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 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:
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:
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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Over the past year, the Secular Coalition for America has been working on expanding into all 50 states — all the better to track state and local issues. A number of chapters have already been created, and today marks the unveiling of websites for every state in the union: … the sites are not only [Read More...]