Lobby Day for Reason a Success

Last week the Secular Coalition held Lobby Day for Reason—an event that drew 200 nontheistic Americans to Capitol Hill to lobby their representatives on behalf of secular values.

More than 125 meetings were held with Senate and House staffs on both sides of the isle—in fact, the number of scheduled meetings was split almost down the middle between the offices of Democrats and Republicans. After all, secular values are non-partisan—they are uniquely American values.

Participants lobbied their representatives to raise awareness of the secular community, to ask for inclusion by lawmakers, and on religious discrimination in health care law.

As atheists, agnostics, and freethinkers from across the spectrum, it’s important for us to make ourselves known. The prevalence of the Religious Right in politics today demands that we make our voices heard and protect the separation of church and state—which is the best guarantee of freedom of religion for all, including, ironically, those who seek break down that wall.

Lobby Day participants learned the skills they needed to lobby their federal representatives that day, but also took home valuable skills to lobby their local representatives—a task equally as important.

Many of the attacks we see on secular values are happening at the state and local levels. Today 38 percent of current members of Congress served first in local or state offices. Often the federal leaders of tomorrow are most accessible today in state and local positions.

Religion is seeping into every facet of our government from the state level on up and that wall of separation between government and religion that we so treasure is under constant attack.

Lobby Day was an opportunity to show our elected officials that they have nontheistic constituents, and to cement ourselves in their minds as a voting bloc – as well as an opportunity to raise important issues to the very people responsible for setting the legislative agenda for our country.

It was an amazing start—but it’s just the beginning. As secular Americans we need to keep making ourselves known, keep voting, keep raising issues and keep fighting to protect the separation of government and religion.

 

You can read some of the press coverage we received on Lobby Day and for our participation in the Reason Rally, here.

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