Have You Ever Lobbied Your Elected Officials?

The other night I posted video of Sean Faircloth talking about vital lobbying and organizational strategies which secularists need to employ in order to turn the political tide in the U.S. away from its troublingly theocratic current direction. The day before the Reason Rally, the Secular Coalition for America held a “Lobby Day for Reason”. The Secular Coalition for America arranged meetings between secular constituents and Congressional staffs so that these citizens could share their political concerns as secularists. Dean Buchanan writes about his experience:

Open the Door!

An anecdote about constituent lobbying:

The Secular Coalition for America sponsored a Lobby Day for Reason on the Friday before the reason rally.

My spouse, 10 year old son, and I participated. I can report that it is extremely personally empowering to be in a group of atheists/humanists/etceterists, sitting around a table with a top aid of our representative or senator and saying, one-after-another,

“Hi, I’m(nym here)and I am an atheist(or etcetera). (Our group was mostly atheists).

There is no question that the staff people had never heard or considered their non-theist constituents. The staff were particularly touched by my son who bravely spoke his mind about the Pledge of Allegiance that his school repeats daily, and that atheists are people too.
Our group met with very senior people (legislative directors and top health advisers).

We were allotted 15 minutes but each meeting went well over 30 minutes and the conversations were great.

The personal stories (like Sean promotes) and the personal interaction can break through and open doors to communication.
As a practical consequence of our meetings, all of the aids want to know what the Secular Coalition thinks about any pending legislation in the future. Now I live in a liberal state so not everyone’s experience will be that positive I am sure. But after the meeting, you have a name, an email address, and the door’s open, at least a little.

I think everyone should try it, just do it in a group if possible.

What are your experiences with lobbying? What have you found works and what does not? Did you participate in the Lobby Day for Reason? If so, please share your experience!

Your Thoughts and Experiences?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.