The Secular Coalition for America is celebrating a victory in Utah as its Democratic Party has approved the creation of a Secular Caucus.
“The idea of creating a Secular Caucus has generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm amongst Democrats and Independents in Utah,” said Utah Democrat and caucus co-founder Daisy Thomas.“We are receiving dozens of messages of interest and positive feedback thanking us for bringing this voice to the table. We want people of all beliefs, including nonreligious Utahns, to have the same opportunity to shape politics in our state, and we believe a clear separation between church and state protects all of our freedoms.”
This isn’t only a victory for atheists, but also for non-Christians who have seen their own rights diminish under the hands of the Christian Right.
“In recent years I have watched with dismay as legislation was enacted under the auspices of varied branches of Christianity in states across our country,” said Daniel Hicken, a practicing Mormon who serves as the Legislative Chairman of the Utah Democratic Party. “At the moment, this legislation might not hurt those of my faith. But what of others? How can I turn a blind eye as others suffer the trial my own family lived through? I support the creation of this watchdog component of our party, a place to welcome those who might feel otherwise excluded, a means to ensure that the majority considers the minority position on the issues we as a state face.”
The caucuses creation follows on the heels of Texas Democrats adopting secular policy resolutions proposed by the Secular Coalition.
“The religiously unaffiliated are the single largest religious demographic in the Democratic party and the fastest growing nationwide, yet our constituency has largely been ignored by the party establishment,” said Senior Legislative Representative at the Secular Coalition for America, Sarah Levin. “That is why we are empowering secular activists to educate party leadership about secular values and create a space to speak up for those values within their party. As a nonpartisan organization, we are working with secular Libertarians, secular Greens, and secular Republicans to mobilize secular values voters across the political spectrum. Separation of church and state and evidence-based policy are nonpartisan values because they are based in our Constitution.”