 Secular Coalition for America Endorsing Organizations 7 Anti-Discrimination Support Network Arizona Coalition of Reason (ArizonaCoR), Association of Humanistic Rabbis Ask an Atheist Atheist Nexus Brights Action SCA, Center for Atheism, Center for Naturalism Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations, EARTHWARD Foundation Beyond Belief Freethought Action Hispanic American Freethinkers Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard, Humanist Institute Humanist Society Humanists of Florida TheInfidels.org Internet Infidels LGBT Humanist Council of AHA Mission of Reason, Mr. Deity National Atheist Party OABITAR Path of Reason Project Reason Rational Response Squad The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science Secular Nations, South Carolina Progressive Network Stiefel Freethought Foundation Unitarian Universalist Infidels United Coalition of Reason Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH) The following organization extend their support by endorsing the mission of the Secular Coalition for America:

8 Secular Coalition for America Allies 8 The Secular Coalition for America is building the coalition by adding Allied Organizations who may not be able to support the entire mission of the SCA, but share our position on particular issues.

9 SCA Coalitions 9 CARD - Coalition Against Religious Discrimination NCPE - National Coalition for Public Education SIECUS - Sexual Inform and Education Council of the United States National Advisory Board IFPC - International Family Planning Coalition LCCR - Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights Coalition for Liberty and Justice

10 Subject Areas of our Key Issues 10 Heath & Safety Education Military Tax Policy Discrimination Government Actions International

11 Health & Safety Issues 11 Medical Professionals Denying Care Based on Personal Beliefs Religious Employers Denying Healthcare Coverage Based on Personal Beliefs Religiously Based Child Abuse and Neglect Religiously Based Substance Abuse Treatment Religiously Based Healthcare Policy

12 Education 12 Public Funding of Religious Schools Schools Discriminate Against Nontheistic Students Religious Influence on Public School Curriculum Religious Coercion of Public School Students

13 Military 13 Military Chaplains Do Not Equally Represent or Support All Service Members

14 Military 14 Military Promotion of Religion Military Discrimination Against Nontheists

15 Tax Policy 15 Tax Free Housing for Clergy Faith-Based Nonprofits Exempt from Nonprofit Requirements Source: How Secular Humanists (and Everyone Else) Subsidize Religion in the United States; Ryan Cragun, Stephanie Yeager, and Desmond Vega; Free Inquiry Magazine, May 2012

16 Discrimination 16 Religiously Motivated Employment Discrimination Housing Discrimination by Religious Landlords

17 Government Actions 17 National Ceremonies and Symbols Endorsing Religion Government Officials Endorsing Religion Religious Definition of Civil Marriage Taxpayer Money Furthering Religious Beliefs Religiously Based Policy

18 International 18 Religiously Based International Policy U.S. Aid to Countries That Limit Religious Freedom

19 Aggressive Implementation of our Strategic Plan - Legislative Activity 19 National Secular Movement Weekly Update Call Every Thursday at Noon Code: Legislative and Regulatory Call Every other Tuesday Will track and discuss all problematic proposed legislation and regulatory issues Featuring a government policy decisions maker Hill Briefings Federal Legislative and Regulatory Tracking State Legislative and Regulatory Tracking Liaisons in Both Republican and Democratic Campaigns Presidential, gubernatorial and congressional Attending Republican and Democratic Conventions

20 Source: National Council of State Legislatures, Feb State Legislature Control By Party 20

21 State Legislatures and Governors Source: National Council of State Legislatures, Feb

22 Current Electoral Vote Prediction Source: Washington Post - May 17,

23 Senate Race Breakdown Source: Cook Political Report, May

24 Democratic Senate Toss-Ups Open Seats: HI (Akaka) NM (Bingaman) ND (Conrad) VA (Webb) WI (Kohl) Incumbents: MO (McCaskill) MT (Tester) Source: Cook Political Report, May

25 Republican Senate Toss-Ups Open Seat: ME (Snowe) Incumbents: MA (Brown) NV (Heller) Source: Cook Political Report, May

26 Overall U.S. House Breakdown All 435 seats are up for re-election. Democrats currently have 23 seats listed as Lean or Toss Up. Republicans currently have 32 seats listed as Lean or Toss Up. Republicans control the House by a 49 seat majority. Democrats would need to have a net gain 25 seats to reclaim the majority. 26

27 Aggressive Implementation of our Strategic Plan - Research and Outreach 27 National Policy Conference and Lobby Day Conference presents speakers who are major decision makers Lobby Day educates a large number of secularists in lobbying techniques and sends them to the hill for meetings with congressional offices National Secular Calendar Presidential and Congressional Scorecards Pulling together policy and research resources Tracking of Major Court Cases Guidebook on principles of secularism for elected officials Educating about our issues through educational videos and webinars on our website State Chapters

28 28 Some of the most egregious violations of church state separation are being promoted and passed at the state level, and we absolutely must act to stop it! A Secular Coalition for America state chapter is unlike any other nontheistic state organization—it brings together interested organizations and individuals for the exclusive purpose of lobbying government officials.

29 State Chapters Calls 29 We are holding initial organizing conference calls to initiate the development The initial organizing call for New York will be in mid-July On the call we will be discussing the mission, purpose, and goals of the SCA chapters the resources SCA can provide to SCA Chapters the secular lobbying needs of New York, and the organizational structure of the chapters, including leadership positions. The exact date, time, and further details about how you can participate will be posted on our website and ed out through state organizations

30 State Chapters 30 Current affiliatesPhase One: Starting the first week of JunePhase Two: Starting the last week of June Phase Three: Starting the third week of July Phase Four: Starting the second week of AugustPhase Five: Starting the fourth week of August

31 Scary State Laws 31 6 states have laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to fill an emergency prescription for contraceptives. 21 states offer exemptions from contraceptive coverage for employers with varying degrees of religious affiliation 44 states have laws that require public school classes to recite a Pledge of Allegiance stating we are a nation “under God” Only 18 states require sex education curricula to be medically accurate

32 Recently Passed Scary State Laws 32 Kansas - “Health Care Rights of Conscience Act” signed into law in April allows pharmacists to refuse to dispense drugs they believe might cause an abortion Virginia - SB 131, which was signed into law by the Governor on April 9, 2012, establishes a tax credit for corporations that make donations for scholarships to religious schools. Tennessee - SB 893/HB 368 states, under the pretext of fostering critical thinking, that teachers must be allowed to discuss “weaknesses” in scientific theories such as evolution

33 Scary State Examples 33 Florida’s Amendment 8- To remove from the Florida Constitution the language that prohibits government funding of religion. Missouri HB “prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction.” Similar bills in Tennessee and Utah Michigan HB increases fines for the criminal disruption of the private property or entrance to private property being used for religious service

34 Informational Resources 34 National Secular Movement Update Call Every Thursday at Noon Code: National Secular Calendar Blog Facebook Twitter Action Alerts Website

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36 Speaker Information 36 Edwina Rogers Executive Director Secular Coalition for America th St., NW, Suite 205 Washington, DC Office (202) ext. 207 Mobile (202)


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