Yesterday, Another Arizona Legislator Delivered a Godless Invocation on the House Floor

Remember last year, when Arizona State Rep. Juan Mendez delivered a secular invocation on the House floor?

Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” There is, in the political process, much to bear. In this room, let us cherish and celebrate our shared humanness, our shared capacity for reason and compassion, our shared love for the people of our state, for our Constitution, for our democracy — and let us root our policymaking process in these values that are relevant to all Arizonans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief. In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

It was that awesome.

Well, yesterday, on a day when representatives from the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Coalition for Arizona were visiting the state capitol, another politician delivered a godless prayer. This time, Rep. Ruben Gallego (below) did the honors:

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Secular Coalition Announces 2014 Lobby Day

The Secular Coalition for America has announced the dates for its 2014 Lobby Day and Policy Conference this summer, June 12th-14th. Last year’s event featured actual in-person addresses by actual, real-life officeholders, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who for whatever reason were unafraid of getting atheist cooties. [Read more...]

The Secular Policy Recommendations That Will Make the Religious Right Squirm

The Secular Coalition for America is releasing its “Model Secular Policy Guide” for politicians with a briefing on Capitol Hill today. (For the sake of publicity, they invited runway models — get it? “Models”? — to serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres to the attendees… which sounds like they’re just gift-wrapping critics a reason to denounce them.)

The guide, endorsed at least in part by more than 86 non-theistic groups across the country, is “meant to help educate legislators on the views of secular and nontheistic Americans on pertinent issues.” The largest section of the report is devoted to advice on health/safety-related issues.

While most of the policy recommendations are no doubt obvious, here’s a rundown of the big ones:

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Massachusetts State Senator William Brownsberger, a Candidate for Congress, Outs Himself as a Humanist

After Senator John Kerry became Secretary of State, Rep. Ed Markey ran for and won his Senate seat. That left an opening in the House, which will soon be filled in a special election this December.

The first stop to that seat is the primary, which will take place next Tuesday.

The Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and Secular Coalition for America have released a scorecard grading the candidates for the 5th Congressional District.

The overall grades aren’t all that newsworthy… one awful Republican candidate, a handful of good Democratic candidates, a smattering of candidates on both sides for whom we don’t have enough information about to see a grade.

But then we get one incredible response from William Brownsberger, a Democratic State Senator:



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Secular Coalition for America’s Edwina Rogers Featured in The Washingtonian

The September, 2013 issue of Washingtonian has a long feature on Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America:

Reporter Libby Copeland writes:

During one of several interviews for the job, the room was packed with staff and advisers who were, in the words of coalition bigwig Woody Kaplan, “flabbergasted” and “incredulous” at Rogers’s presence.

“My purpose was not to interview Edwina to see if she was right for the job,” recalls Kaplan, an adviser to the coalition, “but to destroy her.”

Yet Rogers “turned the entire room around,” Kaplan says. He’s been a civil-liberties lobbyist and donor for decades, school in the art of political sausage-making — but he’s still slightly awed by Rogers’s powers of persuasion: “She walked out and we voted 100 percent for her.”

Most of the information wasn’t new or revealing to me, though, until I came across this passage:

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