Aug. 3 update: McHugh hearing provides one positive response on prohibiting proselytizing, but written responses indicate that additional education is necessary. Read more »
Today the Secular Coalition for America sent a letter to the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee voicing their concerns about President Obama's nomination of Representative John McHugh to serve as Army Secretary. The letter urges Senators on the committee to question McHugh during confirmation hearings on his unwillingness to address the coercive religious climate in the military. The full text of the letter is as follows: Read more »
The Secular Coalition today urged the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to address the topic of religious liberty during Justice Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.
In a letter sent to the DC offices of the 19 senators in the committee, the Coalition praised Justice Souter's strong history of defending the separation of church and state and reiterated the significance of the upcoming confirmation hearings in light of that legacy. Read more »
May 21st- Today, the Secular Coalition for America submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the development of guidelines that would establish a framework for the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Far too long decisions as to what types of research should receive federal funding have been captives of a religiously tinged political process rather than the subject of a well established process of scientific peer review. On March 9th, President Obama issued an Executive Order instructing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop these guidelines and on April 24th, their draft guidelines were available for public comment. To read the Secular Coalition’s comments, click here. Read more »
The Obama Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed to rescind the Bush-era "conscience clause" rule that encourages healthcare workers to put their religious needs before the medical needs of patients and also encourages religiously motivated recipients of federal funds to compromise federal programs. However, when HHS proposed to rescind the rule, it also asked for comment "on whether the objectives of the ... rule might also be accomplished through non-regulatory means."
The Secular Coalition for America opposed the adoption of the original rule. Now in a comment letter on the rescission proposal the Secular Coalition has told HHS -- completely rescind the rule. There is no middle ground.
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With reports indicating President Obama will accept the traditional role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America, the Secular Coalition calls on him to use his power to move the Boy Scouts beyond their "traditional values" and to practice the American values of diversity and tolerance. The Coalition also hopes the First Lady, likely to become Girl Scouts' honorary president, uses her position to promote that group's enlightened embrace of diversity.
March 9, 2009
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
You and the First Lady have been invited to become Honorary Presidents of the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of America, respectively; this gives each of you an opportunity to advance our national conversation about diversity and tolerance. Read more »
In releasing his 2010 budget outline today, President Obama indicates that his administration will continue funding abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education, an approach that has repeatedly failed to reduce teen pregnancy. It does nothing more than prohibit sexual activity among unmarried young people, as if sexual activity after marriage has a different outcome.
To prevent teen pregnancy, the president’s budget "supports State, community-based, and faith-based efforts to reduce teen pregnancy using evidence-based models. The program will fund models that stress the important of abstinence while providing medically-accurate and age-appropriate information to youth who have already become sexually active." Read more »