“What an amazing night.”The positive online comments keep pouring in!
There were several people in Lincoln today meeting about trying to organise a state chapter of the SCA in Nebraska.Organising people over in Omaha and Lincoln (the state capital) is not too hard, the…Continue
This organization is a very serious threat to a "Secular Nation." These people are using our tax dollars to go into school buildings after hours and teach this garbage to our children! I'm sure…Continue
I live in Southern, Ohio and the Bible-Belt runs strong through the hills in our community. I frequent many city council meetings because of the corruption that has been within our tiny city for…Continue
When South Carolina leads a national story, it's usually because of a horrible hurricane or racial incident. There hasn't been a major hurricane lately in my hometown of Charleston, but North Charleston recently became the focus of national and international attention when a white police officer named Michael Slager shot an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, five times in the back as he fled after being stopped for a broken taillight.
Since police investigations in South Carolina and many other states almost always exonerate the officer in a questionable situation, it was almost unprecedented for Slager to be arrested and charged with murder shortly after the shooting. However, because of the now-famous video taken by a passerby, I don't credit South Carolina law enforcement for their prompt action. The video appears to show Slager taking target practice on a black man's back, turning the "smoking gun" cliché into something literal. Were it not for the video, an internal police investigation might have exonerated Slager because he initially claimed to fear for his life during a struggle with Scott.
By Douglas Berger, Co-Chair, Secular Coalition for Ohio
I comment on the March 5 Dispatch article “ Religious-freedom case strikes delicate balance.” One fact that seems to be missing from coverage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act is that public-accommodation laws won’t force churches to solemnize same-sex weddings, just as they aren’t forced to solemnize weddings for people of different faiths today.
Marriage is a contract regulated by the state, so a religious solemnization isn’t even required.
Since a “restoration act” isn’t needed to protect churches or the clergy, such laws appear to be bigotry in the guise of “religious freedom.” They are used by people who have businesses that are supposed to be open to the public, but who want to force their beliefs onto others.
Pierre, South Dakota---After several weeks of voting, the award for “Worst State Bill” violating the separation of church and state has been given to South Dakota Senate Bill 114, a bill entitled “An act to encourage and protect the teaching of certain scientific information.”
The survey was conducted via social media by the Secular Coalition for America as a part of its Bad Bill Madness campaign. A parody of the popular college basketball tournament, the survey placed 16 bills from different states into brackets and asked respondents to vote on which most violated the separation of church and state. The roster included, but was not limited to, a bill prohibiting secular marriage ceremonies in Oklahoma, a law declaring the Bible the official state book of Tennessee, and a bill to make property leased to religious organizations tax-exempt in Arizona.
With the final round concluding Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, the South Dakota bill was officially declared the winner. Under the guise of “academic freedom” the bill would have provided legal protections for science teachers to insert their own ideological biases into the classroom, even if it was contrary to scientific consensus. Any pretense of genuine concern for promoting critical inquiry disappears when one reads the list of topics specifically protected by the bill, which included “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, human cloning, and other scientific subjects that may cause debate and disputation.”
Although SB 114 won the title of “Worst State Bill” it’s worth noting that it is only one of many from a recent wave of legislation designed to undermine science education with similar bills introduced in Missouri, Indiana, and Oklahoma. This attempt to insert creationism into the classroom was so transparent that representatives from the State Department of Education, the South Dakota Education Association, and the Associated School Boards of South Dakota testified against the bill in committee. Appropriately, the bill received supportive testimony from the Family Policy Council and the Discovery Institute.
Although the bill was recently rejected in committee with a 4-2 vote, the Secular Coalition for South Dakota would like to congratulate the supporters and sponsors of SB 114 on winning the Bad Bill Madness bracket. The language of SB 114 is an example of the anti-science movement’s new political tactic: using ambiguous language to insert religion into public school science classrooms. As the public becomes increasingly aware of the broad scientific consensus behind evolution and climate change, anti-science advocates must face the facts and keep their ideological agendas out of public school science classrooms.
CONTACT: Kelly Damerow, SCA Interim Executive Director, at email@example.com or (202)-299-1091 ext. 207.