Why We Marched

Secular Coalition at the Women's March

Why We Marched

The Secular Coalition for America is a nonpartisan organization that represent atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheistic Americans across the political spectrum. As a partner of the Women’s March on Washington, we have received several letters from supporters seeking to understand why the Secular Coalition would participate in an event that may be perceived as partisan.

As an organization dedicated to protecting the separation of church and state, we have a duty to stand up to religious privilege and bigotry. Between the rhetoric and campaign promises made by President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence’s record, and President Trump’s nominees for key positions in his administration whose policy decisions will impact millions of Americans, it would be a betrayal to the cause of secularism not to speak out.

Religious privilege

On the campaign trail, Trump pledged to push for the repeal of the Johnson amendment, a law passed by Congress in 1954 that prohibits nonprofits (including churches) from endorsing political candidates. As this is a top priority on the policy wish list for the Religious Right, Trump’s pledge to repeal this little known law is a disturbing sign of allegiance to their agenda. We oppose any tax policy that would further privilege religious institutions and elevate them above accountability to American taxpayers.

No Hate No Exceptions

LGBTQ Equality is a Secular Issue

President Trump has publicly expressed his support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which would amount to government-funded discrimination against LGBT Americans, unwed couples, and single mothers on the basis of religion. Anti-LGBT policies have long been advanced under the guise of “religious freedom,” which in reality amounts to a religious privilege to be exempt from nondiscrimination laws that apply to everyone else. We oppose all exceptions to nondiscrimination laws that are based on a special privilege for religion, especially when these laws are applied to institutions receiving government funding, involved in government contracts, or receiving other benefits from the government.

Reproductive Rights

Reproductive Freedom is a Secular Issue

President Trump and Vice President Pence have made it abundantly clear that they will support anti-choice policies and appoint cabinet nominees who are hostile to women’s reproductive rights. The anti-choice agenda is largely driven by religious dogma and beliefs holding that life begins at conception and that everyone, especially women, should be abstinent until marriage. These are not beliefs held by all Americans and we oppose any attempts to advance this ideological agenda by dictating the private medical decisions of women, depriving women of basic health care through their employers, or withholding critical information to women seeking reproductive counseling.

Patriotism Has No Religion

Fighting Religious Bigotry is a Secular Issue

President Trump’s rhetoric toward Muslims and his call for a Muslim registry is unacceptable, unAmerican, and unconstitutional. Persecution of any religious minority is of equal concern to nontheists, as it is a violation of the Constitution’s ban on a religious test and the freedom of and from religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. The hallmark of a truly secular government is a commitment to equally defending the rights of people who belong to all faiths and none. It is critical that the secular community’s voice be heard when this principle is violated.

President Trump’s Nominees Do Not Support Secularism

Who President Trump chooses to surround himself with is a strong indicator of the direction he intends to take our country. We have released detailed statements outline why we are opposing the confirmation of five nominees for President Trump’s cabinet, based on both their records and statements they made at their confirmation hearings over the past two weeks. Read more here:

President Trump’s Inauguration Excluded Atheists

In his inaugural address to the country, President Trump called for unity but preached a divisive message that implied our nation is composed only by people of faith. Our presence at the Women’s March was essential for ensuring that President Trump knows he has a duty to serve the one-quarter of Americans with no religion.

The March is over. Now what? A call to action:

  1. Join the Secular Coalition’s Rapid Response Team.
    To go above and beyond the impact of our electronic Action Alerts, we need constituents in every congressional district ready to act on a moment’s notice to make phone calls, attend town halls, and to schedule in-person meetings with members of Congress. Email sarah@secular.org to join a Rapid Response Team in your state.  

  2. Get involved with your political party.
    The Secular Coalition for America is calling on secular Americans from every political party to elevate secular values and bring visibility to nonreligious voters. We want to work with party activists and leaders like you to create a Secular Caucus in your state, draft and distribute secular planks at your local and state conventions, facilitate engagement between party leadership and nonreligious party members, and much more. Email sarah@secular.org to get involved in forming a secular caucus in your state’s political party.  

  3. Sustain our mission by becoming a monthly donor.
    By attending the Women’s March, we helped send a message loud and clear to the incoming Trump Administration but real political change will always take more than one day. Help us build on this momentum by becoming a monthly donor. For just $5 per month, your support helps ensure that we can fight back against the religious right year round and at a moment’s notice. We depend on support from individuals like you, and it is more important than ever that we ensure a sustainable future for the secular movement. Become a monthly donor here.

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The Secular District Featured blog posts from members of the coalition.