February 14, 2017 - 1:51 pm

It's no secret that we at the Secular Coalition for America love our supporters. Truth be told, we brag about how amazing you are at every opportunity we have. Just recently, during an interview I did for CNN, I said that I knew our supporters will rise to face whatever challenge the Trump Administration throws at us because of the flood of support we've received since the election. In the face of adversity, secular Americans showed courage and a readiness to do whatever was needed to defend true religious freedom. It was an inspiring moment for all of us at the Secular Coalition and today, on Valentine's Day, I wanted to let you know how much you mean to us.

One of the perks of fighting for a good cause is that it puts you in great company. In the year that I've spent as the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, meeting and talking with our supporters has introduced me to more amazing people than I could have hoped to meet in a lifetime. These are everyday people whose secular values drive them to make an extraordinary impact in their communities, their states, and even in Congress.

I've spent 20 years working in Washington, DC, and I can say, wholeheartedly, that fighting for secular Americans will be most the important work I ever do.

That's why a few weeks ago, I announced that we would be meeting with every new member of the 115th Congress. As your voice on Capitol Hill, we're going to make sure that lawmakers know if they want to push their religious beliefs on you, they'll have to go through us first!

You've always been there when we needed you. Whether it's contacting your members of Congress, volunteering with your state chapter, attending our annual Lobby Day in DC, or supporting our work with monthly donations, you're always there to fight for what's right. Already in 2017, you've sent more than 10,000 letters, emails, and phone calls to Congress. You better bet that action was noticed!

I'm proud to work for the Secular Coalition because of our mission, our staff, and most of all, because of you and everything you've done to build us into the organization we are today. From all of us here at the Secular Coalition, thank you for your passion, your dedication, and your support.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Larry T. Decker

Executive Director

January 26, 2017 - 3:20 pm

The stakes for 2017 are as high as they've ever been. The Trump Administration and the 115th Congress have already begun to chip away at everything from reproductive rights, to the integrity of our scientific institutions, and even the separation of church and state itself.

As a supporter of the Secular Coalition for America, you deserve to know how we're fighting back. We've stepped up our advocacy to confront the unprecedented challenges presented by the new Congress and the Trump Administration. In just the first few weeks of 2017 we:

  • Submitted questions for members of the Senate to ask President Trump's most controversial cabinet nominees during their confirmation hearings, including Betsy DeVos, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, Ben Carson, and Rep. Tom Price.
  • Took part in the historic Women's March on Washington! As an official sponsor, we joined millions of people across the world in standing up for women's rights, LGBT equality, and against religious bigotry.  
  • Empowered secular Americans to send more than 10,400 letters to their members of Congress. To give you perspective, we sent a total of 30,000 letters throughout all of 2016. Less than a month into 2017, secular Americans are using our tools to contact lawmakers at a record-setting pace.We hit the ground running in 2017 and we're just getting started. We want you to know we're hard at work fighting for you in our nation's capitol. That's why the Secular Coalition for America is making this 100-Day pledge to you.

By March 15th, we will have met with all 55 new members of Congress. These meetings will ensure that freshman members of Congress know that secular Americans have a voice on Capitol Hill ready to hold them accountable. In addition to the new members of Congress, we will also hold meetings with key congressional leaders from both parties. These face-to-face meetings are an opportunity to educate members of Congress about their nontheist constituents, build vital working relationships with lawmakers, and discuss policy and legislation impacting our secular government.  

In this rapidly changing political climate we can't afford to wait to take action. When the 115th Congress and the Trump Administration push their religious beliefs onto us, we need to be ready to push back. Our 100-Day pledge is only the first step of an aggressive plan to combat the religious right's agenda, but we need your support to sustain this momentum. We're taking action right from the start - and we're counting on you to do the same.

Sincerely,

Larry T. Decker, Executive Director 

December 28, 2016 - 12:55 pm

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of my joining the Secular Coalition for America as its Executive Director. In the letter I wrote introducing myself I said, "I am here to lead the fight against the wave of religious privilege sweeping across the country. I know that with your support and activism, the Secular Coalition is our best chance to turn the tide."

It's been almost a full year since I wrote those words and they are as true today as they were then. The Secular Coalition for America is still the best chance we have to stop the incoming Congress and Trump Administration from knocking down the wall of separation between religion and state. The stakes are as high as they've ever been. 

That's why from now until the end of the year, I will personally match every donation made to the Secular Coalition for America up to $20,000. You read that correctly. Whatever you give from now until December 31st, I will use my own money to double it.

I'm doing this because I believe in the work we do, I believe in the Secular Coalition's mission, I believe in its staff, and above all else, I believe in its supporters. This past year the Secular Coalition for America:

  • Hosted the first ever Secular Caucus at the Texas Democratic Convention. This was the first time a secular organization has ever held an official caucus at a major party's convention.
  • At that same convention, we succeeded in getting three policy resolutions adopted into the Texas Democratic party's official platform. They include a resolution calling for secular reproductive health policies, closing religious loopholes in child welfare laws, and striking the discriminatory ban on atheists holding office from the Texas state constitution.
  • Held a reception for secular delegates and attendees at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
  • Partnered with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to help secure the introduction of a Darwin Day Resolution in the Senate. 
  • Led more than 300 nonreligious Americans into meetings with two-thirds of Congressional offices on Capitol Hill, where we lobbied to stop tax dollars from funding junk science, abstinence-only education and advocated for funding evidence-based sex-education in our public schools.
  • Organized lobby days for state chapters in Arizona, California, and North Carolina.
  • Helped block the discriminatory Russell Amendment from being included in a routine military spending bill. Had it passed, the Russell Amendment would have made 28 million employees of federal contractors vulnerable to religiously-based discrimination. 
  • And just last week, the Utah Democratic party approved the creation of the first official Secular Caucus thanks to our advocacy on the ground!

These are not isolated victories, this is the impact made by secular Americans like you supporting our work. As 2017 draws closer, it is essential we have the resources we need to face whatever challenges the incoming Congress and Trump Administration throw at us.

I am not a person of means and I rely on my paycheck to pay my mortgage and other bills. However, I am putting $20,000 on the line because whatever happens, I want to be able to say I did everything I could to fight back. At this pivotal moment, when the stakes have never been greater, please join me in supporting the Secular Coalition for America.

Forward Together, 


Larry T. Decker
Executive Director

 

 

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