Congress Goes to Recess - Secular Successes and Failures So Far This Year

Congress at RecessAs nonbelievers I think 'separation of church and state' issues tend to show up on our radar much more easily than it does for believers. Too few believers realize that separation of church and state is what allows them to practice their flavor of Christianity. So many who push for more Christian influence in government don't seem to realize that they might end up disagreeing with the flavor that comes to power. If only more believers realized this, I think we would have so many more supporters of the separation of church and state.

The 111th Congress has gone to recess for their August break. Ill-timed I think, considering all the stir with bills and propositions and initiatives, dealing with the economy and health care reform. But it is their 'scheduled vacation' and-all, so there's nothing we can do about it.

The Secular Coalition for America has listed some of the successes and failures in the separation of church and state fight from this year so far. I thought them worth sharing; especially since it seems we hear about these in the news when they are being argued over, but the results seem to be slipped into the news as an afterthought.

Successfully Opposed:
  • Funding faith-based organizations in the stimulus package.
  • Taxpayers paying for the religious education of D.C. students.
  • The global gag rule that suppresses the provision of critical medical information to patients.
  • Funding abstinence-only-until-marriage education programs.
  • The creation of an annual "Spiritual Heritage Week".

Failed to Opposed:
  • Engraving of the "In God We Trust" motto on the walls of the new Capitol Visitor's Center.
  • Taxpayers paying for the religious education of D.C. students.

You'll notice the D.C. school vouchers listed on both; it is a success because the program is being modified, it is a failure because the program continues to exist.

For this fall, the Secular Coalition for America has plans to advocate against language in bills allowing faith-based organizations to use federal funds to proselytize and discriminate based on religion. They also have plans to continue the opposition of the D.C. school vouchers. And also plan to address religious exemptions in child care and child protective laws.

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Tags: 111th Congress, Congress, Constitution, Secular Coalition for America, Separation of Church and State, Separation-of-Church-and-State, US Constitution, establishment-clause, socas

Comment by Gaytor on August 26, 2009 at 12:38pm
I new group for me to go read about. I'm so used to FFRF, Americans United, and American Atheist's that I've never seen this group. Thanks!
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on August 27, 2009 at 7:34am
I hand out pamphlets for the Secular Coalition. The only lobby I support so far since I'm such a radical.

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