Secular Coalition for America (Official)

Information

Secular Coalition for America (Official)

The Secular Coalition for America is an advocacy organization whose purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.

Website: http://secular.org
Location: Washington, D.C.
Members: 376
Latest Activity: Jan 18

Secular Coalition for Arizona Kick-Off a Rousing Success

Secular Coalition for America Needs Your Leadership to Build More State Affiliates

“What an amazing night.”

The positive online comments keep pouring in!
The movement for a saner and more secular America is blazing a historic new trail, a trail that will lead to Secular Coalitions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia by the end of the decade. On October 12, we took the first exciting steps on that trail with the establishment of the Secular Coalition for Arizona, the first Secular Coalition for America State Affiliate.

To read more, click here!

Discussion Forum

Nebraska trying to organise despite wide open distances

Started by James Kz. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jan 19, 2013. 1 Reply

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

Prayer god and Veterans Admin

Started by mike h.. Last reply by James Kz Oct 23, 2012. 3 Replies

Here we go, this may spur a conversation...I am a disabled vet and am offended at constantly hearing "No athiests in foxholes" .....  …Continue

The Good News Club or Truth Seekers Club

Started by Jeff Dempsey. Last reply by James M. Martin Jun 27, 2012. 1 Reply

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

Tags: State, &, Church, of, Seperation

Launching A Campaign Against My City To Stop Prayer Before Council Meetings

Started by Jeff Dempsey. Last reply by Jeff Dempsey Jun 17, 2012. 5 Replies

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

Tags: State, and, Church, of, Seperation

Secular Coalition Latest News

How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Few people will change their worldviews because of a debate. But some Christians might become less inclined to stereotype atheists if atheists debate differently.

As an atheist, I’ve had a number of debates with Christians on topics like whether God exists, whether we can be moral without God, whether science makes belief in God harder or easier, and more recently, whether atheism makes more sense than Christianity.

Usually, debate preparation depends on the topic and what your opponent has previously said, but there are some common strategies that work well in any situation. With a mostly Christian audience, I look for opportunities to change atheist stereotypes and raise questions some might never have considered.

Here are five ways to behave and ten questions to answer in every debate with Christian counterparts:

Five Behaviors

1. Praise the Bible. I like to mention that every educated person should read the Bible (this line is the only time I get cheers from conservative Christians) because it’s an important part of our culture. I also provide a list that includes books like A Demon Haunted World and The History of God to hand out to audience members after the debate.

2. Target the audience. Most conservative Christians are skeptical of whatever I say in a debate. The best I usually hear from them afterward is, “The atheist seemed like a nice person, even though he’s going to hell.” While atheists usually want me to bash religion, I try not to do that because I want to reach open-minded Christians who have never heard an atheist’s point of view from an atheist.

Continue reading at Faith Street >>

Church Invitation: An Atheist on American Anglicans and Amazing Grace

What will an atheist find when he attends services at a conservative Christian church in South Carolina?

Editor’s note: Church Invitation is an occasional series at OnFaith where we ask people of various backgrounds to attend houses of worship and write about the experience.    

On Sunday, March 30, I visited St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, just outside of Charleston where I live. The church’s stated vision is to re-evangelize our society and transform our culture. My intention was to learn more about this church that was established in 1827 and now has more than 3000 members. So I attended both the 9 a.m. contemporary service along with several hundred young and old congregants, and then the 10:45 a.m. traditional service with fewer than a hundred people, mostly older.

Both services began with music (guitar in the first and organ in the second), followed by the minister reading Bible passages. The homily was titled “TODAY: How Should I Read the Bible?” I translated that in my mind to “How Should I Read the Bible TODAY?” However, the homilies were specifically about reading the Bible without concessions to modernity.

Rev. Chris Hancock, who led the contemporary service, was dynamic and sometimes humorous. After a little trouble with his PowerPoint presentation, he riffed off the Lord Acton quote, “Power corrupts, but PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.” He told us to read the Bible “humbly, prayerfully, thoughtfully, expectantly, and obediently.” No mention of reading it skeptically. He warned of scorners (like me, I guess) who use difficult passages to undermine the Bible’s authority, and quoted 2 Timothy 3:16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.”

Rev. John Burley had a more serious demeanor at the traditional service, though he made the same points. He warned of cultural biases that might lead us to follow only some parts of the Bible, saying that if any parts offend us, it’s because we don’t understand them. He also made the only reference to atheism, claiminginaccuracies in the film Noah were to be expected because the film’s director, Darren Aronofsky, is an atheist. Burley added that we must trust only Jesus rather than those who appear to be good and moral. (Hmm . . . should congregants then not trust Rev. Burley?)

He told us to read the Bible “humbly, prayerfully, thoughtfully, expectantly, and obediently.” No mention of reading it skeptically.

I might have put money in the collection plate if the minister had said it was for a good cause, like helping the poor, but the first minister merely quoted Acts 20:35, “It is better to give than to receive,” and the second asked for an offering to God. So I kept my money.

Continue reading at Faith Street>>

SCA's Congressional Report Cards: Why Salon Got It Wrong

On Friday Salon.com published an article critical of the Secular Coalition for America's Congressional Report Cards, "Liberals are overlooking a major political ally: Yes, there's a religious left!" In the piece, author, Elizabeth Stoker, rightly pointed out the rubric of the report cards' "logic is open to inquiry."

Unfortunately, many of Stoker's points of concern inaccurately portray the basic facts of the report cards via misstatements, inaccuracies, or logical fallacies which beg for clarification or correction.

On Darwin Day
Salon says:
"It's even more bizarre to try to work out exactly what [the Darwin Day Resolution] would have to do with the separation of church and state."

The SCA asserts: The text of the resolution, H.Res 41, states "the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems." Using publicly funded schools to promote the religious belief in creationism is a textbook example of the separation of church and state.

Salon says:  "...it's absurd and insulting to imagine only non-religious people to be interested in the improvement of human life through scientific progress."

The SCA asserts: The Secular Coalition never stated, nor implied the bills we champion are only open to support from the non-religious, because that's not true. We regularly work with religiously affiliated allied organizations and continue to enthusiastically encourage their support for this bill. The separation of religion and government protects both the church and the state, which is why we work with religious organizations, including three of our own member organizations, The Society for Humanistic Judaism, American Ethical Union and HUUmanists.

On Health Care
Salon says:
 The Health Care Conscience Right Act, H.R. 940, is described as an attempt to "protect rights of conscience" as it would "signal the government's refusal to act upon individuals who, for reasons of conscience, did not want to perform a particular service. In that sense it's a clear-cut push for neutrality."

The SCA asserts: This bill, and this representation of it, continue the misinterpretation and misuse of religious freedom that has grown in the past few years. The truth is this bill exempts an individual from the requirement to purchase health insurance coverage if something they religiously or morally object to could potentially be covered. To be clear, the action required by the Affordable Care Act is purchasing insurance. The action religiously objected to is receiving various health services. These are distinctly different. There is no action which burdens religion to be exempted from here. The ACA is religiously neutral as written. This bill is not a push for neutrality, but a push away from it towards religious privilege.

On Religious Discrimination
Salon says:
 "That the SCA willingly aligns itself with symbolic legislation that takes a shot at religion writ large could, however, ultimately damage the prospects of the left as a coalition."

The SCA asserts: The Secular Coalition cannot align with "symbolic legislation that takes a shot at religion" as it does not exist. However, legislation that symbolically endorses religion is much easier to find. For example, the Congressional reaffirmations of "In God We Trust" as our national motto and "one nation under God" in the pledge of allegiance. Or possibly the 20 statements on floor of the House of Representatives honoring various reverends and pastors during the three weeks of March in which the House was in session. Pointing out favoritism is hardly an attack.

On Partisanship
Salon says:
"The breakdown of the lucky few who managed to score A's was telling: All were Democrats." "But based on the issues that appear meaningful to the SCA and the side they fall out on, it seems there's rather a political agenda tied up in their secularism, and it's a decidedly leftist one."

The SCA asserts: Correlation does not imply causation. The Secular Coalition is a nonpartisan organization. We reject political agendas, conspiracy theories and logical fallacies. The issues that are meaningful to the Secular Coalition are those which privilege religion by claiming a burden which does not exist; justify legislation with religious beliefs, not evidence nor reason; or send taxpayer money to houses of worship, exempt from any oversight or transparency. The political agenda tied up in these issues isn't ours. We will continue to recognize and thank whoever stands up to the monolithic religious-political complex pushing this agenda, no matter the party with which they are affiliated. 

 

Comment Wall

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Comment by Shannon on April 1, 2011 at 3:18pm
Tim-- you had me worried.
Comment by Aiden on March 27, 2011 at 9:07am
Looks like the vid was removed, EC.
Comment by AgeOfAtheists14 on March 26, 2011 at 4:00pm

Historical secular knowledge:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FE8CV3VAekM

Comment by Brian George on March 6, 2011 at 6:32pm

proselytization in the US military

 

I added this as a note to the petition: When I was in basic training we were given the choice of going to church for an hour with the rest of the day off, or working K.P. duty all day. The message was clear and disgusting. I chose to work K.P. duty!

Comment by Catherine Piske on January 29, 2011 at 4:09pm
I was just there last week. Signed .. thanks for bringing this up. :)
Comment by Rayray on November 19, 2010 at 9:35am
Ok, just signed it. Yes, it states it in the letter that it is unconstitutional. I thought so.
Comment by Rayray on November 19, 2010 at 9:32am
Riomarcos, isn't that constitutionally illegal? Something about the state pushing or giving favor toward one religion over another or pushing religion at all?
Comment by Larian LeQuella on November 12, 2010 at 11:34am
Hello all. I am the crazy cat herder up in New Hampshire that is attempting to set up a chapter in our state. I see Matt had a great success with Arizona, so I hope that I can mirror that up here in the Granite State.
Comment by Shawn Anonymous on November 2, 2010 at 7:02pm
Hello Friends,

I've been away from AN for a bit, so its been a while since some of us have talked. I hope all is well. I wanted to tell you all about my new article on the Black Skeptics Blogspot, its called "Humanity's Child". If you get a chance, I hope you'll read it and post a comment on the page. If you like it, or simply find it interesting, I hope you'll forward it to your friends and/or groups across the net. You can find a link to the article below. Thanks in guys!

Best,
Shawn


PS- For those of you who are interested, you can also find my previous article entitled "What If" by searching that title on the Black Skeptics Group at Blogspot or RichardDawkins.net


http://blackskeptics.blogspot.com/2010/11/humanitys-child.html
Comment by Sarah Walton on September 24, 2010 at 6:17pm
Is the Secular Coalition for citizens only, or is participation by permanent residents allowed?
 

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