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Atheist Lobby to Establish 50 State Chapters by End of 2012

Secular Coalition for America Combating 'False Definition of Religious Freedom'

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By Katherine Weber, Christian Post Reporter
October 16, 2012|3:30 pm

A national atheist/agnostic organization has recently implemented an initiative to establish lobby groups in all 50 U.S. states by the end of 2012 in an effort to combat what it calls a "false definition of religious freedom."

As of this week, the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is attempting to establish lobby groups in Oklahoma and Wyoming by holding conference calls for those interested in joining the state coalition.

According to Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the SCA, the goal of the organization is to lobby state lawmakers to pass legislation that advocates a separation of church and state, as well as stop state governments from using taxpayer money to fund any particular religious initiative.

"We've been lobbying at the federal level for ten years now but recently we've noticed that some of the most egregious legislation that attempts to assert religion into government is happening at the state level," Youngblood told The Christian Post.

"We're ramping up our efforts to establish chapters in all fifty states by the end of the year in order to combat a lot of the legislations that we're seeing, and to combat this new trend that we're seeing as well that is attempting to assert a false definition of religious freedom," Youngblood added.

Youngblood told CP that the SCA represents nontheists, but there are also many different religious people who believe in the separation of church and state who have joined the organization.

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"Anyone is welcome to join as long as they align with us in the mission of separating religion from government," said Youngblood.

The purpose of the SCA's initial conference calls to each state, which will be completed by Oct. 18, is to establish first contact with those interested in joining the lobbying coalition.

After the first conference call, the coalition establishes a board for each state chapter made up of coaches, media personnel, and others.

"How quick the chapter gets up and running is really dependent on people in each state," Youngblood told CP.

In light of tonight's second presidential debate and the upcoming Nov. 6 election, the SCA has also released a "scorecard" report on candidates in regard to their "secular-minded" agenda, giving democratic nominee Barack Obama a "C" rating and GOP candidate Mitt Romney an "F." The scorecard is reportedly based on candidates' statements and actions in reference to 17 issues, including healthcare and education.

Currently, the SCA has established lobbying chapters in California, Colorado, Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

 

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