Fri September 7, 2012
Secular Group Wants Less Religion in Government
A national group that wants religion out of government will begin organizing in Wisconsin this weekend.
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.
Youngblood cites examples like Mississippi's failed "personhood" legislation, school districts trying to prevent teaching of evolution, and abstinence-only education. "Regardless of what percentage of the population is religious we have a constitution," she says. "That constitution states explicitly that religion and government should not mix."
The Secular Coalition for America hopes to have chapters in all 50 states. Participants will get training on how to lobby lawmakers on issues the group feels insert religion into government or give religion privilege. She says they will reach out to all lawmakers of both parties. "Our new executive director [Edwina Rogers] is a longtime Republican lobbyist," she says. "This is not a partisan issue. This is a nonpartisan issue. These are our [country's] core founding principles and everyone should be able to get behind this regardless of their political affiliation."
Youngblood says no specific legislative agenda has been set for the Wisconsin chapter yet.