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Secular Coalition for America Mission and Purpose Our mission is to increase the visibility and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States,

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


2 Secular Coalition for America Mission and Purpose 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 2

3 Who We Represent 52.8% 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 3

4 Who We Represent Americans with no religious affiliation, “Nones” represent 16.1% of all Americans 4 Source: U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, February 2008

5 SCA Organizational Structure 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 5

6 Secular Coalition for America Member Organizations 6

7 Secular Coalition for America Endorsing Organizations 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 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: 7

8 Secular Coalition for America Allies 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. 8

9 SCA Coalitions 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 9

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

11 Health & Safety Issues 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 11

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

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

14 Military Military Promotion of Religion Military Discrimination Against Nontheists 14

15 Tax Policy 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 15

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

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

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

19 State Chapters Current affiliatesPhase One: Starting the first week of June 19

20 State Chapters 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. State Conference Calls 20

21 Religious Motivated Federal Action that Particularly Harms Women Adams Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act Trafficking Victims Protection Act Religious Exemption to the Contraception Mandate 21

22 Contraception Mandate Background The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance provide for certain preventive health services for women. Research by the independent Institute of Medicine recommended these preventative health services include all FDA approved contraceptive methods. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a regulation mandating health insurance issuers provide for cost-free contraceptive coverage in their plans. 22

23 Support for the Contraception Mandate Contraceptives have medical benefits for women for whom pregnancy is a health risk. There are demonstrated preventative health benefits from contraceptives relating to many conditions other than pregnancy. There are significant cost savings to employers from the coverage of contraceptives. The unique health needs of women place them at a disadvantage in the workforce compared to their male coworkers. 28 states now have laws requiring health insurance issuers to cover contraceptives. 23

24 “Religious Employer” Exemption “Religious employers” were granted an exemption and are not required to cover contraceptive services. A “religious employer” is an organization whose purpose is the inculcation of religious values, it primarily employs people of the same faith, it primarily serves people of the same faith, and it is a nonprofit. 24

25 Non Religious Employers Claim Violation of their “Religious Freedom” Religious groups claim the mandate violates their “religious freedom” A broader exemption actually violates the religious freedom of employees The current religious employer exemption already accommodates religion, exemption expansion becomes endorsement. 25

26 Lobbying In Support of the Contraception Mandate Educate: Clearly state that restrictions of health care options based on religious dogma is “discrimination” Influence: Ask for NO votes on legislation and regulations that give anyone except the individual the right to choose what health care options are available Share: Share your stories about why having health care choices are important and why allowing someone else’s religion to decide your health care options is wrong 26

27 Religiously Motivated State Legislation that Particularly Harms Women 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 Only 18 states require sex education curricula to be medically accurate 27

28 Informational Resources National Secular Movement Update Call Every Thursday at Noon 559-726-1300 Code: 199568 Blog Facebook Twitter Action Alerts Calendar Website @SecularDotOrg 28

29 29

30 Speaker Information Edwina Rogers Executive Director Secular Coalition for America 1012 14 th St., NW, Suite 205 Washington, DC 20005 Office (202) 299 1091 ext. 207 Mobile (202) 674 7800 30

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