The Boy Scouts of America traditionally ask the President of the United States to act as honorary president of their organization. The Secular Coalition for America has joined with 18 other major nontheistic groups asking President-elect Obama to decline the invitation because it would be an endorsement of the Scouts' explicit policy of discriminating against nontheistic Americans. Read more »
The man nominated to run the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a welcome signal yesterday during his Senate confirmation hearings. Tom Daschle told the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, "I want to reinstate a science-driven environment. I want to take ideology and politics, as much as possible, out of the process and allow the scientists to do their jobs." Read more »
President-elect Obama announced the program for his inauguration this week, and it begins with an invocation from the Rev. Rick Warren, an evangelical mega church pastor. Although Obama and his spokesperson insist his inaugural will be inclusive and offer diverse viewpoints, the choice of two Protestants to open and close the ceremony suggests otherwise. Read more »
For Immediate Release: Dec. 18, 2008 Contact: Anne Singer, 202-271-4679
WASHINGTON, DC - The Bush Administration today implemented the Provider Conscience Regulation (RIN 0991-AB48) through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its purpose is to allow medical personnel and volunteers to refuse to participate in any practice they find morally objectionable. This rule has been widely criticized for the effects it will have on OB/GYN care; however, other areas of patient care will also be compromised under this rule and many groups of Americans could see their medical treatment undermined as a result. Read more »
There were high hopes going into the second half of the 110th Congress that 2008 would be the year when legislators would reverse some of the Bush policies that most infringe upon the separation of church and state. Sadly, with both political parties consumed with the presidential election, Congressional legislative action was particularly lackluster during the second half of the year. Nonetheless, the Secular Coalition was still able to make progress on the issues most important to our constituency.
Director Lori Lipman Brown and Legislative Associate Sasha Bartolf went on hundreds of lobby visits, including face-to-face meetings with more than fifty Senators. We also enjoyed having many of our Action Alert recipients come to Washington to accompany us as we lobbied their representatives. We were particularly thrilled at the turnout for our 2nd Annual Lobby Day on June 9th, when we set up visits for supporters to talk about the problems of proselytizing in the military and D.C. vouchers for religious schools with their elected officials and staff. Read more »
Washington, DC - Atheists and others with no religious affiliation make up 21% of the U.S. Armed Forces, and yet they suffer harassment, discrimination and proselytizing in a military increasingly dominated by a powerful minority of evangelical Christians. Other military personnel who do not hold a born-again Christian belief are similarly marginalized. The Secular Coalition for America and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers held a briefing today at the National Press Club in Washington, DC and proposed a new set of policy recommendations in a memo to President-elect Obama as he considers staffing and policies regarding the military.
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