American Atheists Joins Secular Coalition for America

For Immediate Release: June 16, 2009
David Silverman, dsilverman@atheists.org, 732-648-9333

The nontheistic movement expanded its unified front this week as American Atheists joined the Secular Coalition for America.  Their application to become a member was unanimously approved on Sunday June 14th.  Along with the recent addition of Camp Quest in January 2009, this brings the number of groups in the Secular Coalition to ten.

Since its founding in 1963 by activist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, American Atheists has been a prominent political and legal force.  Through an active community of members, public appearances, and a large archive of atheist literature, they work to promote the rights of, and information about, atheists.

"We are proud to welcome American Atheists," announced Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition.  "As our coalition grows, we demonstrate to America that nontheists are an increasingly organized political movement.  American Atheists' leaders and members bring dedication and energy, and their involvement will enrich us both."

The Secular Coalition for America represents ten national organizations in increasing visibility of and respect for nontheists, lobbying the U.S. Congress and administration on issues important to the nontheistic community.

"As a long-time supporter of the Secular Coalition for America, I'm pleased to join their ranks," said Ed Buckner, president of American Atheists.  "We look forward to cooperating with like-minded organizations and friendly competitors to defend the rights of nontheists and the total separation of church and state.  Our shared cause is bigger than any one organization, and the Secular Coalition performs the essential task of bringing these independent groups together.  Our participation will increase our outreach and magnify our voice in the American political discussion." 

The 2008 American Religious Identification Survey conducted by Trinity College found that 12% of Americans do not believe in a god, but only one member of Congress openly identifies as nontheistic. 

"Our views must be represented, and today is a big step forward," concluded Buckner.  "By joining together, secular Americans have an even more effective voice in our nation's capital and throughout the rest of the nation."

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American Atheists is a nationwide movement that defends civil rights for Atheists, Freethinkers and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of church and state; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

The Secular Coalition for America represents ten national coalition partners who share the view that a secular government offers the best guarantee for freedom of thought and belief for all Americans. It works to protect the civil rights of nontheistic Americans, and lobbies the U.S. Congress and administration on issues of concern to its constituents. The Coalition's Web site is www.secular.org.

Member organizations currently in the Secular Coalition are American Atheists, the American Ethical Union, the American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance International, Camp Quest, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Institute for Humanist Studies, the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Secular Student Alliance, and the Society for Humanistic Judaism.

 

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