2012-2014 Media Coverage
The Columbus Dispatch
April 11th, 2014 - Secular Group Rates Congress Members
The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization of 13 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, recently issued a “report card” on members of Congress based on their votes on recent legislation involving church-state issues. Read more.
April 9th, 2014 - Church Invitation: An Atheist on American Anglicans and Amazing Grace
On Sunday, March 30, I visited St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, just outside of Charleston where I live. The church’s stated vision is to re-evangelize our society and transform our culture. My intention was to learn more about this church that was established in 1827 and now has more than 3000 members. Read more.
April 7th, 2014 - 5 Theocrats in Congress Who Care More About the Bible than the Constitution
Each year the Secular Coalition grades both house and senate members from a scale from A to F based on their voting records, not their personal religious beliefs, on the issues that involve the separation of church and state. Read more.
April 4th, 2014 - Liberals are Overlooking a Major Political Ally: Yes, There's a Religious Left!
An umbrella group of expressly non-religious organizations, such as the recently CPAC-banned American Atheists, released a report card for Congress last week, grading senators and representatives on their record of keeping church and state separate. Predictably, the group, called the Secular Coalition for America, did not rate America’s legislators high, with over half netting F’s. The breakdown of the lucky few who managed to score A’s was telling: All were Democrats. Read more.
April 4th, 2014 - In North Carolina, Jewish Doves Back Religious Conservative Attacked by Israel Hawks
Rep. Walter Jones wants his constituents to know that advocates of secularism don’t like him. “In their newly released scorecard, the Secular Coalition for America gave Walter Jones the lowest score of any member of Congress because he constantly voted to protect Judeo-Christian values,” stated a recent press release featured prominently on the official U.S. House of Representatives website of Jones, a North Carolina Republican. Read more.
National Journal (Top Views)
April 4th, 2014 - Church and State, Mapped
The Washington Post makes an interactive map out of the Secular Coalition for America's grades for how much religion influenced House lawmakers' votes. Read more.
April 4th, 2014 - These Congressmen Want to Tear the Wall Down Between Church and State
The Washington Post published on its website an interactive map of the U.S. with the grades of all of the U.S. Representatives' scores on the SCA'S 2013 Congressional Report Card. Read more.
April 2nd, 2014 - Congress still failing but improving on church-state issues, advocates say
Congress has earned a failing grade from a secular advocacy group that, nonetheless, expresses optimism that lawmakers are learning to discern the sometimes blurred line between church and state. Using an A-to-F scale, the Secular Coalition For America graded the House and the Senate, awarding 42 As and 315 Fs among the 113th Congress‘ 535 members. Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Let's Give the Bible a Second Chance...By Changing It
Why do I prefer our United States Constitution to the Bible? Lots of reasons, but I’ll focus on one. The Constitution allows for do-overs. Its authors understood the document to be imperfect and made provisions for future generations to amend it. Alas, there is no such biblical escape clause. What you see from way back then is what you get. Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Secular Coalition flunks most members of Congress on church-state report card
If some secular organizations had their way, much of the current class of lawmakers would flunk out of Congress. The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization of 13 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and The Freedom From Religion Foundation, issued a “report card” on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate based on their votes on recent legislation involving church-state issues. Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Atheist Group's Report Card Flunks Congress, Gives Elizabeth Warren Perfect Score
While 58 percent of Congress as a whole received a failing grade, a larger share of the House of Representatives, 62 percent, received an “F” based on their votes on 14 bills, including the FEMA Funding For Churches resolution and the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. Thirty-five House members, or 8 percent, received an “A.” Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Secular Coalition for America Fails Nearly 60% of Congress (Including Many, Many Republicans) in 2013 Scorecard
The Secular Coalition for America has released its 2013 Congressional Report Cards and things aren’t looking all that great. (Though it’s slightly better in the Senate than in the House). Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Atheists give failing grades to Congress
A coalition of atheist activist groups on Monday gave Congress an "F" on issues they pushed in 2013. The coalition rated members of the U.S. Senate on five issues, including support for the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act of 2013, and opposition to expansion of the religious exemption in the Employment Discrimination Act, FEMA funding for churches, the Freedom to Pray Act and school board prayer. Read more.
March 25, 2014 - More than 40 Coalition for Liberty & Justice Member Organizations Urge Supreme Court to Reject Challenges to Contraceptive Coverage
As the Supreme Court begins to hear arguments from Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., 44 members of the Coalition for Liberty & Justice, a broad alliance of faith-based, secular and other national organizations, endorsed the statement below in support of real religious liberty for all. If you would like to contact any of the coalition members, please see the media contact list following the statement. This group includes the Secular Coalition for America. Read more.
Christian Broadcasting Network
March 25, 2014 - Contraception Mandate Trampling Religious Freedom?
One of the nation's top secularists told CBN News Hobby Lobby's desire to be free of giving its workers what Obamacare guarantees them is just wrong. "Think about an employer who has 10,000 employees, and all those employees have different personal beliefs. But should that one employer's religious belief trump each one of the individual 10,000 employees' religious beliefs?" Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said. Read more.
March 18, 2014 - 10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew about Atheism
"I'm a “big-tent” atheist, which includes whatever non-theistic labels people prefer: agnostic, humanist, secular humanist, freethinker, secularist, and more. This list applies to the whole tent." Read more.
March 12, 2014 - A Few Kind Words for Satan
"Satan comes out looking pretty good in Genesis. After God tells Adam he will die on the day he eats a particular piece of fruit, Satan (in a snake costume) tells Eve that the snack will give them knowledge."Read more.
March 5, 2014 - Sin: Making Sense out of Nonsense
"The concept of sin has evolved beyond the so-called “original” one. In Orthodox Judaism, the religion in which I was raised, I was taught that sin is violating any of the 613 Commandments found in the Hebrew Bible." Read more.
The American Conservative
February 26, 2014 - Conservative Atheists Speak Up About CPAC Shunning
"[Executive Director, Edwina Rogers] notes that, among self-identified libertarians, 27 percent are religiously unaffiliated, tied with White Mainline Protestants for the largest subgroup. In the opinion of her communications director, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, “I don’t think the Republican Party has a choice but to move away from religion.” Read more.
US News & World Report
February 25, 2014 - Rep. Rush Holt Not Among the Secret Atheists of Congress
"Holt’s reluctance to recommend that his colleagues be atheists, exemplifies the challenge of being part of that community on Capitol Hill. Edwina Rogers, the Republican lobbyist who turned heads in 2012 by taking over the reins of the Secular Coalition, says that there are indeed nonbelievers walking those halls. They just don’t talk about it." Read more.
February 17, 2014 - Groundhog Day and Darwin Day: My Favorite Holidays
“With the encouragement of the American Humanist Association, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) again this year introduced a resolution in Congress in support of Darwin Day. It recognized that Darwin's birthday is a "worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge." ” Read more.
Colorado Springs Gazette
February 12, 2014 - Darwin advocates fighting intelligent design; want a day to celebrate evolution
The Secular Coalition for America is asking Congress to support House Resolution 467 which would formally recognize February 12 as Darwin Day. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Rush Holt (NJ), currently has eight co-sponsors.” Read more.
Secular Coalition for America - YouTube
February 11, 2014 - SCA’s Model Secular Policy Guide Briefing
Real Clear Politics
February 9, 2014 - Nonbeliever PAC Gets Into the Midterm
“Back in November, when podiatrist Lee Rogers was being interviewed as a potential endorsee by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC, the California congressional candidate was surprised by what he learned about the fledgling political action committee.” Read more.
February 8, 2014 - This Atheist Finds Some Traditional Beliefs about ‘God’ Especially Hard to Believe
“In debates or discussions about the existence of God, I'm often asked, "What if you're wrong and there really is a God?" These questioners, who assume that God belief is of ultimate importance, are perhaps unknowingly applying Blaise Pascal's 17th-century attempt to defend Christian belief with logic.” Read more.
Phoenix New Times
February 6, 2014, Phoenix - Democrat Ruben Gallego Gives Non-Prayer to Arizona House of Representatives
“For the second time in as many years, an Arizona lawmaker has delivered a non-prayer to the House of Representatives.” Read more.
February 5, 2014 - Science Versus Bible: To Debate or Not to Debate?
"The atheist community is deeply divided about religious fundamentalism and creationism, but not about whether such preposterous claims have any validity. They disagree on whether scientists should debate fundamentalists about the "science" of the Bible.” Read more.
Mohave Valley Daily News
February 4, 2014 - House Panel Oks Bill by Social Conservatives
The Arizona House approved changes to a proposed law that allows businesses to assert their religious beliefs by refusing service to gays.
January 29, 2014 - War, Mathematics and God
“I've been actively engaged in two wars in my life, but I don't receive or deserve veterans' benefits. My most recent service occurred during the manufactured war by Fox News, the ‘War on Christmas.’” Read more.
January 29, 2014 - Atheist Lawmaker Introduces Bill Ending Church Property Tax Exemption; Says Jesus Would Approve
“An atheist lawmaker in Nebraska has introduced a bill that would strip churches and religious organizations in the state of their property tax exemptions.” Read more.
Twitter: @seculardotorg, #SecularSOTU, #SOTU
January 28, 2014 - SCA Live-Tweeting During the State of the Union
Friendly Atheist Blog
January 22, 2014 - Eight Examples of How I Agree with Religious Fundamentalists
“For years I’ve been advocating for “big-tent” atheism, which includes agnostics, humanists, secular humanists, freethinkers, and more.” Read more.
The Washington Times
January 16, 2014 - Obama offers shout-out to atheists on Religious Freedom Day
"For the first time, President Obama included atheists in his annual observance of Religious Freedom Day. In a proclamation marking the occasion, Mr. Obama said that “America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith.” Read more.
Friendly Atheist Blog
January 9, 2014 - A Dangerously Incurious Pope
“I can’t say I’m surprised that Pope Francis (above) was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. And as an atheist, I’m not particularly disappointed by the decision.” Read more.
Charleston City Paper
January 9, 2014 - Famed SC atheist Herb Silverman Leaving On Faith blog
"South Carolina's most famous atheist has announced that he will no longer write for On Faith, a religion blog started by the Washington Post.” Read more.
January 4, 2014 - After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?
“The world’s most voguish - though not its only - atheist church opened last year in London, to global attention and abundant acclaim. So popular was the premise, so bright the promise, that soon the Sunday Assembly was ready to franchise, branching out into cities such as New York, Dublin and Melbourne.” Read more.
December 24, 2013 - Holidays with the Secular Coalition
"Offices all across Washington are sprinkled with holiday paraphernalia: Nativity scenes, candles, Christmas trees, menorahs and so on. The downtown office of the Secular Coalition of America, however, is a bit more bare." Read more.
YouTube, Filipino Freethinkers
December 22, 2013 – Edwina Rogers of Secular Coalition for America - Conversations for a Cause
We talk with Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, and discuss her experiences as a freethinker working with conservative political figures. Watch it here.
US News & World Report
December 10, 2013 - Secular Coalition Uses Models, Food to Talk Separation of Church and State
"It had all the makings of a Christmas party: sparkling cider, cheese, chocolate-covered strawberries, even fashion models wearing sparkling gowns. But instead of celebrating the upcoming Christian holiday, on Monday the Secular Coalition for America...” Read more.
December 3, 2013 - Atheists in Foxholes Want Chaplains Too
"As the U.S. Senate renews debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, secularists are pushing lawmakers to add an amendment to the bill that would permit non-religious chaplains in the military." Read more.
November 29, 2013 - In such a diverse nation, there is no such thing as a ‘traditional' family
"It's the holidays again - a time to come together and express gratitude and love for the positive things in our lives and the people in them. But as much as the holidays may symbolize a great American tradition, this country is home to a diverse set of traditions and increasingly diverse families." Read more.
November 29, 2013 - Giving thanks for non-traditional families
"This Thanksgiving, American kitchens and dining rooms are looking increasingly diverse. The American family is changing as more of us intermarry with people of other faiths and ethnicities, and same-sex couples take their vows in a growing number of states." Read more.
November 22, 2013 - Atheists in the military need chaplains, too
"This summer the House finally passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, catapulting military issues to the forefront of public debate. Among these issues was the question of Humanist chaplains in the military. Currently nearly 30 percent of the military identifies as religiously unaffiliated or atheist/agnostic. Yet there is not a single atheist or Humanist chaplain to serve these brave men and women who make incredible sacrifices to protect our freedoms every day." Read more.
Richard Dawkins Foundation
November 20, 2013 - Secular VIP of Week: The Secular Coalition for America
"What if you allied the biggest secular groups in the United States and placed their political goals in the hands of someone who's worked in the White House? And again in the White House, and for four US senators? This week we interview our very own Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, in her other role as head of the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
November 16, 2013 - Local Humanists celebrate first anniversary
"A group of about three dozen members of the Humanists and Freethinkers of New Bern will celebrate its first anniversary today (Sunday) with noted humanist Herb Silverman as guest speaker." Read more.
Le Journal de Montreal
November 6, 2013- La Cour suprême hésite à toucher aux prières en politique
"Que Dieu préserve les États-Unis et cette honorable Cour». Après sa traditionnelle introduction, la Cour suprême s'est penchée mercredi sur le droit de réciter des prières en début de conseil municipal, se montrant d'emblée hésitante à chambouler la tradition américaine." Read more.
November 6, 2013 - US Supreme Court hears town council prayer case
"The issue of whether prayers can be recited before city hall meetings came under scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case that could affect the principle of separation between church and state." Read more.
November 6, 2013 - Atheist Activists Set to Coalesce in Front of Supreme Court as Today's Prayer Battle Looms
"Atheists, agnostics and freethinkers are planning to assemble in front of the U.S. Supreme Court this morning as the justices hear arguments in the contentious Town of Greece v. Galloway prayer case." Read more.
November 6, 2013 - US Supreme Court to hear town council prayer case
"The issue of whether prayers can be recited before city hall meetings came under scrutiny at the US Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case that could affect the principle of separation between church and state." Read more.
Arutz Sheva - Israel National News
November 6, 2013 - US Supreme Court to Decide in Controversial Religion-State Case
"The US Supreme Court begins deliberations today (Wednesday) about whether or not conducting prayers before civic proceedings is a violation of the first Amendment right to separation between Church and State, AFP reports." Read more.
October 30, 2013 -IRS Reviews Church Audit Rules
"Meanwhile, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is seeking legal changes that would permit churches to be audited and a requirement for churches to file the form 990 with the IRS. Availability of a 990 would increase church transparency so that donors would have more information about how churches spend donations." Read more.
October 28, 2013 - Why Secularists Should Support Freedom of Belief for All
"It has become common place for politicians to toss around the term "religious freedom" as of late. But its meaning has become severely distorted." Read more.
October 25, 2013 - Are Churches Making America Poor?
"The Secular Coalition for America wants the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that violate 501(c)(3) rules by, for example, promoting political candidates or not using their funds for charitable purposes." Read more.
October 25, 2013 - Study suggests getting tough on tax-exempt groups may help the budget
"Ever-increasing pressure on the U.S. budget has inspired some unconventional thinking on how to balance it, or at least make a dent. One idea gaining traction: Get stricter with tax-exempt groups. Newsweek, citing a study from the Secular Coalition of America, reports that if the IRS were to stringently enforce section 501(c)(3) by getting tougher on religious groups that promote political candidates or use funds for noncharitable purposes, it could lead to an additional $16.75 billion in revenue." Read more.
October 29, 2013 - Outspoken Atheist Author Says The 'Unholy Alliance Between Big Business and Radical Christians' Poses Graver Threat to U.S. Way of Life Than Terrorists
"David Niose, author of 'Nonbeliever Nation: the Rise of Secular Americans', writes, "With the passion and urgency the subject deserves, 'Crucifying America' is an unabashed wake-up call to a nation that has allowed religious conservatives to hijack public policy." Read more.
October 29, 2013 - State lawmaker wants "In God we trust" displayed in public schools
"It came across our plate and we were like, ‘This is just insane!'" said Brian Fields, Pennsylvania Nonbelievers president and co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Pennsylvania, which is lobbying against the bill." Read more.
Real Clear Politics
September 23, 2013 - Facing Stigma, Atheists Seek Political Clout
"Lauren Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition of America, said that her organization has also noticed an uptick in support from various politicians, particularly Democrats." Read more.
September 20, 2013 - Atheists In Parliament And Congress Highlight Disparate Political Cultures Across Atlantic (VIDEO)
"In a 2011 interview with the Guardian, Herb Silverman, the head of the Secular Coalition of America, said he knew of several members of Congress (excluding Stark) that had “no belief in God". Apart from Frank, none have so far stepped forward. The situation in the UK is almost the reverse of the US. There is no concrete data on the religious beliefs of MPs, but while American politicians frequently go out of their way to declare their fervent belief in God, British politicians tend shy away from public declarations of faith and atheism is no barrier to election." Read more.
Center for Inquiry
September 19, 2013 - Edwina Rogers on Secularism’s Big Year in Washington and the Tough Road Ahead
"Edwina Rogers is a veteran DC lobbyist who surprised nearly everyone when she became the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America in 2012. (The Council for Secular Humanism, an affiliate organization of CFI, is a member organization of SCA.) Not only was it not common knowledge that Rogers was nontheistic, or even sympathetic to secularist causes, but she's also a Republican." Read more.
Washington Free Beacon
September 19, 2013 - Atheists of America Unite
"However, Republican atheists are not mythical creatures. For example, Edwina Rogers, who was handing her card out to reporters after the presser ended. Rogers is currently the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. She was formerly an economic adviser in the George W. Bush White House and an aide to former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.)." Read more.
September 18, 2013 - Atheists and humanists launch Freethought Equality Fund PAC
"On a larger scale, the new PAC reflects a long-term strategy among nonreligious activists to increase their profile in Washington; last year the Secular Coalition for America hired Edwina Rogers, a veteran Republican lobbyist, as its executive director, in part to open doors on Capitol Hill." Read more.
U.S. News & World Report
September 18, 2013 - Atheists Organize: Emily's List-Type PAC Launches to Support Nonbelievers, 'Closeted' Atheists
"Edwina Rogers, executive director of the SCA, said "we have 31" members of Congress now who privately admit their disbelief in religion. Each of the 30 non-public nonbelievers privately confided their nontheism – after being assured anonymity – to Woody Kaplan, chair of the SCA advisory board, Rogers said." Read more.
Christian Science Monitor
September 4, 2013 - Pledge of Allegiance: 'under God' under threat in Massachusetts
“It’s a different approach,” says David Niose, the attorney for the plaintiffs and president of the Secular Coalition for America. “We have constitutional protections demanding equality. The state statute that requires daily recitation – sponsored by school, led by teacher – of the Pledge of Allegiance, obviously discriminates against atheist and humanist children. On a daily basis, you’re having patriotism defined and having children indoctrinated in way that exalts one religious group and marginalizes atheists and humanists.” Read more.
August 28, 2013 - A battle over prayer – and much more
"Backing the caucus is the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation, a nonprofit organization, which has also set its sights on the states. PrayUSA, has helped form prayer caucuses in 12 state legislatures. Edwina Rogers said, "We see it as them demanding religious privileging" and wanting "to insert religious dogma into our secular law." She said the SCA finds it unacceptable that a caucus based on one religion would have the sanction of Congress and the use of taxpayer-funded resources." Read more.
Aug 22, 2013 - Prominent organizations partner to support legislation based on reason, science and evidence
"The Secular Coalition for America has formed a strategic partnership with the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.S. through the remainder of 2013." Read more.
July 26, 2013 - The 'MIA' Church on Unreality TV
"But immediately groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the ACLU, and the Secular Coalition for America cried foul. Wait until Preachers of L.A. airs in a month or two." Read more.
July 24, 2013 - House Republicans vote to ban nonbelievers from serving as military chaplains
“Chaplains for nontheistic military service members are absolutely crucial for so many men and women who are serving our country,” Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Religious chaplains are ill equipped to handle the problems of nontheistic service members and unfortunately, seeking psychiatric help can stigmatize a service member for the rest of their career.” Read more.
Road to Reason
July 21, 2013 - Edwina Rogers was a guest on "Road to Reason" last weekend, with Elisabeth Cornwell, Executive Director for the Richard Dawkins Foundation and Larry Mendoza of the Director for Educational Outreach, Beltway Atheists, Inc.
July 16, 2013 - National Atheist Party Changes Name, Hopes To Create ‘Worldwide Network of Secular Organizations’
"But before it can move on its supranational initiative, the party may need to focus first on cleaning shop here at home. Founded in 2011 as the “Freethought Party,” the NAP only claims to represent 3,100 people nationwide, and the group has been far less successful than some of its secular rivals, such as the “Secular Coalition for America,” which represents dozens of smaller secular, humanist, and atheist organizations." Read more.
July 9, 2013 - No track to sainthood
"I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Catholic Church. That's why I feel less comfortable criticizing Catholicism than Orthodox Judaism, the religion in which I was raised. Occasionally, though, I just can't help myself. In my defense, some of my best friends are Catholics (actually just one-a guy named Tony). But many of my best friends are ex-Catholics, including my wife." Read more...
July 6, 2013 - Sean Faircloth: What We Can Do for a Secular America
"At the Oklahoma Freethought Convention a couple of weeks ago, Sean Faircloth, former Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America and current Director of Strategy and Policy at the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, spoke about what we can do for a secular America..." Read more...
July 6, 2013 - "We Are Atheism" and Amanda Brown
"So far, as a regular contributor to Feminism and Religion (and Emergent Village), I have interviewed a "pro-science" woman and one who started an online community for grieving unbelievers. In this post, I will interview Amanda Brown, an atheist activist who co-founded a project called We Are Atheism." Read more...
July 1, 2013 - On religious atheists
"When I was six, I began Hebrew School as an Orthodox Jew because that's what my family was and that's the kind of synagogue I attended. At age 11, I started thinking seriously about the concept of God and soon became an Orthodox Jewish atheist, although I could not have used the word "atheist" to describe myself because I didn't know what "atheist" meant (a person without a belief in any gods)." Read more...
June 28, 2013 - Birth-control rules issued for faith-based groups
"Religious nonprofits can opt out of paying for birth control in their health care plans under final rules released Friday by the Obama administration." Under the Affordable Care Act, most employers must cover contraception for female employees at no cost in their health care plans. Read more...
June 30, 2013 - The Democratic Party Can Do More To Reach the Religious "Nones"
"The trend away from identifying with organized religion will continue, as Americans of every age group are less likely to identify with organized religion than every age group which came before them. For example, 32% of Americans aged 18-24 identify with no religion, compared to 29% among Americans aged 25-34." Read more...
June 28, 2013 - Government issues new rules for churches and birth control coverage
"The American Civil Liberties Union says the Obama administration got it right when it comes to the new rules for religious employers and contraception." Read more...
June 29, 2013 - New ObamaCare Rules Will Give Broad Exemptions to Religious Employers... but They're Still Not Happy
"Efforts to restrict same-sex couples from access to civil marriage are blatant attempts to insert religious beliefs into our secular government. We applaud the Court's decision on DOMA and Proposition 8, but we recognize there is still a lot of work to be done throughout the country in ensuring that marriage equality is the rule for all." Read more...
June 26, 2013 - Christian Panic: Supreme Court affirms gay marriage, ‘overrules God'
"Conservative Christians are in a panic after the Supreme Court strikes down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Fox contributor Todd Starnes echoes the fear of many Christians when he tweets "Supreme Court overrules God."
June 26, 2013 - Religious Groups React to Gay Marriage Rulings
"Moments after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense Against Marriage Act and allowed gay marriage to resume in California, religious groups across the country started to speak on the landmark civil rights case. Here's a roundup of what eight groups had to say."
June 25, 2013 - Why is the White House Faith Office Meeting with Atheist Activists?
"The Secular Coalition for America (SCA), an atheist lobbying organization that works to progress America's non-theistic community, is praising a recent meeting that was held between non-believers and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. On Monday, the group said that the get-together indicated "a positive step in establishing open lines of communication between the White House and the nontheistic community."
June 24, 2013 - Secular group ‘pleased' with White House meeting
"The Secular Coalition for America said Monday that the group has taken "a positive step in establishing open lines of communication between the White House and the nontheistic community" - an actual meeting with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships."
June 24, 2013 - Constitutional Freedoms and Defining Religion
"An ongoing court case concerning the constitutionality of a yoga program in Encinitas, Calif., schools resumed Monday June 24, 2013. The plaintiffs assert that the program is inherently religious and, therefore, prohibited by the California Constitution. Arguments about what is and is not acceptable in public schools and other governmental setting often reflect a strategic use of the term "religion." The Secular Coalition for America, for example, asserts, "There is no evidence that the yoga activities include any express spiritual content at all," while it opposes the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance recited in schools"
June 24, 2013 - Secular Coalition reports progress in White House ties
"The Secular Coalition of America on Monday reported a "positive step" in opening lines of communication between the White House and the "nontheistic community" after the group's executive director and others held a recent meeting with administration officials."
June 12, 2013 - Nonbelievers Push for Role as US Military Chaplains
"'Chaplains for nontheistic military service members are absolutely crucial for so many men and women who are serving our country,' said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, which lobbies on behalf of those who don’t have a religious belief." Read more.
June 8, 2013 - Melissa Harris-Perry Show
Edwina Rogers a Guest on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry Show. View program here.
June 6, 2013 - Democrats' push to create military chaplains for atheists falls flat
"Mr. Andrews‘ amendment had been supported by the Secular Coalition for America, which puts out that 23 percent of those serving in the military have no religious preference, or claim outright atheism, the Marine Times reported. The group said, in a statement, that counselors and psychiatrists are “inadequate substitution[s]” for chaplains because their discussions with military members aren’t confidential, under military law." Read more.
June 6, 2013 - Committee Votes Against Chaplains For Atheists In The Military
"Andrews' amendment had been supported by the Secular Coalition for America. The group claims that 23 percent of those serving in the military have no religious preference or say they are atheists. The coalition said speaking to a chaplain does have some advantages." Read more.
Air Force Times
June 5, 2013 - Mixed votes from HASC on military religious freedom
"Andrews effort was endorsed by the Secular Coalition for America, which estimates 23 percent of service members are atheists or have expressed no religious preference." Read more.
June 03, 2013 - Tucker Carlson, Fox News Host, Says First Atheist Monument Will Be 'Magnet For Graffiti' (VIDEO)
"Tucker Carlson, a conservative, Fox News co-host who opposes a planned atheist monument in Florida said the bench will likely quickly be vandalized. Remarks were made this weekend during a Sunday "Fox & Friends" segment on the Bradford County Courthouse's new atheist bench." Read more.
June 03, 2013 - Senator Frank Lautenberg, Champion of Church/State Separation, Dies at 89
"Senator Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey, died this morning from viral pneumonia at the age of 89. While he was planning on retiring in 2014, the remainder of his term could be filled through a special appointment by NJ Governor Chris Christie or by a special election." Read more.
May 31, 2013 - How long will the Boy Scouts ban atheists? Groups pressure BSA to lift ban
"The Freedom from Religion Foundation, and the Secular Coalition for America have both released statements praising the BSA for lifting its ban on gay Scouts, and also pressing them to change the ban on atheists and non-believers..." Read more.
Lez Get Real
May 30, 2013 - Secular Group Tells IRS ‘Hold Churches Accountable For Politicking'
"In the letter, the Secular Coalition states ‘religious charities have been flaunting their flagrant disregard for [IRS] laws for years. Over 1600 pastors participated in last year's Pulpit Freedom Sunday, where pastors not only violated the law by lobbying and endorsing candidates, but filmed their illegal actions and mailed them to the IRS.'" Read more.
May 27, 2013 - Current Tax Reform Push Less Promising Than 1986
"Secular Coalition for America wants to eliminate the exemption that churches have from rules covering other exempt organizations. Of course, in principle, that might make more work for the IRS." Read more.
May 23, 2013 - AZ atheist legislator offers humanist statement on floor of state legislature
"Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez, when his turn came up to give an invocation before the Arizona state legislature, delivered a beautiful statement on humanism." Read more.
May 21, 2013 - Daily Caller Called ‘Most Unethical’ Publication After Editor Sends ‘Dick Pic’
"Media people receive vat amounts of emails everyday. Many are useless story pitches and press releases from undiscriminating publicists. Daily Caller Associate Editor Christopher Bedford is the type to sometimes reply to those emails, even if it’s just to send “a Dick pic.” Read more.
May 21, 2013 - Tucker Carlson's Staff Member Sends Dickish E-Mails To Secular Organization (News Hounds)
"Not only is Fox News' Tucker Carlson, as described by Jon Stewart, a "dick;" but one of his Daily Caller employees seems to be a chip off the old block." Read more.
May 21, 2013 - Atheist group says The Daily Caller is the ‘most unethical news publication’
"The Secular Coalition for America announced Monday that they had named The Daily Caller the as “most unethical news publication” after receiving what they described as “numerous discriminatory and unethical emails” from Christopher Bedford, an associate editor at the publication." Read more.
The Raw Story
May 20, 2013 - Secular Coalition: Daily Caller editor sent ‘Here's a Dick pic' email to spokeswoman
"The Secular Coalition for America on Monday dubbed Tucker Carlson's Daily Caller "the most unethical news publication," after receiving what it described as "discriminatory and unethical emails" from an employee." Read more.
May 17, 2013 - Atheist group happy with both Markey, Gomez
"The Secular Coalition for America on Friday gave “A” scores to both Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez in the upcoming special US Senate." Read more.
May 6, 2013 - My petition for National Day of Prayer? Reason
"The National Day of Reason was created by the American Humanist Association, a member of the Secular Coalition for America, and the Washington Area Secular Humanists." Read more.
Los Angeles Times
May 1, 2013 - After Boston memorial, nonbelievers complain about being left out
"Some “non-theist” individuals and groups are aggrieved that not even one seat was reserved for a nonbeliever at the service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, despite a request for some recognition from the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
May 1, 2013 - Senator Tom Harkin: I Do Not Agree With Calling Secular People ‘Nonbelievers’
"Harkin also spoke (by video) at last year’s Reason Rally. The guy’s been criticized (for good reason) for trying to get alternative medicine covered under ObamaCare, but it’s hard not to like him after you hear this speech." Read more.
April 28, 2013 - Scott Lohman Interviews Edwina Rogers
April 26, 2013 - Healing Must Be For Everyone, Including the Nonreligious Affected By Boston Marathon Bombings
"I contacted the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) about it, and together we worked from Tuesday through Thursday morning to secure some inclusion for the secular community. To document and amplify that effort, I published this essay at CNN.com on Thursday morning...A seat was not granted. The nonreligious community went entirely unmentioned at and excluded from the service." Read more.
Voice of Russia
April 25, 2013 - Secular Americans demand reform, flex political muscle on Capitol Hill
"Members of the Secular Coalition for America convened with their representatives on Capitol Hill on Thursday where members called for secular tax reform by removing religious entitlements and for better science-based education in schools throughout the country. Host Jamila Bey spoke with Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications director of SCA, about this year's event and how Sen. Tom Harkin's address marked the first time a sitting U.S. Senator attended the event." Read more.
April 25, 2013 - Atheists postpone protests after Bangladeshi disaster
"The U.S. groups — led by American Atheists and the Secular Coalition for America — decided to continue with protests as originally planned, while the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the U.S. and Canadian branches of the Center for Inquiry, and the British Humanist Association decided to postpone." Read more.
April 24, 2013 - OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP pulls ObamaCare bill
"The Secular Coalition for America will hold a summit featuring remarks by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The event will also feature a panel on "Religious Liberty vs. Health and Safety." Read more.
April 19, 2013- No Room for Non-Theists at Boston Interfaith Service
"A press release issued by the Secular Coalition of America (SCA) documented that to date, the Humanist Community at Harvard has played a significant role in raising nearly $281,837 for a fund established to help the Corcorans. Also, at the time of this writing, WeAreAtheism.com, the Boston Atheists, the Humanist Community at Harvard, and the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts have raised $26,856 to assist victims. "
April 19, 2013 - Obama praises Boston for overcoming the ‘face of evil’
"The service attracted complaints, however, from a local coalition of nonbelievers who said they were not included despite multiple outreach efforts to organizers at the Archdiocese of Boston, the mayor’s office and the governor’s office. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to be as fully inclusive as possible,” said Zachary Bos, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, an umbrella group of 14 atheist and humanist groups. “They fumbled it and that leaves me a little baffled.”
Religion News Service
April 18, 2013 - Atheists at prayer? Thoughts on Boston’s healing
"The Secular Coalition for America posted a statement on its website that it was disappointed that non-theists weren’t represented, noting that at least two of the victim’s on Monday’s bombing were non-believers."
Talk Radio News
April 18, 2013 - Atheists Say Boston Prayer Organizers Snubbed Them
"Several atheist groups say that they should have been invited to participate in the interfaith service held today in Boston to mourn those who died in Monday's terrorist bombings."
April 18, 2013- Humanists excluded from Boston Marathon Interfaith Service
"The Secular Coalition for America reports at least two of the victims in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday had ties to the humanist community in the greater Boston area: Celeste Corcoran of Lowell, Massachusetts, who lost both her legs at the knees in one of the bomb blasts and her 18 year-old daughter, Sydney, who suffered severe injuries as a result of being hit by shrapnel."
April 18, 2013 - Harvard atheists shocked at exclusion from Boston bombing memorial service (The Raw Story)
"The Harvard Humanist Community was shocked Thursday when their members were, in the carefully-chosen words of New York Times best-selling author Greg M. Epstein, “blown off” and excluded from an inter-faith memorial ceremony for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.“We gave the White House an opportunity to exert a little more influence to help include us, and I’m disappointed that didn’t happen,” Epstein added. “We spoke to high ranking members of the governor’s staff multiple times — people we know for a fact were involved in organizing the vigil — in fact we called them every hour on the hour. And when I say we, I don’t mean me: I mean our lobbying office, the Secular Coalition for America.”
April 16, 2013 - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Will Speak at Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day and Secular Summit Event
"The SCA announced weeks ago that Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would be a Keynote Speaker on the morning of Wednesday, April 25th. And they’ve just announced that their second keynote speaker (giving a talk that same afternoon) will be Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)." Read more.
April 15, 2013 - Boston Prayer Vigils Mourn Victims Of Marathon Explosion
The Boston Atheists and Secular Coalition has also voiced its support for victims, saying that although "prayer isn’t for us an option," differences in religious beliefs "pale in comparison to what brings us all together as members of the community." Read more.
April 15, 2013 - Boston Atheists and Secular Coalition for Massachusetts Release Statement About Marathon Explosions
"We know that we’re not alone among atheists and other secular people in wanting to show sympathy and support in response to today’s tragedy. Although prayer isn’t for us an option, we are ready to help by working with the Red Cross and other emergency and community organizations in any way possible." Read more.
April 14, 2013 - 'Nones' watch their numbers swell
"Politicians are seeing the Christian right’s once-formidable influence diminish, while increasingly vocal secularists are looking for politicians to end the unconstitutional pandering to religions. Groups such as the Secular Coalition for America are stepping up their lobbying and giving a political voice to the 'nones.'” Read more.
April 13, 2013 - Secular Coalition for America Gives Elizabeth Colbert Busch an ‘A’ Rating
"On May 7th, Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) will run against Mark Sanford (R) and Eugene Platt (Green) in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district." Read more.
April 12, 2013 - Atheists, the Next Generation: Unbelief Moves Further into the Mainstream
"Still, nonbelief, however it is defined, is moving into the mainstream. There is at least one nonbelieving member of Congress (Kyrsten Sinema, D- Ariz.); the Secular Coalition for America has a full-time Washington lobbyist; and there are atheist characters on network television (Big Bang Theory, Malibu Country)." Read more.
Charleston Post and Courier
April 12, 2013 - Only 1 1st District debate on tap so far
"Meanwhile, the Secular Coalition for America graded the 1st District hopefuls and gave Colbert Busch an “A.” Green Party candidate Eugene Platt received a “B,” and Sanford received an “F.” Read more.
April 10, 2013 - Secular groups say Obama exemptions for contraception rule are too lenient
"A group of nonreligious organizations is criticizing the contraception coverage mandate under President Obama's healthcare reform law, arguing the rules are too lenient on religious employers." Read more.
April 10, 2013- Without Addressing Religious Discrimination with Taxpayer Money, President Obama Extends Life of Faith-Based Advisory Council
"On Friday, President Obama did something the media paid little attention to — with gun control and gay rights still making headlines, it’s hard to blame them — but we shouldn’t let this go unnoticed. He issued an Executive Order to continue the “President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships” for another two years… without addressing the biggest problems with the office." Read more.
April 4, 2013 - Atheist Leader Suggests Nonbelievers Follow Agenda of Pro-Gay Marriage Advocates
"A well-known atheist leader recently argued that he believes atheists in the United States can learn many lessons from same-sex marriage proponents regarding societal acceptance for their cause. Herb Silverman, founder and president emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, a widely-known atheist advocacy group, recently commended proponents of same-sex marriage for their efforts in promoting their cause, and suggested atheists take a similar approach to be more accepted by American society." Read more.
April 4, 2013 - Coalition: Marriage Equality Protects Rights
"This weeks' sheridanmedia.com poll question asks the people of Sheridan whether they think same-sex marriages should be legal. According to the poll results so far, the majority of voters do not think the government should acknowledge homosexual marriages, and most of those opposed cite Biblical reasons for their opinion. Laura Anderson-Youngblood, spokesperson for the Secular Coalition for America, says the Bible is a bad reason to make a law." Listen or read more.
March 23, 2013 - The money man behind atheism’s activism
"So far, Stiefel has pumped $3.5 million into those aspirations, and his money benefits a number of atheist organizations, from the Clergy Project, a group that helps atheist and doubting clergy out of the closet, to American Atheists, arguably the most in-your-face atheist group in the country." Read more.
March 17, 2013 - Secular Coalition for America attends CPAC
The Secular Coalition for America’s Executive Director, Edwina Rogers attended several events at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) which ended on Saturday, March 16. I e-mailed her to get her thoughts on the event and asked her about how she was received. Read more.
March 14, 2013 - Slides: Markey Vs Lynch: By the Numbers
"As the Democratic primary heats up for the Commonwealth's open U.S. Senate seat, GoLocal takes a look at the numbers to see how U.S. Reps. Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch compare. GoLocal uses several scorecards, including the Secular Coalition for America's Congressional Report Card to judge." Read more.
March 11, 2013 - Spreading Secularism on Conservative Campuses
"SSA gets funds from small donations, as well as a $250,000 matching grant from Jeff Hawkins, the founder of Palm Pilot, and his wife, Janet Strauss. Hawkins is an out-spoken atheist and serves on the board of the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
Charleston City Paper
March 4, 2013 - Q&A with Richard Dawkins: ‘I guess I’m a cultural Christian’
"Richard Dawkins, the celebrated evolutionary biologist and author of books including The Selfish Gene and The God Delusion, will give a free talk in Charleston on Sat. March 9. Herb Silverman, founder of the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry and president emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, says he will lead a discussion with Dawkins on the challenges of promoting secularism in the United States, along with topics including "why the American public views evolution as controversial, whether religion and science are compatible, and why he feels it's important for atheists to come out of the closet." Read more.
March 4, 2013 - Secular student group breaks faith with conservative campuses
"SSA gets funds from small donations, as well as a $250,000 matching grant from Jeff Hawkins, the founder of Palm Pilot, and his wife, Janet Strauss. Hawkins is an out-spoken atheist and serves on the board of the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
The Voice of Russia
February 20, 2013 - Young Seculars a Growing Political Force, Report Reveals
"Bey also spoke with Lauren Anderson-Youngblood, communications manager of the Secular Coalition of America, who explains that there’s much that these Americans are adding to the politics of the country." Listen to interview.
February 14, 2013 -Poll: Only 6 states less religious than D.C.
"The District has the second-lowest percentage of "very religious" residents in the nation outside New England, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America, said the nation is growing less religious overall and suggested the levels of religious adherence in the District might be related to education. "All of the statistics do indicate that atheists and agnostics are in general higher-educated," she said. "We know that D.C. specifically is one of the most educated cities in the country, so I'm not sure if that directly correlates, but it seems like a good place to start." Read more.
February 13, 2013 - House passes bill to give disaster relief to religious groups
"The House Wednesday (Feb. 13) overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups.The Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and like-minded groups urged the House not to pass the bill." Read more.
Charleston City Paper
February 11, 2013 - Richard Dawkins to Speak
"English biologist and author Richard Dawkins will give a free talk on Saturday. Herb Silverman, founder of SHL and president emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, extended the invitation for Dawkins to give a talk." Read more.
February 8, 2013 - Are Atheists The New Campus Crusaders?
“'The dynamic of being in a [secular] college student group translates so well into national advocacy and lobbying,' says Kelly Damerow, research and advocacy manager at the Secular Coalition For America." Read more.
Bloomberg News Service
February 4, 2013 - Critics Want More Exemptions From Birth-Control Rule
"One atheist advocacy group, The Secular Coalition, warned that the exemption for nonprofits is too broad, and women working for the groups risk not having coverage for birth control if the alternative insurance mechanism doesn’t work. 'These accommodations set a terrible precedent for religious interference in individual choice,” Edwina Rogers, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.'" Read more.
New York Times
February 1, 2013 - Seeing Darwin Through Christian Eyes? It All Depends on the Christian
"Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said that when her coalition polled more than 1,800 of its supporters, 'education issues,' a topic that includes creationism and anti-Darwinism in public schools, were their top concern. 'This is what they care about more than anything,' Ms. Rogers said. 'They want their kids to be able to go out in the world and get jobs based on scientific knowledge.'" Read more.
January 30, 2013 - Boy Scouts Consider Opening Their Troops to Gays, Atheists wonder when it'll be their turn
"David Niose, president of the Secular Coalition of America and author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, says, 'Correctly or not, many Americans see the Boy Scouts as quintessential young patriots embodying the ideal of American male youth. By defining patriotism in a way that excludes atheists, the BSA is fanning the flames of undeserved public prejudices toward atheists. There can be no doubt that nonbelievers contribute greatly to the common good in America—they are doctors, teachers, parents, scientists, and taxpayers—and there is no justification for excluding them.'" Read more.
January 25, 2013- Charles Darwin Gets His Day!
Edwina Rogers, exec director of the Secular Coalition, said the organization aims to protect the teaching of evolution in public schools at both at federal and state levels. And an official holiday can only help add credence, right?" Read more.
January 23, 2013- Gun Control, Religion And Abortion
"Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a resolution to recognize February 12 as Darwin Day, but it's unclear how far his effort will go. The Secular Coalition for America and American Humanist Association have cheered Holt for the move and are trying to get additional representatives to sponsor the resolution. Darwin was born on February 12, 1809." Read more.
January 23, 2013 - Group’s goal: Take religion out of politics and policy
"Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, thinks that the decision to take the presidential oath with one hand on a Bible seems a bit outdated." Read more.
January 17, 2013 - David Niose, Secular Coalition Of America President, On The Decline Of Religion In The U.S. (VIDEO)
"David Niose, president for the Secular Coalition of America and author of "Nonbeliever Nation," joined Ahmed on HuffPost Live to discuss the decline of religion in the U.S." Read more.
January 17, 2013 - What Does Religious Freedom Mean?
"President Barack Obama declared Wednesday to be Religious Freedom Day, but what does 'religious freedom' mean? And do nonreligious people fit into the picture? The Secular Coalition for America took the president's declaration, one which he makes every year and one in which he typically mentions the nonreligious, to emphasize the separation of church and state and the freedom to not believe in any religion." Read more.
January 16, 2013 - States are battlefields for religious liberty
"Groups like the Secular Coalition for America are responding by organizing state chapters. 'It was always part of our strategy to have state chapters in place by 2019,' said coalition spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood. 'But we moved that up when we noticed this uptick in legislation on the state level.'" Read more.
January 14, 2013 - When Will We Have More Open Atheists in Congress?
"Of course, part of the issue might be that there just aren't enough open atheists or humanists willing to run for office. Even with increasing acceptance, nontheist candidates, as a marginalized group, are publicly mocked and attacked. When I asked David Niose, president of the Secular Coalition for America, about this conundrum, he indicated that it may be the representation problem. He said,'"Candidates are hesitant to identify openly as atheists because conventional wisdom says that longstanding public prejudices against nonbelievers will handicap such a candidacy.'" Read more.
Christian Broadcasting Network
Jan 3, 2013 - Post-Christian Era? The Future of Faith in America
"'Seventy-five percent up to 80 percent of Americans are Christians,' said Frank Newport, head of the respected pollster Gallup. 'Americans are religious and may actually be becoming more religious in the years ahead.' But Edwina Rogers, who leads the Secular Coalition for America, told CBN News, 'I think the evidence shows just the opposite.'" Read more.
January 1, 2013 - Shades of Black Atheism #1: Lauren Anderson Youngblood
"Each week, I will highlight one black atheist in a series called 'Shades of black atheism.' I chose this title because, well, we are literally different shades, but also because we have unique stories. Lauren Anderson Youngblood is the Communications Manager for the Secular Coalition for America. I’ve started this series with her for very specific reasons...Lauren was born into a freethinking family. Her mother is culturally and ethnically Ashkenazi Jewish and her father is a Baptist-raised African-American who now considers himself agnostic. Lauren is a mother and a former journalist." Read more.
PBS Religion & News Ethics Weekly
December 28, 2012 - Look Ahead 2013
"LAUREN ANDERSON YOUNGBLOOD, Secular Coalition for America: We’d like to see the Obama administration take the lead in acknowledging and including nontheistic Americans in the decision-making process." Read more.
December 18, 2012 - Newtown School Mass Shootings: Who or What is to Blame?
"Other groups say that the focus needs to be on the people themselves, not religion. 'Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and to all of those affected by this devastating event,' Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, told Yahoo! Shine in a statement. 'No family—no child—should ever have to experience a tragedy such as this'" Read more.
December 17, 2012- The ‘Nones’ and the GOP
“I think if the Democrats want to keep the nones, they’re going to have to continue to work for it, because we’re becoming more of an organized movement, and one that is a little tired of feeling ignored,” she says. “We’re Americans, we’re taxpayers, we’re citizens, we contribute to society, and we want the same thing that other groups want, which is to have a seat at the table.” Youngblood also mentioned that non-religious voters are often frustrated that Republicans in some states push for creationism to be taught in public-school classrooms. On top of that, Youngblood adds Republican support for abstinence-only sex ed in public schools as another problem for non-religious voters. Republican leaders need to think seriously about whether or not these issues are hills to die on. (Hint: They aren’t.)" Read more.
The Washington Post
December 16, 2012 - Richard Dawkins: Herb Silverman for U.S. Senate
"My friend, professor Herb Silverman is no stranger to amiably tongue-in-cheek runs for public office (see his lovely autobiography, “Candidate Without a Prayer.” A few years ago he ran for governor of the Palmetto State for the sole purpose of testing the constitutional stipulation of the state that no person could be eligible for the office of governor who denied the existence of “the” Supreme Being (which supreme being, one can’t help asking: Baal?). When asked what would be his first act, in the unlikely event of his being elected, he characteristically replied, “Demand a recount.” Read more.
December 12, 2012- Outside an organized religion, ‘the nones’ are still powerful voting bloc
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokesperson for the Secular Coalition for America -- which lobbies on behalf of atheists, agnostics and other 'nontheistic' citizens -- says that Democrats have been, at best, confused about how to reach out to non-believers, if not completely dismissive of the 'nones' as a group." Read more.
December 12, 2012 - Bill O'Reilly Attacks Christians Who Aren't Freaking Out About Non-Existent War on Christmas
"As Herb Silverman of the (suspiciously anti-Christmas group) Secular Coalition for America writes,
'The much-ballyhooed 'War on Christmas' has become a predictable holiday tradition, with Fox News as both director and producer of this manufactured war, presumably for better ratings. Comedians also love the war material they have to play with, so both Fox and comedians have become war profiteers.'” Read more.
December 10, 2012 - Herb Silverman, South Carolina Atheist, Nabs Richard Dawkins Endorsement For Senate
"Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced last week that he would step down in 2013 in order to take the reins at the conservative Heritage Foundation, immediately prompting discussions about whom Gov. Nikki Haley (R) might select to replace him. While the list was quickly populated with Republican candidates who largely reflect DeMint's conservative politics, English biologist and renowned atheist Richard Dawkins recently threw a curveball in the speculative process by endorsing a different kind of candidate.Herb Silverman, a leading voice of atheism in South Carolina and the current president of the Secular Coalition for America, has little in common politically with Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the first black Republican elected to any office in the state since Reconstruction and DeMint's reported pick to take his place. But in a statement, Dawkins argued that Silverman's appointment to the Senate would fit a similar need for expanding diversity among the state's congressional delegation." Read more.
Charleston City Paper
December 10, 2012 - Richard Dawkins endorses atheist to fill DeMint’s seat
"This just in from the Department of Long Shots: Herb Silverman, South Carolina's most famous atheist, is in the running to fill U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint's seat when the conservative legislator retires partway through his term in January. And Richard Dawkins, the English biologist and author of The God Delusion, has started a letter-writing campaign to put him in office." Read more.
December 10, 2012- Discrimination against atheists in U.S. and globally, IHEU finds
"On Monday a report released for Human Rights Day by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) details the ongoing discrimination and persecution against atheists, humanists, and the non-religious, not only around the world but also within the United States. The American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the Secular Coalition for America worked with the IHEU on the generation of this report." Read more.
December 7, 2012- Reign Down event set for Saturday
"Brownback’s proclamation was met with criticism from the Secular Coalition for America....The coalition also criticized Brownback for taking part in an event sponsored by organizations they said seek to replace the nation’s secular government with Christian theology.'It’s unconscionable that Gov. Brownback, who was elected to serve all citizens, has decided to use his position in government to further a religious ideology,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director for the Secular Coalition for America, in a prepared statement. “It is not lawmakers’ jobs to tell citizens to pray or to promote religion.'" Read more.
December 6, 2012- Interview Series Gives Students a Professional Platform
"Faith Complex, a web interview series that explores the intersection of faith, religion and culture through interviews with various experts, filmed its latest installment in Riggs Library Tuesday. This session of interviews included Director of the Religion and Public Policy Program at the Woodstock Theological Center Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., Director of Research at the Public Religion Research Institute Daniel Cox, senior writer for Tablet Magazine Allison Hoffman, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America Edwina Rogers, associate professor in the government department Michele Swers and author of “The Soul of Hip Hop” Daniel White Hodge." Read more.
San Francisco Chronicle
November 28, 2012- Pete Stark’s post-Congress gig: Atheistic role model
"Atheists gather regularly — and often discuss political matters, as we noted here. And back in 2006, we wrote about how the atheistic Secular Coalition for America hired what was believed to be the first paid lobbyist for the unbelievers in the nation’s capital. " Read more.
The New York Times
November 9 2012 - Politicians Who Reject Labels Based on Religion
"Although raised a Mormon, Ms. Sinema is often described as a nontheist — and that suits the activists just fine. A blogger for the Secular Coalition for America wrote Thursday that while he was still dispirited by the loss of Representative Pete Stark of California, an open nonbeliever, he was 'emboldened' by the apparent victory of Ms. Sinema, 'an open nontheist.”' Her nonbelief, the blogger, Chris Lombardi, wrote, “was not used to slander her as un-American or suggest that she was unfit for office.'" Read more.
November 8, 2012 - Believe it: Atheists win in a landslide
"An email from the Secular Coalition of America notes some of their highlights from Tuesday, calling it “a big day for the country and for secularists in general.”(This, despite the fact that the only open nontheist in Congress, Pete Stark, lost.)" Read more.
The Washington Post
November 8, 2012 - The’nones’ say 2012 election proves they are a political force
"Last month, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, approached Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, as they both left a conference on religion and the election...So who, Youngblood asked Johnson, could she reach out to with their concerns about civil rights, access to health care and education? 'He said,’We don’t view you as a constituency,’” Youngblood said. “He said,’We don’t do outreach to that community.’” Read more.
November 8, 2012 - ‘Secular’ Ariz. Democrat to replace sole atheist in Congress
“This is a step forward in that she was able to run openly as a nontheist and it didn’t seem to be an issue,” said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, whose Arizona branch supported Sinema’s election. “That is a great thing for the community, especially because with the loss of Pete Stark, we are left with a big hole.” Read more. [This story also an in the Washington Post]
November 8, 2012 - Ariz. Candidate Could Become First Openly Bisexual U.S. Congressperson
"Groups like the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) and the American Humanist Association (AHA), while happy about Sinema's success, have also expressed their disappointment in Stark's failure to get re-elected." Read more.
November 8, 2012 - Kongressens eneste ateist tapte (Congress only atheist lost)
Partial article translation: "Sinema is openly bisexual and non-believers. She is an active supporter of the secular groups in the U.S., such as. Secular Coalition for America, and has received an award from the Center for Inquiry (CFI) to fight for women's rights, a separation of state and religion, gay and lesbian rights, science-based education, and environmental policy." Read more. [article in Norwegian]
The Jewish Week
November 7, 2012 - The non-believer's stake in the election
"Among the countless guides issued by various political, environmental, educational and religious organizations came one from a decidedly non-religious group: The Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
November 5, 2012 - Elections américaines : le "coming out" des laïques
"Une tendance qui va pourtant à l’inverse de celle observée dans le discours politique, notamment depuis l’élection de George W. Bush et les attentats du 11 septembre. Le religieux est bien plus souvent évoqué qu’auparavant. "Il y a 30 ans, lancer une campagne présidentielle avec une prière dans un stade de football était inimaginable", a récemment souligné David Niose, vice-président de la Coalition laïque pour l'Amérique - Secular Coalition for America, (SCA) - devant la presse." Read more. [article in French]
The Paramus Post
November 1, 2012 - Good without God: Atheists Mobilize Storm Relief Efforts
"The Secular Coalition for America today encouraged participation in broad efforts by the nontheist community to assist with relief in the aftermath of storm “Sandy,” which battered the East Coast earlier this week." Read more.
October 31, 2012 - Secular organizations band together to give aid to Hurricane Sandy victims
"The Secular Coalition for America has issued a press release listing a number of nontheist organizations which are rallying together to lend a hand to those affected by the storm, including the FS/TFC described above." Read more.
New York Daily News
October 26, 2012 - Why we’re trusted as little as rapists
"Atheists are significantly under represented in government: Rep. Pete Stark of California, according to the Secular Coalition for America, is the only “out” atheist in Congress. As for President Obama and rival Mitt Romney, they scored “C” and “F” grades, respectively, on the Secular Coalition’s recent presidential candidate scorecard, which essentially measures whether pols push for religion in politics." Read more.
October 25, 2012 - US-Wahl: Dachverband säkularer Organisationen sieht Barack Obama nicht als Top-Kandidaten
Article about the Secular Coalition for America's Presidential Candidate Scorecard, written in German. Read more.
Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2012 - Atheist group gives Obama an unenthusiastic nod over Romney
"There's been a lot of talk about where faith-based groups stand on the issues and the candidates in the presidential campaign, but not so much about the faithless. Now the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group for atheists, has issued a report card on the candidates that knocks both major party candidates for injecting religion into politics, but expresses a clear preference for President Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney." Read more.
October 18, 2012 - Atheists and non-theistic voters want to organize in Alaska
"Alaska could have a new political organization soon, but not likely in time to make a difference in the November election that could destroy the six-year-old bipartisan leadership in the state senate. The Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America is on an initiative to establish state-level affiliates across the country. The group is made up of atheists and non-theistic voters. Their primary interest is the separation of church and state, which the group says has been eroded at the state level around the country." Read more.
Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming)
October 17, 2012 - Secular Coalition Gets 5 Callers
"Residents from 5 Wyoming cities called in to an organizational meeting of the Secular Coalition for America at noon Wednesday. They are from Gillette, Cheyenne, Rock Springs, Laramie and Evanston. The phone call was the coalition's first effort to organize a chapter in Wyoming. The group is an organization of atheists, agnostics and nontheists which has lobbied at the national level for a decade and now is turning to the states." Read more.
October 17, 2012 - Secular coalition grades presidential candidates
"When judged on their ability to relate to the desires of secular Americans, the presidential candidates aren’t making the grade, according to a large coalition of secular organizations. Looking at their positions on everything from faith’s place in the presidency to where it fits in education, health care and other American priorities, GOP candidate Mitt Romney got an F, President Barack Obama barely got by, earning a C, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson came out at the top of the class, receiving a B." Read more.
October 17, 2012 - Atheist Lobby to Establish 50 State Chapters by End of 2012
"A national atheist/agnostic organization has recently implemented an initiative to establish lobby groups in all 50 U.S. states by the end of 2012 in an effort to combat what it calls a 'false definition of religious freedom.'" Read more.
October 16, 2012 - Atheists Group Grades Obama, Romney
"A national group of atheists gave President Obama a lukewarm grade and Mitt Romney a failing grade on statements and actions touching on topics of religion and government entanglement." Read more.
Wyoming Public Media (NPR)
October 16, 2012 - Secular lobbying group seeks to take root in Wyoming
"A group that lobbies to keep religion out of government is hoping to start a chapter in Wyoming. Spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood with the Secular Coalition for America says they’re worried that lawmakers in Wyoming and various other states are considering legislation that would undermine the separation of church and state." Read more.
October 16, 2012 - Secular group releases presidential report card
Among the non-believers, they really don’t believe in Mitt Romney, it seems.The Secular Coalition for America released its report card for the presidential candidates today and Mitt Romney did not fare well." Read more.
The Raw Story
October 16, 2012 - Secular group gives Romney a failing grade
"The Secular Coalition for America noted that Romney has insisted the United States is a Christian nation, and thinks the concept of the separation of church and state has been taken “well beyond its original meaning.” Romney has also said his faith would inform his decision as president, was a supporter of the controversial Blunt Amendment, fought for abstinence-only sex education, and promoted government funding for faith-based organizations." Read more.
October 16, 2012 - Gary Johnson Receives Highest Grade From Atheist Group
"A national group of atheists gave President Obama a lukewarm grade and Mitt Romney a failing grade on statements and actions touching on topics of religion and government entanglement." Read more.
October 16, 2012 - Lauren Anderson Youngblood a guest on the Jarrod Thomas Show 1310 AM in Grand Forks, ND.
October 16, 2012 - Gary Johnson 2012: Why the Libertarian Presidential Candidate Might Be the Choice of Atheists and Secularists
"Among Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Gary Johnson, Johnson received the best grade from the Secular Coalition of America on the organization's 2012 Presidential Election Scorecard. As both Obama and Romney make sure to demonstrate their affinity for religious mumbo-jumbo, Johnson has kept his religious beliefs largely obscured from public view, which is exactly how it ought to be for presidential candidates." Read more.
Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming)
October 15, 2012 - Atheist lobbying group seeks Wyoming chapter
"CHEYENNE — After 10 years of lobbying at the national level, an organization of atheists and agnostics is turning its attention to the states, including Wyoming. The Secular Coalition for American will make its initial effort to organize a chapter in Wyoming this month." Read more.
Tulsa World (Oklahoma)
October 12, 2012 - Culture Wars (cont.)
"Some advocates don't want to wait that long for change to come about. Last week, Oklahoma became one of the last states targeted by the Secular Coalition for America, which is creating a state chapter here to lobby state lawmakers in favor of a "strong separation of religion and government. The coalition set out last summer to create new chapters in 38 states, with the ultimate goal to have 50 state chapters in operation by the end of this year." Read more.
October 12, 2012 - None of the Above
Secular Coalition for America Communications Manager, Lauren Youngblood featured on PBS' three part series, which focuses on the religiously unaffiliated.
WIBC 93.1 FM
October 11, 2012 - Study: 1 in 5 Adults Have No Religious Affiliation
"Secular Coalition of America's Lauren Anderson-Youngblood says she's glad to be part of a growing demographic, and also hopes lawmakers take notice. Anderson-Youngblood says the "nones", whether they were athiests, agnostics, or just didn't want to affiliate with a religion, overwhelmingly feel that there is too much religion in government." Read more.
October 10, 2012 - Atheist Group Forms to Lobby S.C. Lawmakers
"South Carolina lawmakers will return to the State House in January to find a new organization in the lobby: an atheist group intent on loosening state government from the constraints of the Bible Belt." Read more.
Eagle Country 99.3 FM (Indiana)
October 10, 2012 - Atheists Want Voice in State Capitol
"According to The Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis Chapter of the Secular Coalition for America is asking non-theistic Hoosiers to join its group for an October 15 organizational meeting via conference call." Read more.
Sheridan Media (Wyoming)
October 10, 2012- Secular Coalition Explains Concerns about Church/State Separation
"Last week, Sheridan Media reported the Secular Coalition for America plans to organize lobbying efforts within the state this month as part of a nationwide campaign to push back against religious infiltration of governmental legislation. Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA communications manager, said Wyoming, like the rest of the nation, sees its fair share of religious influence in government." Read more and listen to the interview.
October 9, 2012 - Atheists plan a secular lobbying group for Indiana Statehouse
"Attention local atheists: There is a call-out Oct. 15, an organizational meeting for a local chapter of the Secular Coalition for America. Its mission would be to lobby the Indiana General Assembly re: church/state separation." Read more.
ABC 40/29 (Forth Smith-Fayetteville, AR)
October 8, 2012 - Okla. Secular group seeks volunteers to lobby lawmakers
"A group that works to preserve the separation of religion and government is recruiting volunteers in Oklahoma to lobby legislators." Read more.
New Richmond News
October 8, 2012 - Secular Coalition organizing N.D. chapter
"A call-in meeting aimed at organizing a North Dakota chapter of the Secular Coalition for America will be held 2 to 3 p.m. Monday.The goal of a state chapter will be to push legislators in the direction “of a strong separation of religion and government,” according to a news release." Read more.
Enid News and Eagle
October 8, 2012 - Atheist group set to form state lobby
"ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma atheists are uniting their voices with non-believers across the U.S. to lobby for more separation between church and state." Read more.
Bakken Today (North Dakota)
October 8, 2012 - Secular Coalition forming in North Dakota; Rep. Berg says he expects Congress to vote on Farm Bill this year
"A call-in meeting aimed at organizing a North Dakota chapter of the Secular Coalition for America will be held 2 to 3 p.m. today." Read more.
October 7, 2012- Group seeks Oklahoma volunteers to lobby lawmakers to oppose religion-based measures
"A national group is seeking volunteers to lobby Oklahoma lawmakers to oppose religiously based measures, which have been on the increase since Republicans gained control of the Legislature four years ago. 'The separation of religion and government was set up to protect nonreligious and religious people,' she said. 'This is really an issue that we see as nonpartisan, an issue that is one of the core founding principles of our country. It's not an issue that is hostile to religion. We're not telling people that they just don't have the right to their religious beliefs. We're not trying to convert anyone to atheism. We're just simply saying (religion) has no place in our government.'" Read more. [This article ran in newspapers across the state]
Fox 25 (KOKH-TV Oklahoma City)
October 7, 2012 - Secular group seeks volunteers to lobby lawmakers
"A group that works to preserve the separation of religion and government is recruiting volunteers in Oklahoma to lobby legislators.The Secular Coalition for America is seeking help for the coming legislative session to pursue its cause of trying to block religion-based laws." Read more.
October 7, 2012- Secular group seeks volunteers to lobby lawmakers
"A national group is seeking volunteers to lobby Oklahoma lawmakers to oppose religiously based measures, which have been on the increase since Republicans gained control of the Legislature four years ago.'Some of the most egregious examples of attempts to insert religion into government are happening at the state level," said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America. "We know that Oklahoma has had some bills that we would consider to be unacceptable.'" Read more.
October 6, 2012- Why we need more Christian Secularist
"Despite this, it seems all too often to be non-believers taking the on the issue of separation of church and state. Groups such as the Secular Coalition for America or the Freedom from Religion foundation do a lot of hard work to fight for religious freedom and get the message out but they are all too often seen as organizations that Christians do not want to associate with. In spite of the fact that most Christians do not want to see a return of mandatory school prayers, creation stories taught as biology, government interference in the lives of same-sex couples, expensive religious monuments on public grounds, unconditional support for Israel, or absolutist restrictions on abortion rights." Read more.
South Dakota Public Radio
October 5, 2012 - "Lauren Anderson Youngblood says the ten-year-old coalition has focused its lobbying efforts at the federal level, but now it’s addressing state-level legislation and trying to build chapters in all 50 states."
The Quad-City Times
October 5, 2012 - Secular lobbying group wants Iowa presence
"DES MOINES — The Secular Coalition for America is working to bring a new voice to the Iowa Capitol on behalf of atheists and non-theistic Iowans who want to see a strong separation of religion and government.The Iowa push is part of a nationwide effort to organize chapters in every state by the end of 2012, said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the 501(c)(4) organization that serves as the national lobby for atheists, agnostics, humanists, free-thinkers and other non-theistic Americans." Read more.
Grand Forks Herald (North Dakota)
October 5, 2012- Atheists organizing N.D. chapter
"A virtual meeting, a call-in aimed at organizing a North Dakota chapter of the Secular Coalition for America will be held 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday in an effort based in Washington and aimed at all 50 states." Read more.
Omaha World Herald
October 5, 2012 - Atheist group tries to get foothold in Nebraska
"Atheists need lobbyists, too. The Secular Coalition for America has set out this year to organize chapters in all 50 states, including Nebraska and Iowa. The coalition comprises 11 groups, among them American Atheists and the American Humanist Association. The groups have been lobbying the federal government for years, but now they see a need to influence public policy at the state level." Read more.
October 5, 2012 - Secular Coalition forming N.D. chapter
"The Secular Coalition for America will be holding an organizing call Monday afternoon for interested participants. The call will be held at 3 p.m. The Secular Coalition of America is a 501 (c) (4) organization that advocates on behalf of the nontheistic population in the United States. The group is in favor of strong separation of religion and government on a federal level." Read more.
October 5, 2012 - Secular coalition organizes in N.D.
"The Secular Coalition for America has announced initial organizing efforts for a chapter in North Dakota. The state chapter will lobby state lawmakers in favor of a strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
October 5, 2012 - Concord Currents
"The Concord Area Humanists meet on Oct. 10 at 7:15 p.m. at the First Parish at 20 Lexington Road, featuring Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition of America. He will speak about his new book, “Candidate without a prayer.” Free. All are welcome." Read more.
WOWT Channel 6 (NBC)
October 4, 2012 - Atheists Organizing in Nebraska
"The Secular Coalition for America is excited to announce the initial organizing efforts for a chapter in Nebraska this month. The state chapter will lobby state lawmakers in favor of a strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
San Diego Reader
October 4, 2012 - Atheist lobby officially launches in California
"The Secular Coalition for America, a new lobbying group for “non-theistic Americans” that announced plans in June to establish a presence throughout the country, has officially launched its California chapter." Read more.
The Washington Post
October 1, 2012 - A case of nonbelief
"The nation’s atheists went to Capitol Hill on Monday to launch an effort that they hope will someday give them the lobbying clout of the Christian conservative movement." Read more.
October 1, 2012 - Les athées déplorent le poids de la religion dans la politique américaine
"Il y a 30 ans, lancer une campagne présidentielle avec une prière dans un stade de football était inimaginable", a-t-il poursuivi, évoquant le premier meeting de campagne de Barack Obama. "Cela aurait été malsain même pour le parti républicain", a conclu M. Niose, également président de l'Association humaniste américaine, qui estime que dans le domaine politique, jamais la religion n'a été autant mise en avant. Le mouvement laïc vient de lancer une campagne pour structurer les "non-religieux" dans la quasi-totalité des 50 Etats du pays, pour qu'ils fassent pression sur les élus locaux ou nationaux, ainsi que des sessions de formation pour les citoyens afin qu'ils fassent valoir leurs droits. Il vient en outre de se doter d'une nouvelle directrice générale, Edwina Rogers, une lobbyiste confirmée."
TRANSLATION: "Thirty years ago, launching a presidential campaign with a prayer in a football stadium was unbelievable," he said, referring to the first campaign rally for Barack Obama. "It would have been very unhealthy for the Republican Party," concluded Mr. Niose, also president of the American Humanist Association, who believes that in politics, religion never has been so emphasized. The secular movement has launched a campaign to organize the "non-religious" in almost all 50 states of the country, to put pressure on elected local or national, as well as training sessions for citizens to they assert their rights. It also has to have a new executive director, Edwina Rogers, a lobbyist confirmed." Read more.
Mason City Globe Gazette (Iowa)
September 30, 2012 - Secular-based lobbying group wants Iowa presence
"The Secular Coalition for America is working to bring a new voice to the Iowa Capitol on behalf of atheists and non-theistic Iowans who want to see a strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
September 20, 2012 - SC Atheist Lobbying Group Launches Today
"Today, on the Christian Sabbath, a group of atheists and secularists will officially launch the South Carolina chapter of their national lobbying organization." Read more.
September 28, 2012 - Making a case for secularism, science in America
"David Niose is president of the American Humanist Association and vice president of the Secular Coalition for America, which lobbies on behalf of nontheist and secular Americans. In his new book, “Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans,” he charts the development of the religious right and what he sees as the increasingly organized response from Americans who are committed to the separation of church and state. Answers have been edited." Read more.
Charleston City Paper
September 28, 2012 - Atheist lobbying group to launch South Carolina chapter
"When S.C. legislators return to the Statehouse in January, they will find a new interest group waiting in the lobby: the Secular Coalition for South Carolina, a nontheistic organization that aims to uphold the separation of church and state." Read more.
The Philly Post (Philadelphia Magazine)
Septmeber 27, 2012 - Pennsylvania Gets an Atheist Lobby
"The Secular Coalition for America plans to launch its Pennsylvania chapter on Sunday. The group plans to directly lobby to lawmakers in the Keystone State for a strong separation of religion and government. Part of the motivation for the establishment of such a group was the “Year of the Bible” legislation that stirred up controversy earlier this year. By the end of the year, the Secular Coalition for America plans to have chapters in all 50 states." Read more.
The Raw Story
September 25, 2012 - Atheists condemn House resolution to reaffirm importance of religion
"The Secular Coalition for America on Tuesday blasted a resolution proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives that 'reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens.'" Read more.
Washington Jewish Week
September 19, 2012 - Thirty five years of rational humanistic activism
"'Unlike many congregations, we've also chosen to work actively for a two-state solution to foster a just peace between Israel and its neighbors. We've had our share of critics, but for a decade now, we've partnered with our allies in Brit Tzedek v'Shalom, the Jewish Alliance for Justice & Peace, and its successor J Street, and often had the largest contingent of any congregation at the national conferences and lobby days of these groups. Finally, we've helped to push the Society for Humanistic Judaism toward civic activism on these and other issues, including our important work with the Secular Coalition for America, which sponsored the very successful lobby day and Rally for Reason here this spring.'" Read more.
State of Belief
September 15, 2012 - Secular Americans and Political Rhetoric Steeped in Faith
"Welton talks to Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition of America, to find out what the coalition is doing to remind both the campaigns and voters that this November we’re heading to the polls to elect the President of the United States – not the a preacher-in-chief." Listen to radio interview or read more here or watch the video.
The Maine Public Broadcasting Network
September 14, 2012 - Atheists in Maine Seek Louder Political Voice
"This week a group of atheists, agnostics, humanists and other non-believers in Maine took the initial step toward flexing their collective political muscle in Augusta. They launched a Maine chapter of the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying organization that has traditionally worked at the federal level. As Susan Sharon reports, the group will focus on what it considers the most egregious violations of the separation of church and state." Read more.
The Gazette (MD)
September 14, 2012 - Coalition has faith in separation of church and state
"A national lobbying group for atheists, agnostics and other nontheistic people is expanding its fight for the separation of religion and government by organizing a state chapter in Maryland." Read more.
The Daily Herald (IL)
September 13, 2012 - New voice in church and state tiff may seem heaven-sent
"The Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying organization based in Washington, D.C., is expanding its efforts beyond the federal level by opening a chapter in Illinois and other states. Interested people can find out more during today’s special 2 p.m. Illinois organizing meeting by calling (530) 881-1400 and using the participant access code of 978895." Read more.
September 11, 2012 - Secular organization troubled by conventions
"In the wake of the Republican and Democratic national conventions, one organization has found something to critique about both of them. The Secular Coalition for America, emboldened by the ambitious agenda of its new head, Edwina Rogers, has outlined its objections to what it witnessed in Tampa and Charlotte and its plans for the campaign season’s final stretch." Read more.
September 10, 2012 - Catholic League's Donohue: Obama Wages War on Religion
"In 2010, Obama became the first president in U.S. history to welcome a gathering of atheists: administration officials met with activists from the Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that includes American atheists and other virulently anti-Christian organizations." Read more.
September 9, 2012 - Secularists are not atheists
"Not only foes draw this link, but friends as well. The website of the Secular Coalition for America describes the group as 'a 501(c)4 advocacy organization whose purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States.' This community, it points out, is comprised of 'atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic Americans.' An affiliated organization, the Secular Student Alliance, refers to its mission as “to organize and empower nonreligious students around the country.'" Read more.
Bangor Daily News
September 9, 2012 - Maine atheists to organize state lobbying group
"The Secular Coalition for America is organizing a Maine chapter that will lobby state lawmakers in favor of a strong separation of religion and government, according to a press release from the national organization based in Washington, D.C." Read more.
The Portland Press Herald
September 9, 2012 - Bill Nemitz: Atheists push back at almighty agenda
"Later this week, the Secular Coalition for America will open its phone lines to anyone and everyone in Maine who a) doesn't believe in God, b) can't be sure there is a God or c) believes, regardless of his or her spiritual underpinnings, that government at any level should not be doing anything in the name of the man (or woman) upstairs." Read more.
Wise County Messenger
September 8, 2012 - War is on against traditional American values
"We hear about a war going on in America, and it is called “The War on Women” – but I would like to tell you about the real war that is going on: the war against your religious liberties and the very foundations this nation was built on. Organizations like the American Humanist Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Secular Coalition for America and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation are at work every day doing their best to remove God and especially Jesus Christ from every aspect of public life." Read more.
NPR - Wisconsin Public Radio
September 7, 2012 - Secular Group Wants Less Religion in Government
"The Secular Coalition for America has been around for a decade but has not been involved at the state level. Rather it focused on federal government. Spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood says that's about to change. "What we're seeing recently is that some of the most egregious legislation that attempts to attempts to insert religion into government is being proposed at the state level,' she says." Read more and listen to the story here.
September 7, 2012 - Prominent Atheists Lash Out at DNC‘s Reinstatement of ’God’: ‘Precisely What Our Founders Aimed to Avoid’
"The Secular Coalition for America, an atheist group that lobbies for non-belief, responded strongly to the Democratic Party’s decision. Executive Director Edwina Rogers put out a statement, alleging that religion already plays too massive of a role in the political system and that the decision to add “God” back in wasn’t warranted. While America’s founders purportedly understood the need for separation of church and state, Rogers believes that contemporary politicians simply do not." Read more.
September 7, 2012 - ATHEISTS LOBBY: Maryland atheists may soon have a lobbying group of their own
"The Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit that lobbies of behalf of atheists, agnostics, free thinkers and “other nontheistic Americans,” announced plans to organize a Maryland chapter to advocate in Annapolis for strong separation of church and state, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun." Read more.
The Capital Gazette (MD)
September 7, 2012 - Atheists form lobbying group
"The Secular Coalition for America is forming a Maryland chapter to lobby state lawmakers for separation of religion and government. The initial organizing call for the group will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Interested participants should call 530-881-1400 and use the access code 978895." Read more.
Cape Gazette (DE)
September 5, 2012 - Atheist lobbyists organize in Delaware
"Since June, the SCA successfully held initial organizing calls for new chapters in 27 states. Participants will be trained in lobbying state lawmakers, and the chapter will be provided with a website and other materials." Read more.
KXNT NewsRadio 840 - Las Vegas, NV
September 7, 2012 - 8:06 AM
Detailed SCA's organizing efforts in Nevada.
September 6, 2012 - Atheist Lobby Group in LA
"A national atheist group plans to start a lobbying group in Louisiana. The Secular Coalition for America wants potential members to give them a call. The group advocates for the separation of church and state. And it wants chapters in all 50 states so members can lobby at a state level. " Read more.
Eyewitness News at 5 (News)(CBS) - Lafayette, LA
09/06/2012 5:24 PM and 10:28 PM
"A national athiest group plans to start a lobbying group in Louisiana. The Secular Coalition for America wants potential members to give it a call. The group advocates for the separation of church and state and it wants chapters in all 50 states so members can lobby at a state level."
U.S. News and World Report
September 6, 2012- Atheist Lobbying Group Organizes in D.C.
"Another law SCA has criticized, which exists in multiple states, allows for lower health and safety standards for religious day care centers than secular ones. In February, an infant drowned in a church-run day care center's baptismal pool, which Youngblood said could have been prevented with more stringent safety standards." Read more.
92.7 WGMD-FM (Delaware)
September 6, 2012 - 7:38 AM
"Currently the Delaware atheists are trying to organize state lobbying group this month The Secular Coalition for America plans to create chapters in all 50 vstates by the end of 2012. We are attempting to get a guest on and not possibly talk about that sometime next week." Listen here.
September 5, 2012- Atheists bummed by Democrats' God flip
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America, told POLITICO that America’s founding fathers wanted separation of church and state. 'This is one of our core founding principles — the idea of separating religion and government,' she said. Other atheists were equally critical of the reversal." Read more.
September 5, 2012 - Atheists organizing Maryland lobbying group
"Maryland atheists may soon have a lobbying group of their own. The Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit that lobbies of behalf of atheists, agnostics, free thinkers and "other nontheistic Americans," announced plans Wednesday to organize a Maryland chapter to advocate in Annapolis for strong separation of church and state." Read more.
The Paramus Post (NJ)
September 5, 2012- New Jersey Atheists to Organize State Lobbying Group This Month
"The initial organizing call for the Secular Coalition for New Jersey will be held on September 13th at 2:00 PM ET. The SCA encourages interested participants to call in. Participation is open to anyone who supports a strong separation of religion and government and wants to get involved, irrespective of personal religious beliefs." Read more.
The Washington Post
September 4, 2012- Q&A with ‘Nonbeliever Nation’ author David Niose
"David Niose is president of the American Humanist Association and vice president of the Secular Coalition for America, a group that lobbies on behalf of nontheist and secular Americans. In his new book, “Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans,” he charts the development and growth of the religious right and what he sees as the increasingly organized response from Americans who are committed to the separation of church and state." Read more.
94.7 FM WNHN (Concord NH)
August 30, 2012- The Attitude with Arnie Arnesen
SCA Executive Director, Edwina Rogers, a guest on the morning show. Visit Site.
Rede Globo (Brazil)
August 30, 2012
SCA Executive Director, Edwina Rogers, appeared on Globo TV live from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL.
The Angry Atheist
August 27, 2012 - The Angry Atheist 97 w/ Herb Silverman
"Please welcome Herb Silverman to the Angry Atheist podcast. Herb was raised Jewish, he is now an atheist, activist who lives in South Carolina. He ran for public office in order to challenge the law against it. Herb also talks about his book Candidate Without A Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt as well as the work he has done with secular groups. He even and teaches us just a little bit about math." Listen to podcast here.
Tampa Bay Times
August 26, 2012 - Devil of a time as GOP atheist
"Who may be the oddest bedfellow at the Republican National Convention that opens Monday? No, it's not Log Cabin Republicans, that group of gay Republicans who assiduously ignore the "unwelcome" mat the party has put out for them. It would have to be Edwina Rogers, the new head of the Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit group of atheists, agnostics and humanists. In addition to being a non-theist (her term for herself), she's a lifelong Republican. I hope for her sake that no one remembered the tar and feathers." Read more. [This article also ran in the Columbus Dispatch]
The Ottawa Herald
August 25, 2012 - Atheists aim for greater church-state separation
"'Some of the most egregious violations of church-state separation are being promoted and passed at the state level, and we absolutely must act to stop it,' Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said. 'There are 40 million Americans who don’t identify with any religion, but our political influence has been limited because we have not been organized. This year, that changes.'” Read more.
NBC (Memphis, TN)
August 17, 2012 - 5:30PM
Unlawful University Sponsorship of Christian Prayer
"You'll remember last month we told you about another group, the Secular Coalition for America, which announced it was setting up a Tennessee location."
The Malcontent's Gambit
August 15, 2012 - A Voice for the ‘Nones’ (Podcast)
Secular Coalition for America Executive Director, Edwina Rogers, discusses the group's lobbying efforts. Read more.
August 14, 2012 - Atheists give Paul Ryan an F
"Paul Ryan, the presumptive Republican nominee for vice president of the United States, received a grade of F for his voting record in Congress, the Secular Coalition for America said Monday. Ryan voted the way the coalition advocated on only one issue in seven during 2011." Read more.
August 13, 2012 - Ten reasons why Paul Ryan could help the Republican ticket
"Ryan is a Catholic who believes that faith, including his own, has a rightful place in the public square.” His votes on religious matters earned him a grade of “F” from the Secular Coalition for America. Enough said." Read more. [This article also ran in the San Francisco Chronicle]
Ozark News Network (Missouri)
August 9, 2012 - Secular Group Condemns Passage of Missouri Amendment 2
"On Election Day many voters, checked YES on their ballot for the Constitutional Amendment Number 2 also being called the Public Prayer Amendment. However there have been some voters and even groups who have expressed their disappointment of Amendment 2’s passing. The Secular Coalition of America, is one of those groups, they condemn the passing of the Missouri Amendment 2, and claim that Amendment 2 is just a continued false definition of 'Religious Liberty'." Listen to podcast or read article here.
KWIX-KRES-KIRK radio (Moberly, Mo.)
August 2, 2012 - 9:30 AM CT
Communications Manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, discusses Missouri Amendment 2, the so called "Public Prayer Amendment" to the state constitution, up for vote on August 7th 2012.
July 30, 2012 - Rise of the new atheists: Should non-believers make an alliance with religious progressives?
"This movement is made up of old stalwarts that have existed for decades, like American Atheists or the Freedom From Religion Foundation, partnering with newer groups like the Secular Coalition for America, which gives the nonreligious a voice in Washington, or the Secular Student Alliance, which assists nonbelieving young people to form clubs at hundreds of high schools and colleges across the country." Read more.
The Malcontent's Gambit
July 30, 2012 - A Jewish, Yankee, Liberal Atheist Runs for Office in South Carolina (Podcast)
"Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, talks about his childhood as an orthodox Jew in Philadelphia, his eventual atheism, and his political career in the South. His new book, Candidate Without a Prayer, An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt, recounts his bid for governor of South Carolina in 1990, when he challenged a law that prohibited public office to anyone who denied the existence of a supreme being. His story is funny, poignant and intelligent." Read more.
The Christian Post
July 28, 2012 - 42 Groups Sign Letter Critical of Bachmann Over Muslim Brotherhood Remarks
"A group of 42 organizations have condemned Rep. Michele Bachmann and four of her colleagues for criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood and naming Huma Abedin and her family as Americans who keep close ties to the group. The forty-plus religious and secular groups that issued the letter condemning Bachmann's actions include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, American Civil Liberties Union, Secular Coalition of American, NAACP, American Atheists, Catholics for Choice, United Methodist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association." Read more.
July 28, 2012 - Secular Coalition for America forms Missouri chapter
"The Secular Coalition for America, a national organization that lobbies for strong separation of religion and government, is creating a chapter in Missouri. The organization represents nontheists — those who don’t believe in God or gods, such as atheists, agnostics, humanists and freethinkers." Read more.
AZ Capitol Times
July 27, 2012 - Franks defends request for probe of Muslim infiltration of government
"Secular and religious organizations joined to write the letter because the issue affects more than just Muslims, said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America. 'This is an issue that affects all Americans, religious and nonreligious,' she said. 'When you have a group of lawmakers who are singling out minority religions, that’s a problem.'" Read more. Article also ran in the Tucson Sentinel, Cronkite News Service and KTAR.
One News Now
July 27, 2012 - Atheism a growing presence in America
"Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a group that represents atheists and non-believers on Capitol Hill, is pressing for lobbying organizations in every state in the nation (see earlier story). The group has selected a well-known Republican strategist, Edwina Rogers, to serve as its new leader." Read more.
The Examiner (TN)
July 26, 2012 - The debate continues over atheism as a religion
"The Secular Coalition for America is currently organizing local chapters to lobby states. One of the reasons for this is the growth of a group called the "Nones." While atheists do not believe in the existence of any gods, the Nones are people who simply don't claim any religious affiliation. According to USA Today, about 19% of Americans are Nones. That is an increase from 16% in 2008. In the 1990s, that number was only 6%. Therefore, the coalition is seeking to raise the public's knowledge of atheists and agnostics, as well as keeping religion out of public profile." Read more.
July 26, 2012 - Poll: Most Americans would vote atheist for president
"Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, knows that first-hand. In 1990, he ran for governor of South Carolina where an old law banned atheists like him from holding public office. Silverman lost — by a landslide — though his candidacy did lead to the repeal of the law by the state's supreme court. Silverman, who tells the story of his run for office in his book "Candidate Without a Prayer," says that to push their approval numbers higher, more atheists need to "come out," just as gays and lesbians have done." Read more. Article also ran on NBC 10 Knoxville and the Huffington Post among other locations.
98.7 Newstalk Radio (TN)
July 25, 2012 - The Hallerin Hilton Hill Morning Show
Communications Manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood a guest on the morning show. 9:00am-10:00 am.
Podcasts available here.
July 24, 2012 - Secular Coalition Signs Up 15 in TN
"About 15 people signed up to become members of the Secular Coalition for America in Tennessee in an organizing conference call last week, according to The Tennessean. The idea is to organize a state chapter for lobbying to keep religion out of public policy." Read more.
USA Today and The Tennessean
July 24, 2012 - Secular humanism vs. religion debate grows in TN
"A growing number of Americans couldn’t care less about God. About 19 percent of Americans are part of the “Nones,” or people with no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. That’s up from 16 percent in 2008 and from 6 percent in the 1990s. The growth of the Nones is one reason the Secular Coalition for America is organizing local chapters to lobby in Tennessee and other states." This article ran in the Tennessean and USA Today.
High Desert Daily Press (CA)
July 23, 2012- NewsMix: Religion news from around the world
"The Secular Coalition of America, an atheist group, is setting up lobbying groups in each state, and there will also be an office in Washington, DC. OneNewsNow turned to Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver, who notes that the Coalition plans to argue for the strict separation of church and state." Read more.
CBS 5 (Grand Junction, CO)
July 21, 2012 - First Ever 'Godless' Conference in Colo.
"Research and advocacy manager for the Secular Coalition of America, Kelly Damerow, said, 'While we’re working in D.C. to fight religious privileging on a federal level, we’re really noticing that the most egregious violations of church and state are happening on the state level.'” Read more.
July 20, 2012 - Atheists making political inroads
"Indeed, many who seek rational public policy now see their own personal secularity as a quality to be emphasized, not downplayed. That is changing and the movement is becoming more proactive. For instance, the Secular Coalition for America, an organization that began lobbying in Washington on behalf of atheists about eight years ago, has now launched lobbying efforts at state levels as well." Read more.
Longmont Times-Call (CO)
July 20, 2012 - Two Longmont men will chair newly formed Secular Coalition for Colorado
"The Colorado chapter is the first one to launch as part of the Secular Coalition for America's effort to establish 50 state chapters by the end of this year. The national coalition advocates for a separation between church and state on a federal level but has noted a need for lobbying at a state level, said SCA spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood." Read more.
July 20, 2012 - STOP GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF BOY SCOUTS
"The Secular Coalition for America has put together a long list of the financial ways in which taxpayers support Boy Scouts, which have reaffirmed their policy of discriminating against gay kids. The Coalition says the government shouldn't support discriminatory organizations. Amen." Read more.
Colorado Springs Independent
July 19, 2012 - Colorado preps for secular invasion
"On Saturday, at the Colorado Secular Conference, the Secular Coalition for America will be officially announcing the opening of its branch office here in Colorado." Read more.
City Beat (OH)
July 18, 2012- Leveling the Law : Secular Coalition plans Ohio chapter to organize against religion in government
"In order to combat what it views as the encroachment of religion on public life, a national organization called the Secular Coalition for America is planning on opening a state chapter in Ohio." Read more.
KIRO-AM (Seattle, WA)
July 17-2012 (several airings)
"The Secular Coalition for America is established in two states and plans to open chapters in all 50 states. The plan has come about largely because of its new Executive Director who has a pretty ambitious plan for expansion I'm told by Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA spokesperson."
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
July 17, 2012 - Humanist sees nation shifting toward secularism
"Mr. Niose [Board member of] the Secular Coalition for America, a lobbying group, said the balance is now shifting away from the religious right, as more and more turn away from organized religion. He said that, according to polls, one in five Americans now label themselves “a non-believer.” Read more.
Legislative Gazette (NY)
July 16, 2012 - Secular group forming New York chapter to fight prayer breakfasts and several bills
"A new local chapter of the Secular Coalition for America has been formed in New York to fight three bills currently before the state Legislature, as well as the practice of praying before session days. The Secular Coalition for America is organizing a New York chapter this month as part of a national effort to establish state-level lobbies across the United States." Read more.
100.3 FM WNOX (TN)
July 15, 2012 - Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA Communications Manager, a guest on State Your Case with George Korda.
Clarion Ledger (MS)
July 14, 2012 - Atheist group may need miracle to make inroads
"An atheistic lobbying group faces an uphill battle of - dare we say it - biblical proportions. The Secular Coalition for America announced plans recently to set up shop in Mississippi and each of the other 49 states, expanding its existing lobbying presence beyond Washington, D.C." Read more.
Clarion Ledger (MS)
July 13, 2012 - Atheists to lobby on church separation
"A national group of atheists plans to lobby Mississippi and Tennessee lawmakers on issues involving separation of church and state. According to The Tennessean, the Secular Coalition for America announced its intention Tuesday to organize a local chapter aimed at increasing the clout of atheists and agnostics." Read more.
July 13, 2012 - National Atheist Group Steps Up Lobbying Efforts in All 50 States
"A national atheist organization has ramped up its plan to organize local chapters in all 50 states by setting up a lobbying group in Tennessee, among other locations." Read more.
July 13, 2012 - Nonreligious lobby group plans first Ohio chapter
"A lobbying group that works to keep religion out of government and increase the visibility of nonreligious citizens wants to establish a volunteer chapter in Ohio." Read more.
Grand Junction Free Press
July 13, 2012 - Workshops, speakers featured at the Colorado Secular Conference
"Kelly Damerow of the Secular Coalition of America in Washington, D.C. will give a talk titled “Ignorance Becomes Intolerance: The Truth about Religious Liberty.” Damerow will talk about how widespread misinformation about the rights and limits of religious liberty is breeding a new form of religious intolerance." Read more.
ABC 24 (Memphis TN)
TV Broadcasts: 11 PM [Watch Video]
July 12, 2012 - Atheists Will Soon Wield More Political Power
"Their numbers are growing in Tennessee and soon, so will their political clout. The secular coalition of America is organizing atheists to sway state lawmakers on controversial legislation." Read story and watch additional video.
CBS (Chattanooga, TN)
July 12, 2012 - Prime News at 7 [Watch Video]
KWIX-KRES-KIRK radio (Moberly, Mo.)
July 12, 2012 - 9:30 AM CT
Communications Manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, discusses efforts to form a chapter of the Secular Coalition for America in Missouri.
FOX 17 News (Nashville, TN)
July 11, 2012 - at 9:00, 9:30 [Watch Video], 10:00 PM
July 12, 2012 - 5:30, 7:00, 8:30 AM [Watch Video]
"The Secular Coalition for America is working to launch a new chapter in Tennessee. The group plans to lobby for stronger separation of church and state.fox 17's erika lathon is here now with more on the story. The Secular Coalition for America based in Wsshington, D.C."
CBS (Nashville, TN)
July 11, 2012 - 10:00 PM
July 12, 2012 - 5:00 AM [Watch Video], 5:30 AM [Watch Video]
"The Secular Coalition for America will hold a conference call for anyone interested in joining their local chapter. Anyone who supports the separation of church and state is invited to join."
Fox (Knoxville, TN)
July 11, 2012 - 6:00 PM,10:00 PM [Watch Video]
"The Secular Coalition for America plans to organize a local chapter aimed at increasing the clout of local atheists and agnostics."
ABC (Tri-Cities, TN)
July 11, 2012 - 6:00 PM [Watch Video]
"The Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America announced plans to set up a local chapter aimed at giving local atheists more political clout."
NBC (Memphis, TN)
July 11, 2012 - 5:30, 6:30 PM [Watch Video]
"The Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America announced plans to set up a local chapter aimed at giving local atheists more political clout."
ABC NewsChannel 9 (Chattanooga, TN)
July 11, 2012 - 5:00 pm [Watch Video]
"Atheists plans to lobby Tennessee lawmakers, on issues involving separation of church and state. The Secular Coalition for America, wants to organize a local chapter aimed at increasing the clout of local atheists and agnostics."
Your Pasedena News
July 11, 2012 - Freedom of religion shouldn’t be sacrificed to advance universal healthcare
“The religious organizations that filed these suits are attempting to exempt themselves from the laws of our society and impose their religious beliefs on employees,” said Edwina Rogers, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The Supreme Court has affirmed time after time, that individual religious beliefs do not supersede the laws of the government. We live in a pluralistic society, with a secular government. Religious liberty does not give any religious group the right to impose its particular brand of religion on others, or ignore the law – especially while accepting taxpayer funding.” Read more.
The Examiner (Florida)
July 11, 2012 - Atheists register lobbying group to fight church and state issues
"The issue over the separation between church and state has picked up steam ever since the evangelical Christian wing in the Republican party has grown in numbers over the last few years. While evangelical Christians have had multiple platforms to voice their opinions, atheists and non-believers haven't had the same opportunity, until now." Read more.
The Gazette (Iowa)
July 11, 2012 - A bit of this, a bit of that and see you soon
"...we might be heading for happy times, indeed. The Secular Coalition of America — a national lobbying group for “atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other non-theistic Americans” — is organizing an Iowa chapter. Their agenda is TBD, but the group opposes any legislation that would attempt to insert any group’s religious beliefs into lawmaking — everything from right-to-life legislation to marriage to opening legislative sessions with a prayer. That’s going to cause some fireworks." Read more.
WHLT - CBS 22
July 11, 2012 - Secular group plans Miss. atheist lobby
"A national secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Mississippi by January to advance atheist views. The Secular Coalition for America plans to organize in all 50 states. Spokeswoman Lauren Youngblood says no specific legislative agenda has been set yet for the Secular Coalition of Mississippi." Read more. [Article was also published in 15 other sources]
ABC News Radio
July 11, 2012 - Atheist Group to Organize Tennessee Chapter
"A national atheist group plans to launch a Tennessee lobbying group to advocate for stronger separation of church and state, The Tennessean reports." Read more. [Article ran in multiple locations]
News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
July 11, 2012 - Atheists, humanists targetting N.C. politics
"A D.C. lobbying group for atheists, agnostics, humanists — really anyone who either doesn't believe in God or just feels strongly about separations between church and state — is looking to start a number of new state chapters." Read more.
Memphis Commercial Appeal
July 11, 2012 - Atheist group plans to lobby Tennessee legislators
"NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A national group of atheists plans to lobby Tennessee lawmakers on issues involving separation of church and state." Read more. [This article appeared in more than 10 publications]
AM 730 Morning Show
July 11, 2012 - Albuquerque's only live, local Christian Talk Show. Guest, Lauren Anderson Youngblood of the Secular Coalition for America talks about lobbying efforts in New Mexico.
News Channel 5
July 11, 2012 - National Atheist Group Setting Up Shop In Tennessee
"NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A national atheist group is setting its sights on Tennessee, and specifically, the state legislature. The Secular Coalition For America, since 2002, has been lobbying at the federal level on issues involving the separation of religion and government." Read more.
July 11, 2012 - Atheists to launch Tennessee lobbying group
"A national atheist group plans to organize a lobbying group in Tennessee to advocate for stronger separation of church and state. The Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America announced plans Tuesday to set up a local chapter aimed at giving local atheists more political clout. It’s part of an effort to organize coalition chapters in all 50 states." Read more.
WDAM Channel 7
July 11, 2012 - Secular Group Plans Miss. Atheist Lobby
"A national secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Mississippi by January to advance atheist views. The Secular Coalition for America plans to organize in all 50 states. Spokeswoman Lauren Youngblood says no specific legislative agenda has been set yet for the Secular Coalition of Mississippi." Read more. [AP story appeared in several locations]
Nashville Business Journal
July 11, 2012 - Atheists to launch Tennessee lobbying group
"Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America plans to open a new chapter in Tennessee, The Tennessean reports. Though previously focused on federal efforts, the group is now seeking an expansion into the states." Read more.
Viewpoints- The TalkStation - WTKF/WJNC (North Carolina)
July 10, 2012 - Lauren Anderson Youngblood, Secular Coalition for America communications manager, talks with Lockwood Phillips about organizing efforts for an SCA chapter in N.C. Hear Podcast.
July 10, 2012 - "The Secular Coalition for America is excited to announce the initial organizing efforts for a chapter in Tennessee this month. The state chapter will lobby state lawmakers in favor of a strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
July 5, 2012 - The Cycle 3:35 PM [Watch Video]
Host S.E. Cupp mentions SCA's Presidential Candidate Scorecard.
July 5, 2012 - Things Christians are Supposed to Hate
"Among some Christians there is the idea that liberals are all godless heathens and conservatives are the party of God. This is a patently untrue assertion since Christianity doesn't mean that a Christian can't be a liberal or a conservative and an atheist could be a conservative or liberal as well. In fact, the Secular Coalition for America recently hired the prominent Republican lobbyist and strategist Edwina Rogers to lead the group." Read more.
July 4, 2012 - Pro-secular group going nationwide, gearing up for election
"A national secular organization is in a frenetic push to ensure that the voices of atheists, agnostics and “freethinkers” are heard in statehouses across the country and in the presidential election in the fall. The Secular Coalition of America plans to have statewide chapters in virtually all 50 states by the end of 2012." Read more.
July 3, 2012 - Exclusive: Prominent Atheist Warns Against Taking Bible as ‘Absolute Moral Truth’ & Answers More of Your Questions
Quoting Todd Stiefel: "'Interestingly, a recent study suggested that atheists and agnostics may be more compassionate than religious people. I want to see more independent studies before I will believe that is true. What I would really love to see is data on charitable giving by atheists/agnostics compared to religious people after eliminating donations to groups that mostly provide services to ourselves or to promoting our own viewpoints. For me, that would mean not counting gifts to groups like Secular Coalition for America, American Humanist Association, and my local community, the Triangle Freethought Society. For the religious, donations would not count to their church or any charity that evangelizes. Now, that would be interesting information.'" Read more.
The Post and Courier
July 1, 2012 - Review: An atheist considers a new book meant for him
"Reviewer Herb Silverman, founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America and author of 'Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt'". Read more.
KBIA - 91.3
June 28, 2012 - Secular Coalition for America to create Missouri chapter
"Missouri is next on the list to create a state chapter of a national organization that lobbies for strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
June 28, 2012 - Meet the New Atheist Group That Promises to ‘Amplify the…Influence of Non-Religious Women’
"The Secular Coalition for America, for instance, is rapidly organizing in all 50 states." Read more.
Jun 28, 2012 - Old law fuels drive to form atheist lobby
"The fact that the religious fires of the past century have abated doesn’t make it any less “disturbing” that the legal sanction for bias against nonbelievers remains, said Lauren Anderson Youngblood, a spokesman for the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
WGCU (NPR Affliate Gulf Coast, FL)
June 27, 2012 - Gulf Coast Live: Secular Coalition for America
"The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ….” we’ll talk a representative from Secular Coalition for America which is organizing a Florida Chapter." Read more.
The Examiner (Atlanta, GA)
June 26, 2012 - Secular Coalition spokesperson discusses secular lobbying
"You may have missed it, but the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently ran a quiet little piece called "Atheists to start Georgia lobbying group." Though some of the agnostics, humanists, Christians, and other religious people associating with the movement might object to the wording, the general sentiment is correct. Georgia will have a chapter of the Secular Coalition for America by the end of the year. I spoke with SCA spokesperson Lauren Anderson Youngblood about this new initiative." Read more.
550 KTSA (Texas)
June 25, 2012- 7:45 AM
"The Secular Coalition for america says it needs to know what's happening on the local level in states like Texas. The group is in favor of a strong separation of religion and government...Tomorrow the effort to organize in this state will begin."
Palm Beach Post
June 24, 2012 - Non-believers say proposed Florida amendment is backdoor to religion in government
"Murad says she will join forces with a group called the Secular Coalition for America, a nationwide organization that is staging a recruitment drive Tuesday to form a Florida chapter. Kelly Damerow, formerly of Boca Raton, is the coordinator of state chapters for the group. She says the Coalition will target the amendment." Read more.
KCBS FM 106.9 (San Jose, CA)
June 24, 2012 - (aired on 15 broadcasts, between the hours of 6:24 AM - 10:44 PM Local time)
"A call goes out this week for atheists to organize here in California. KCBS' Patty Rising reports on the expansion of the Secular Coalition for America."
June 21, 2012 - South Carolina’s Secular Crusader: In a new memoir, Herb Silverman recounts his legal battle against a state ban on atheists seeking public office
"Silverman has spent much of his life thinking about his beliefs, in an iconoclastic manner evidenced in his regular “On Faith” columns in the Washington Post. More significantly, Silverman knows about the intersection between religion and politics first-hand. As he recounts in his new memoir, Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt, Silverman—raised as an Orthodox Jew and now an outspoken atheist—ran for office in South Carolina to challenge a state law requiring candidates to assert religious faith. After an eight-year battle, Silverman won his legal challenge." Read more.
June 21, 2012 - The Secular Coalition for America prepares to lobby Missouri legislature
"The Secular Coalition for America, which represents non-theists, based in Washington D. C., started setting up chapters in all 50 states to lobby at state level and one chapter prepares to lobby Missouri legislature within two weeks." Read more.
June 20, 2012 - Atheists Appeal to Obama Admin, Calling Faith-Based Birth Control Exemptions ‘Gov’t Endorsement of Religion’
"The Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a national group representing non-believers and secularists, has made no bones about its intent to increase its atheistic political power. On Tuesday, the group issued an official comment and press release slamming the efforts of Christian groups that are seeking wider exemptions under the Obama administration’s highly-contentious contraceptive mandate." Read more.
WTLV-JAX (NBC) - Jacksonville, FL
June 16, 2012 - "Atheist group, Secular Coalition for America is forming a florida chapter this month. They will lobby state lawmakers in favor of strong separation of religion and government. In a release to the press, the group said there are 44 million americans who do not identify with religion, but our political influence will be limited because we have not been organized. This year that changes."
KTRH News Radio (Houston)
June 18, 2012 - ATHEISTS TAKE AIM AT TX CONSTITUTION
"A national lobbying group called the Secular Coalition for America plans to set up shop here in Texas to, as spokeswoman Lauren Youngblood puts it, advocate strong separation of church and state and fight what it believes are religiously infused laws coming from the state level." Read more.
90.1 FM KPFT (Houston)
June 15, 2012 - Local broadcast time:9:16 PM UTC
"The Secular Coalition for America will be setting up shop right here in Texas. The national organization based in washington d. c. is expanding and opening offices and all fifty states their goal is to make sure states are passing laws that favors religion and violates the U.S. Constitution."
Atlanta Journal Constitution
June 15, 2012 - Atheists to start Georgia lobbying group
"A new group will join the bevy of lobbyists trying to peddle influence over Georgia lawmakers next year. But it doesn't have a prayer. The national Secular Coalition for America is cementing plans this summer to start local offshoots in all 50 states by year's end. The group advocates for a 'strong' separation between church and state, representing not just atheists but anyone pushing to keep that boundary clearly defined." Read more.
June 14, 2012 - Atheists preparing to lobby legislature
"A new voice will be heard in the Capitol in next year’s legislative session arguing that politics and religion are too close in Missouri law-making. The Secular Coalition for America, a Washington D. C.-based organization for people who do not believe in God, is organizing lobbying efforts at the state level nationwide." Read more.
The Texas Tribune
June 14, 2012 - Atheist Group Takes on the States
"An atheist group — the Secular Coalition for America — is opening a Texas office in January to lobby for 'a strong separation of church and state,' and hopes to open similar offices in the rest of the states. Organizers say they find more "egregious" laws and legislation at the state level than in Washington, D.C." Read more.
NBC (Jacksonville, FL)
June 13, 2012- 11 PM [Watch Video]
"The Secular Coalition for America is forming a florida chapter this month. They will lobby state lawmakers in favor of strong separation of church and state."
San Diego Free Press
June 13, 2012 - The atheists are coming!
"The Secular Coalition for America plans to launch chapters in California and either other states. That should give the local fundies something to rail about." Read more.
KMOX/CBS Radio (St. Louis)
June 13, 2012 - Charlie Brennan Show
Charlie talks with Lauren Anderson Youngblood with the Secular Coalition for America about Missouri atheists organizing a lobbying group and Mo. Senate Bill 749, allowing employers “right of conscious” in President Obama’s contraceptive mandate. [Hear podcast of segment here.]
WPRO News Talk (99.7 FM Rhode Island)
June 13, 2012 - Communications Manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood appeared as a guest to discuss the upcoming SCA chapter being launched in Rhode Island June 27, 2012.
June 13, 2012- National atheist organization to launch lobbying group in Missouri
"A national atheist organization says it intends to launch a lobbying group in Missouri to push for a greater separation of church and state." Read more.
June 13, 2012- Are You a Missourian Who Wants God Out of Government? Meet Your Fellows
"The Secular Coalition of America -- an umbrella group comprised of non-theists, believers in the separation of church and state, freethinkers, and others going straight to Hell -- is trying to open a chapter in Missouri." Read more.
San Diego Reader
June 13, 2012- Atheist Lobbying Group to Install California Chapter
"The Secular Coalition for America, a group describing itself as “a lobbying organization representing nontheistic Americans and advocating for a strong separation of religion and government,” has announced plans to launch a chapter in California and eight other states." Read more.
KHOZ 102.9 (Arkansas)
June 13, 2012 - Secular Coalition for America Organizing in Arkansas
"The Secular Coalition for America is excited to announce the initial organizing efforts for a chapter in Arkansas this month.The Secular Coalition for America—a lobbying organization representing nontheistic Americans and advocating for a strong separation of religion and government—will launch chapters in 48 states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico by the end of 2012." Read more.
June 13, 2012 - Fla. atheists organizing, part of national effort
"Florida atheists are organizing to advocate for the separation of church and state.The Secular Coalition of Florida plans to hold an organizing conference call June 26. It's the state chapter of the Secular Coalition for America. The group plans similar chapters in all 50 states." Read more. [This article originally published by the Associated Press and also appeared on Tampa Bay ABC affiliate, Tallahassee ABC affiliate, Channel 7 News Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, the Pendleton Times-Post (Indiana), among other news outlets.]
June 12, 2012 - In God we trust?
"Edwina Rogers refuses to name names. If the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America knows which members of Congress aren’t religious, she isn’t telling. And according to Rogers, 28 of the 535 lawmakers claimed they did not personally believe in a higher power.But only one, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), has publicly acknowledged his atheist views. The rest are staying mum, and Rogers won’t break their confidence." Read more.
The City Wire (Arkansas)
June 12, 2012 - Coalition formed to watch church-state issues
"A new lobbying group is hoping to make in-roads in Arkansas.According to a press release distributed Tuesday (June 12), the Secular Coalition for America will begin organizing efforts in Arkansas later this month. The initial organizing call will be held on Thursday, June 28 at noon via conference call with details available at Secular.org." Read more. [Article also appeared in TalkBusiness.net].
Arkansas Times (Official Blog)
June 12, 2012 - Tuesday Topics: Atheists Organize
"[Arkansas is] fertile ground. The Arkansas Constitution prohibits office-holding by non-believers (though I don't think it's enforced). The state DHS is trying to allow religious instruction at pre-schools wholly funded by tax money. A majority of Americans, including many people of faith, believe religion has no place in politics." Read more.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 12, 2012 - DC atheist group to add Missouri and Illinois lobbying arms
"The Secular Coalition for America said Tuesday it would found chapters in Missouri and Illinois this year.'We've been lobbying at the federal level for 10 years, but we've found more and more that the most egregious legislation is happening at the state level,' said Lauren Anderson Youngblood." Read more.
Highland Community News
June 12, 2012 - California Atheists to Organize State Lobbying Group This Month
"The Secular Coalition for America is excited to announce the initial organizing efforts for a chapter in California this month. The state chapter will lobby state lawmakers in favor of a strong separation of religion and government." Read more.
NBC 11 (Atlanta Affiliate)
June 12, 2012- Georgia atheists to organize state lobbying group
"The Secular Coalition for America announced Tuesday that they were planning to organize a chapter in the state of Georgia, this month." Read more.
The Forward Blitz Network
June 6, 2012- Revolution Now 2012 - Christian Dominion Alive and Well
SCA Communications Manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, talks about the Secular Coalition for America's plan to launch chapters in all 50 states by end of 2012 and the Secular movement in America. Listen to podcast. [Interview begins at 52:00]
June 5, 2012- Heaven, Hell or None of the Above
"Pocketbeats and Politics show - Our guest will be a Lauren Anderson Youngblood from 'The Secular Coalition'. She'll discuss the group's main objective, as well as help our listeners get a better understanding of what it is to be an Athiest. Being an Athiest doesn't mean you worship the Devil!" Listen to podcast. [Interview begins at 16:00]
The Raw Story
June 5, 2012- Secular group faces push-back from Kentucky’s unofficial state pastor
"The Secular Coalition for America is opening chapters nationwide to promote the separation of religion and government at the state level. The group has already established two chapters in Alabama and Arizona, and plans to establish another eight in the following days.But in one of those states, Kentucky, the SCA has already received push-back from Brother Lee Watts of God & Country Ministry. Watts, the self-proclaimed “chaplain to the Kentucky state government,” has encouraged Christians to lobby against the group and participate in their conference call on Wednesday."
Honolulu Civil Beat
June 5, 2012 - Atheist Lobbyist to Organize in Hawaii
"It’s part of a 50-state effort by the Secular Coalition of America, a 'a lobbying organization representing nontheistic Americans and advocating for a strong separation of religion and government.'" Read more.
WFPL - (NPR Affiliate Louisville, KY)
June 4, 2012- Secular Group Plans to Open Chapter in Kentucky
"A national group that promotes the separation of church and state is looking to establish a chapter in Kentucky. The decade-old Secular Coalition for America lobbies for the separation of church and state on the federal level, and officials now want to bring those efforts to statehouses across the country. The SCA already has two chapters in other states and it plans to create 10 more soon." Read more.
WHRV(NPR Affiliate Virginia)
May 31, 2012 - 6:08 AM EDT, 8:08 AM ED
"A secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Virginia by next January within unabashedly godless agenda. The Secular Coalition for America is targeting several states for opening chapters and will train lobbyist in the state houses. Spokeswoman Lauren Youngblood says the SCA will focus on the states because that's where the group sees the most egregious legislation emerging."
May 31, 2012- Secular Coalition Creates 'Atheist Lobby' in Virginia
"The Secular Coalition of America created a lobbying group to go to Richmond because they believe that the General Assembly has been influenced too much by religious views." Read more.
NBC 4 (Washington, DC)
May 31, 2012 - Morning Read: Secular-Rights Lobbyists Headed to Virginia
"If you think Virginia politics has been driven by religion to its detriment this legislative session, then this lobbyist group is pushing your cause. A national secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Virginia by January with a strictly religious-free agenda." Read more.
Richmond Times Dispatch
May 30, 2012 - Secular group plans Va. atheist lobbyists by 2013
"Spokeswoman Lauren Youngblood says SCA will focus on the states because that's where the group sees the most egregious legislation emerging.For Virginia, she singled out a measure passed this year that shields religious-affiliated child-placement organizations that object to gay unions from being forced to place adoptive children with same-sex couples.'You can hold religious beliefs and still belong to our chapter,' Youngblood said. 'We're not just for nontheists. We're for anybody who believes in keeping religion from dictating secular laws.'" Read more.
NBC 29 News (Charlottsville, VA)
May 30, 2012- Atheist Lobbyist Group Sets Up Shop in Richmond
"An atheist lobbying group based in our nation's Capitol is staking a claim in Virginia's Capitol. The group says it's in response to what they call some egregious legislation being passed this year." Read more/view video.
May 30, 2012 - Secular Coalition will bring lobbyists to Virginia Capitol by 2013 to advance atheist views
"A national secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Virginia by next January with an unabashedly godless agenda. Virginia is among the first group of states the Secular Coalition for America is targeting for opening chapters with trained lobbyists in the statehouses." Read more. [This article was distributed by the Associated Press, and ran in several publications including ABC Richmond affiliate, ABC Lynchburg/Danville affiliate, WTOP, San Antonio Express, The Republic, Democratic Underground, and several others]
Yellow Scene Magazine
May 30, 2012- Atheists to begin lobbying efforts in Colorado next month
"Politically active nonbelievers are most known for making headlines for provocative billboards and side-of-the-bus advertising—the most recent, displayed in Boulder in January, said “God is an imaginary friend”—but they’re hoping to get more organized in an effort to stem what they see as overreaching religious influence in state and local laws. The Secular Coalition for America will begin an organizing campaign across the country next week to establish official lobbying organizations in every state, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico." Read more.
May 30, 2012- Secular Coalition for America Organizing State Chapters
"In response to what it says is a growing number of proposed state laws that infringe on the separation of church and state, the Secular Coalition for America is working to organize state chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. SCA originally planned to launch the state chapters in several years, but is speeding up the expansion with hopes that the chapters will be up and running by the end of the year." Read more.
May 30, 2012- Atheist Lobbyists Launch Massive Effort to Organize for Political Power in All 50 States
"This announcement, which will bolster atheists’ power across the nation, comes just weeks after the lobbying group announced the hiring of Edwina Rogers, a prominent Republican strategist, as the group’s executive director. According to a press release announcing the 501(c)(4)’s growth, new chapters will be launching in 48 states and in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico by the end of 2012. There are already chapters in Arizona and Alabama." Read more.
The Post and Courier
May 27, 2012 - Herb Silverman share views on religion, politics, math, relationships and more in new autobiography
"[In his book, Herb Silverman, SCA President] revisits his quixotic run for governor of South Carolina, a race he entered only to challenge a requirement in the state constitution requiring God-belief of all candidates for public office. That 1990 campaign ended prematurely with a whimper but led to another — his quest to become a notary public — that eventually did the trick, changing state law." Read more.
May 24, 2012- Proposed amendment would bar same-sex ceremonies in military chapels
"The Secular Coalition for America is among the groups asking the U.S. Senate to remove the amendments before passing the military budget." Read more.
May 23, 2012 - Differing on defense
"As the Senate now finalizes its version of the defense-spending bill, groups like The Secular Coalition for America are lobbying that the religious conscience clause protections not be included. The coalition argues that the amendments would lead to harassment of the gay and lesbian military community." Read more.
May 17, 2012- Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 2.0
“'We think the language they have put forth would allow people the license to bully, and then blame it on their religion requires them to do this,' said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, which also opposes the amendments.[...] But Rogers said she had “high hopes” that the Senate would not adopt the amendments, even if they are passed by the House, and that they would once again be removed in conference. 'To roll the clock back and say, now you can discriminate based on what you believe,' said Rogers, “sounds like a serious problem.' But discriminating based on their religion is exactly what the 'religious freedom' crusaders want to achieve, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to give up anytime soon." Read more.
The Christian Post
May 16, 2012- Secularists Shun Obama's Faith and Governance Approach; Approve of Romney's
"The group's website features a scorecard of how potential presidential candidates for this year's general election, including all past GOP nominees, fare on secular issues. While President Barack Obama has the most positive scores in various categories, Mitt Romney, the likely GOP candidate, scored an 'A' in the "God, Faith and Governance" category; President Obama was only given a 'C.'" Read more.
May 12, 2012- Secular coalition names ex-lobbyist its director
"The Secular Coalition for America has named Edwina Rogers, a lawyer who has been a Capitol Hill lobbyist for two decades, its executive director." Read more.
May 12, 2012- People: Edwina Rogers
"Last week, Edwina Rogers took over as the coalition’s executive director. A Republican operative with sterling credentials, Rogers says she will “knock on every door,” regardless of party affiliation." Read more.
The Columbus Dispatch
May 11, 2012- Secularism group plans expansion
"A coalition that works to keep religion out of government and increase the visibility of nonreligious citizens is poised to create volunteer affiliates in 48 states," Read more.
May 10, 2012- Church and State, with Lauren Youngblood and Al Stefanelli
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, Communications Manager of the Secular Coalition for America, and journalist and author Al Stefanelli, are our guests for the God Discussion show this week." Hear podcast (Interview begins at 19:00).
May 9, 2012- Nonbelievers flex their political muscles
"The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization that represents 11 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and the American Humanist Association, is looking to take its secular-based activism out of the nation’s capital and into the states.Beginning in June, the Washington-based SCA will install directors in 18 states including Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Alabama. State directors will meet with local politicians and train and mobilize local nontheists to lobby on behalf of secular issues and causes." Read more. This article also ran in the Huffington Post and CNN's Belief Blog.
May 8, 2012- Republican, Nontheist to Head Atheist Organization
"As a former attorney and nonprofit executive, Rogers has already produced a list of seven major areas, broken down into specific areas that they intend to tackle in the near future[...].'I think removing the word or phrase 'God' from our government is important to a lot of people,' Rogers emphasized. 'Plus, we simply don't feel it's a good use of taxpayer funds to use the country's resources for anything that remotely promotes religion in any form or fashion.'" Read more.
May 8, 2012- Republican lobbyist Edwina Rogers new head of Secular Coalition for America
"Here’s an interesting career twist: Edwina Rogers as the new voice for separation of church and state.The flamboyant Republican lobbyist — who raised eyebrows with her small role on “The Real Housewives of D.C.” — started a new gig last week as executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, a small lobbying shop in D.C. devoted to keeping religion out of government." Read more.
May 4, 2012- Local Christians reach out to nation in prayer
"In a twist this year, the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America organized National Day of Reason as a nonreligious alternative to the National Day of Prayer." Read more.
Chronicle of Higher Education
May 4, 2012- A Republican Now Leads the Secular Coalition of America
"The secular blogosphere is lit up like a (strictly ornamental) Christmas tree over yesterday’s news that the Secular Coalition of America has appointed a former Republican lobbyist, Edwina Rogers, as its new executive director...Asleep-at-the-wheel secular leaders, clinging to the sepia-tinged memories of knightly JFK and principled card-carrying separationist studs like Michael Dukakis, never fully understood that for more and more Democrats the affair was over." Read more.
May 4, 2012-Nebraska, 3 US Cities Establish 'Day of Reason' Following California's Example
"'The application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival upon earth, improving conditions within the universe, and cultivating intelligent, moral and ethical interactions among people and their environments,' reads the document, available for viewing on the Facebook page of American Humanist Association's, a secularist organization that championed the idea together with the Secular Coalition of America." Read more.
May 3, 2012- Secularists turn to GOP lobbyist to help push their cause
"Their issues are predominantly liberal and their constituency strongly leans Democratic, but a leading secularist group hopes a high-rolling Republican lobbyist is just who they need to open doors on Capitol Hill." Read more.
May 3, 2012 -Surprise! Atheist Lobbying Group Hires Prominent Republican Strategist to Serve as Executive Director
"For anyone doubting that atheist activists are attempting to organize more readily than ever before, Rogers’ comments, alone, solidify this ideal. The SCA has openly proclaimed that it would be prudent if atheists could gain as much power and prominence as the AARP — a goal Rogers’ connections would certainly help the group move towards." Read more.
May 3, 2012- Secular Coalition hires Edwina Rogers, a GOP head
"If you ask most secularists, they’ll admit that, politically speaking, they lean left of center. Which is why it caused a few double takes when The Secular Coalition for America announced the hire of a — gasp! — Republican as its new executive director. And not just any Republican: Edwina Rogers is a well-connected lobbyist..." Read more.
May 3, 2012 -Seasoned Republican lobbyist to head Secular Coalition for America
"Today is the National Day of Reason, the alternative to the National Day of Prayer, and with the day's celebrations comes the announcement that The Secular Coalition for America—the nation's only full time nontheistic lobbying organization— has selected its new Executive Director, Edwina Rogers. Rogers, a Republican lobbyist, brings two decades of experience on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist and attorney, including roles as General Counsel for several high profile politicians." Read more.
"A former aide to conservative politicians from the deep south has landed a new gig leading a self-described atheist lobbying organization.The surprising announcement was made in a Thursday press release by the Secular Coalition for America, which proudly shared that Edwina Rogers would be the group’s new executive director." Read more.
The Huffington Post
May 3, 2012- Edwina Rogers to Flog for the Godless
"High-profile GOP lobbyist Edwina Rogers has been brought on to lobby for the nation's atheists. From the release: 'The Secular Coalition for America -- the nation's only full time nontheistic lobbying organization -- proudly announced the selection of longtime Republican lobbyist, Edwina Rogers, as its new Executive Director today...'For too long, the 50 million secular Americans have been ignored, underappreciated and undervalued -- that's what drew me to the Secular Coalition for America,' Rogers said. 'It's time to change that.'" Read more.
May 3, 2012- Republican lobbyist to lead atheist group
"Edwina Rogers will head up the the Secular Coalition for America.Rogers, a long-time Republican lobbyist who has worked in the George W. Bush White House and for GOP senators, will start as the atheist lobby group's executive director on May 3." Read more.
May 3, 2012- Republican Tapped to Lead Secular Coalition for America
"The Secular Coalition for America, a nontheist lobbying organization with 11 member organizations, has tapped longtime Republican lobbyist and staffer Edwina Rogers as its executive director." Read more.
May 2, 2012- The Capitol’s Only Open Atheist
"It started when the Secular Coalition for America offered $1,000 to the person who could find the highest ranked atheist in government. Someone sent in Stark’s name. The organization then asked Stark if it was true and – if so – whether they could make the information public. He agreed." Read more.
May 2, 2012- Rep. Pete Stark counters Day of Prayer with Day of Reason
"The Secular Coalition for America and the American Humanist Association are both pleased that Rep. Stark (D-CA) has officially recognized the National Day of Reason by issuing a proclamation in the House of Representatives." Read more.
May 1, 2012-Congressman officially recognizes the National Day of Reason, the alternative to the National Day of Prayer
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, agreed.'Our founders recognized that the best guarantee of freedom for all was a separation of religion and government,' Youngblood said. 'The National Day of Reason reminds us of the continued importance of our nation’s founding principles and offers an alternative to the government-sponsored theism that the National Day of Prayer represents.'" Read more.
April 30, 2012-Dem Rep. Pete Stark Praises Atheists‘ ’National Day of Reason’ on House Floor
"The Secular Coalition for America’s communications manager, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, mirrored these same sentiments.'Our founders recognized that the best guarantee of freedom for all was a separation of religion and government,' she said. 'The National Day of Reason reminds us of the continued importance of our nation’s founding principles and offers an alternative to the government-sponsored theism that the National Day of Prayer represents.'" Read more.
April 30, 2012- National Day of Reason Set to Compete With 2012 Day of Prayer
Lauren Anderson Youngblood, a spokesperson for the Secular Coalition for America, says the day is mainly about raising awareness and making everyone feel included. "There are a number of laws – many at the state level – that are threatening religious liberty and the separation of religion and government," Youngblood told The Christian Post. "We're not specifically against prayer, yet we wanted to offer an alternative so that many Americans would not feel like second class citizens on a day when the nation is told to pray." Read more.
April 30, 2012- Potentiale des menschlichen Verstands würdigen
"Zustimmung dazu gab es auch bei der Secular Coalition for America, deren Sprecherin Lauren Anderson Youngblood darauf hinwies, dass bereits die Gründungsväter der USA die Trennung von Religion und Regierung als beste Garantie für die Freiheit erkannt hatten. Daher sei der „Nationale Tag der Vernunft“ auch eine Erinnerung an die Wichtigkeit der ursprünglichen Verfassungsprinzipien, die eine Alternative zum staatlichen finanzierten Theismus des nationalen Gebetstages bietet."
TRANSLATION: "The spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America, Lauren Anderson Youngblood pointed to the fact that the founding fathers of the United States recognized the separation of religion and government as the best guarantee for freedom. For this reason, the "National Day of reason" is a reminder of the importance of the original constitutional principles, and an alernative to the state funded theism of the National Day of Prayer offers." Read more.
The Raw Story
April 30, 2012- Rep. Pete Stark recognizes ‘National Day of Reason’
The National Day of Reason was promoted by the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. The yearly celebration occurs on the first Thursday of May, the same day as the National Day of Prayer. Read more.
April 20, 2012- BOOK REVIEW: Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt
"In the ensuing years, Silverman founded the Secular Humanists of the Low Country, followed by the Coalition for the Community of Reason, which later evolved into the Secular Coalition for America (SCA). His tireless work for reason and against bigotry makes inspiring reading in chapters titled, “Discussions on Religion,” “Debates on Religion,” and “Essays on Religion.” Silverman then turns to his first occupational love in the chapter titled 'Mathematics and God.'" Read more.
The Christian Broadcasting Network
April 20, 2012- Prayer Breakfast: Obama Admin. at War with Religion
"Kelly Damerow, with the Secular Coalition for America, disagreed. 'The right to believe is absolute. The right to act on those beliefs does have some limits,' she said. Secularists like Damerow believe it's religious institutions that are discriminating against employees who may disagree about contraception or abortion. 'For the contraception mandate, we believe that religious organizations should not get specific exemptions to discriminate on the basis of their religious belief,' Damerow said." Read more.
April 19, 2012-Catholics urged to engage in massive battle over religious liberties
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, Communications Manager of the Secular Coalition for America is critical of the bishops' remarks, pointing out that the church is equating loss of privilege with liberty: 'True religious freedom is the ability to practice your religion and hold your religious beliefs, as long as those beliefs and practices do not infringe upon the religious freedom others, break the laws of the country we live in, or expect special government privileging. The secular character of our government is the best guarantee of the freedom for people of all religions to protect this right—whether they are Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, or any other religion —or non-religion.'" Read more.
April 11, 2012- Collectively, American atheists are aggrieved; they feel marginalised and maligned, if not exactly oppressed.
"...some 28 members of Congress have privately acknowledged not believing in God, in response to private inquiries by the Secular Coalition for America (on whose advisory board I sit); but only one, Northern California congressman Pete Stark, has been willing to acknowledge his atheism openly." Read more.
April 4, 2012 -"The secular coalition for america claims that 28 athiests are in the u.s. congress, though a coalition does not name names..." [Rad on PBS stations in Elmira, NY, Alpena, MI, Bluefield, WV, Oklahoma City, OK, Monterey, CA, Pheonix, AZ, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, Newark, NJ and other markets]
Charleston City Paper
April 4, 2012- Herb Silverman champions atheism with wit and warmth
"[SCA President] Herb Silverman has been a busy man lately. When I caught up with him last week, South Carolina's leading atheist was just back from the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., where he addressed the thousands of people who had assembled on the Mall, calling for America's numerous non-theist organizations to maintain a united front in their ceaseless battle with the Christian right." Read more.
Charleston City Paper
April 3, 2012- Charleston's No. 1 atheist pens an autobiography
"Silverman says he was 'a quiet atheist or an apathetic atheist' until he moved to South Carolina from his native Philadelphia, found out about the unconstitutional law, and became an 'activist atheist.'...Today, he has retired as a professor and is the president of the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
NPR-On Point with Tom Ashbrook
March 26, 2012- Atheists Rally In Washington
"It is no accident this rally happened in 2012, 6 or 7 months before an election. The rally was preceded one day earlier by the Secular Coalition's Lobby Day, in which they had for them, a record number of 260 people--nontheists, people concerned with secular values in America,--show up for a morning of training on how to lobby your Congress person, and then they sent them out on Capitol Hill and they met with them. I think they had 150 meetings with legislators. So that was definitely a message: that only by speaking up, can we push back against the religious right, and what they see as over-Christianization...They are very concerned with separation of church and state and no religious exemptions in health care and reproductive rights, and current legislation that is going on that would allow employers to opt out of birth control coverage based on their own religious beliefs, is a very hot topic. And they also would just meet with these folks to put a face on it... what it looks like to be a nontheist in America. [To let them know} they look like everybody else and they vote." --Kimberly Winston of Religion News Service speaking on NPR. Listen to podcast here.
March 26, 2012- Can the Reason Rally resonate in this most religious of democracies?
"Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, noted before the rally that he'd like to see a movement modeled on some of the successes of the Christian Coalition: 'Though I disagreed with everything they stood for, they had a terrific model: put aside minor theological differences, work together on important political issues, and grab media attention.'" Read more.
The Christian Post
March 26, 2012- Atheist Activists Adopt Civil Rights Strategy of Current, Past Movements
"The Secular Coalition for America claimed during the same time period of the study that there are 28 atheists in Congress, but said Calif. Rep. Pete Stark is the only one who has gone public with his nonbelief." Read more.
March 26, 2012- The Godless March on Washington D.C.
"Twenty sponsors who underwrote the $300,000 event include the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Secular Coalition [for] America." Read more.
March 25, 2012 - ‘God Is a Myth’: Watch a Preview of The Blaze‘s Epic Coverage of Atheists’ ‘Woodstock for Non-Belief’
"...the Secular Coalition for America’s lobbying training that we attended on Friday morning. This event was just one of the many celebrations and meetings surrounding the 'Reason Rally' — supposedly the largest gathering of non-believers and skeptics in world history." Read more.
March 24, 2012-Atheists hold Reason Rally at National Mall, Washington D.C.
'The Secular Coalition for America scheduled what it called 'Lobby Day for Reason' for Friday." Read more.
March 23, 2012- The Blaze Goes Inside an Atheist Training Session: ‘We’re Going to Invade Capitol Hill’
"On Wednesday, we told you that atheists were planning to “flood” Capitol Hill in an effort to engage politicians on the secular issues that are important to them. Well — the day of reckoning has arrived. Today, more than 200 non-believers are assembling to speak with House and Senate offices about issues of “non-theism.“ But before they ”flooded” congressional offices, the Secular Coalition for America held a training session to provide attendees with viable tools and information about lobbying. The Blaze was on-site in Washington, D.C., to go through the training along with non-believers from across America." Read more.
March 23, 2012- 'Woodstock For Atheists': A Moment For Nonbelievers
[Lead by the Secular Coalition for America] "...nearly 300 atheists will meet with staffers at the House and Senate this week, partly to lobby and partly to show their numbers." Read more.
March 23, 2012- Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital
Read article here.
The Washington Post
March 23, 2012-Reason Rally on National Mall
“'We want people to come out of the closet and show people we can be good without God,' Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition, told the Post’s Michelle Boorstein." Read more.
March 23, 2012- Secular Group Heads To DC For ‘Lobby Day’
"Non-religious constituents are converging on Washington DC today, to lobby lawmakers on keeping church and state separate. It’s called the Secular Coalition for America’s lobby day. The coalition’s Amanda Knief explains what the group is working for, 'Try to keep overly religious tones out of law, try to change laws that favor over religion.'" Read more.
March 23, 2012- Government Relations Manager Amanda Knief, interviewed regarding Lobby Day for Reason.
March 22, 2012-Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers
"The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday." Read more.
March 22, 2012- A day of reason: Hundreds of non-believers to lobby in Washington DC tomorrow
"Hundreds of atheists are expected to converge on Capitol Hill tomorrow, Friday, March 23, 2012, as part of the Secular Coalition for America’s lobby day." Read more.
March 21, 2012- Hundreds of Lobbying Atheists Prepare to ‘Flood’ Capitol Hill On Friday
"Washington D.C. is in for an infusion of anti-religious sentiment this weekend. On Saturday, thousands of atheists and secularists are expected to converge on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to celebrate their non-belief through a massive event called the 'Reason Rally.'But the day before this supposed amalgamate of non-believers descends on the nation’s capitol, the Secular Coalition of America is holding the “Lobby Day for Reason” — an event aimed at training atheists in how to interact with Congress." Read more.
March 20, 2012 - Reason Rally, religious freedom rally converge this weekend
"Herb Silverman, a leader of the movement [president of Secular Coalition for America], says the rally symbolizes a new phase of unity. The groups are modeling themselves on the Religious Right and its huge success at setting asides theological differences (say, between conservative Catholics and Protestants) to focus on shared agenda items, such as opposing abortion and the removal of prayer in public schools.'We want people to come out of the closet and show people we can be good without God,' said Silverman, who successfully sued in his home state of South Carolina to eliminate a ban on atheists holding public office." Read more.
March 20, 2012 - Atheists to cheer for godless USA at 'Reason Rally'
"...Underwriting the $300,000 price tag for the rally include the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Secular Coalition of America. Sarah Hamilton, 23, of Indianapolis, also has a bus ticket to the rally. She calls herself "a skeptic who understands the scientific method and applies it universally to uncover the what is right and true. Skepticism is like the gateway drug to atheism." Read more.
March 20, 2012 - Atheists to hold Secular Coalition's Lobby Day for Reason event on Capitol Hill Friday
"Hundreds of atheists are expected to converge on Capitol Hill this upcoming Friday as part of the Secular Coalition for America’s lobby day. The Lobby Day for Reason will begin at 8:30 am on Friday, March 23, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency, located at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC." Read more.
March 19, 2012 - Atheists to rally for a godless America
"The 20 sponsors underwriting the $300,000 price tag for the rally include the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Secular Coalition of America." Read more.
March 15, 2012- Secularism Supporters Speaking Out
"Beware, y’all. The National Mall will be getting all kinds of godless next week. Secularist groups will make like a revival March 24 on the nation’s front lawn with speeches and music to rally support for, well, secularism. The groups behind the rally include American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance of America, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, Society for Humanistic Judaism and Washington Area Secular Humanists." Read more.
Talk Radio News Service
March 9, 2012 - Harkin To Appear At “Godless Gathering”
"According to Galef, Harkin, who received an “A” grade in 2009 by The Secular Coalition for America, will tape a video message that will be broadcasted at the event. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) is the only other member of Congress scheduled to appear." Read more.
March 6, 2012 - Birth control and the Republican candidates
"Apparently pharmacists can deny emergency contraception to women, even if they were raped, if doing so violates their religious beliefs, according to Secular Coalition for America. Seriously? Why be a pharmacist if you’re ever going to have such a huge conflict of interest as this? Providing emergency contraceptives does not affect the pharmacist in any way, so why should they have the right to deny the rape victim, the one whose life this pregnancy could potentially ruin?" Read more.
March 5, 2012- Christians plan on sharing Christ at upcoming secular Reason Rally
"More and more Americans are leaving religion and represent a large but unorganized segment of the voting population. While the rally is not a political event, it does have the potential to unite freethinkers into a more powerful collective.The Reason Rally is being sponsored by an impressive array of secular organizations, including...the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
February 16, 2012- What War on Religion?
"They believe the administration is turning a blind eye to ongoing and egregious constitutional violations over church-state separation by religious groups receiving millions in taxpayer dollars. 'Religious organizations have greatly benefited from the Obama administration,' says Amanda Knief, the government relations manager for the Secular Coalition." Read more.
February 5, 2012- President Mitt Romney: What if a Republican does win?
"'[Santorum's] America would be the kind of country the Pope would want it to be,' says Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America... And, says Silverman, in spite of Santorum’s professed hatred of government tax-grabs, 'he favours giving our tax money to faith-based groups to promote their views.' Those views include creationism, which would be taught in school as one side of a 'controversy' over evolution." Read more.
The Village Voice
January 30, 2012- New York: Heaven for Atheists?
"Still, you might wonder: Is New York actually a good place for non-believers to live? The Secular Coalition for America -- basically, an atheist-rights group -- has an answer for you.The non-profit recently released its 2011 congressional scorecard -- a study that looks at state reps to see how well they do in representing atheists, agnostics, skeptics, freethinking humanists, and pretty much anyone else who doesn't believe." Read more.
Chron.com (Houston Chronicle)
January 20, 2012- Texans in Congress fail secular group’s report card
"Nearly three-quarters of U.S. representatives from Texas failed to side with the secular positions on seven pieces of religion-related legislation, earning an 'F' on the Secular Coalition’s report card. (Austin’s Rep. Lloyd Doggett did the best in the state, according to the Secular Coalition grading. He got a 'B.')" Read more.
January 19, 2012- Lou Barletta receives failing grade in SCA's 2011 Congressional Report Card
"The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) -- a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization whose purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States --has graded the U.S. House of Representatives on matters important to secular Americans in their 2011 Congressional Report Card. Among those graded, Congressman Lou Barletta who represents the 11th congressional district in Pennsylvania received a failing grade of 14%." Read more.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
January 19, 2012- Secular humanists flunk 2011 Congress
"Of 431 lawmakers, only 17 scored an A, all Democrats; 233 earned an F, all but three of them Republicans. The best showing in Wisconsin? A C: for Democrats Tammy Baldwin, Ron Kind and Gwen Moore. Everybody else, it says, failed." Read more.
January 6, 2012- How Did the Candidates Score on the Atheist Report Card?
"For the first time, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a 501(c)(4) group that seeks to “amplify the diverse and growing voice of the nontheistic community in the United States,” has graded all of the presidential candidates on a variety of issues that are important to atheists and non-believers. As you can imagine, GOP presidential candidates — many of whom hold their Christian values dear — didn’t fare too well. In fact, the marks were so grim that Urban Christian News quipped, 'If kids brought home grades like this, they’d be grounded.'" Read more.
The Washington Post
January 5, 2012- Candidates rate poorly on secular scorecard
"If kids brought home grades like this, they’d be grounded.The Secular Coalition for America rated all presidential candidates on nine issues, including church-state separation, civil rights, evolution and taxpayer funding of religion.At the bottom of the class is Michele Bachmann, who scored straight F’s before bowing out of the race after the Iowa caucuses. She was followed closely by former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who both scored a string of F’s and a single C." Read more.
This article also ran in USA Today, The Examiner, and the National Catholic Reporter.
January 2, 2012- In 2012 Bishops Join Fight to Repackage Discrimination as ‘Religious Freedom’
"In announcing the Secular Coalition for America’s presidential scorecard, the group’s president, Herb Silverman, said, 'it’s frightening to see that at least half of the candidates don’t have a basic understanding of the principle of separation of church and state on which our country was founded.' The group singled out Gingrich in particular, noting that his statements demonstrate 'hostility toward secular Americans and an unwillingness to separate his religious beliefs from his previous and prospective roles as an elected official.'”