Secular Coalition Creates 'Atheist Lobby' in Virginia

A nationwide secularist organization has established an atheist lobbying group in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Secular Coalition of America created a lobbying group to go to Richmond because they believe that the General Assembly has been influenced too much by religious views.

Johnnie Moore, vice president of Executive Projects at Liberty University in Lynchburg, told The Christian Post that the SCA's focus on his state was due to Virginia's importance on the national stage as a bellwether state.

"They clearly recognize Virginia is a state of great symbolic and national consequence," said Moore. "Many Virginians would consider it a compliment that our state is so committed to the founding principles of our nation that we would cause alarm to an organization whose agenda is as radical as this one."

According to a press release, the SCA's efforts in Virginia are just part of their overall mission to get lobbying chapters in every state, especially those who are considered by the organization to be the biggest offenders of church and state separation.

"Some of the most egregious violations of church state separation are being promoted and passed at the state level, and we absolutely must act to stop it," said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the SCA, in a statement.

"There are 40 million Americans who don't identify with any religion, but our political influence has been limited because we have not been organized. This year, that changes."

The SCA has already created two "fully operational" chapters for the states of Alabama and Arizona. Throughout the summer they will be holding "organizing calls" for chapter creators.

Regarding how successful this atheist lobby group would be in Virginia, Moore of Liberty told CP that he felt the values of America were too solidified for them to budge them.

"The Judeo-Christian foundations of our nation are inherently American. They are inscribed in marble all over Capitol Hill, they are written in plain English in numerous documents composed by our nation's founders," said Moore.

"They are stated again and again in prayers prayed in national events, and they are of our history in so many incidences that revisionist historians, or secular lobbyists, haven't enough ink to change the American story."

Before deciding to put a more permanent presence in Richmond, the SCA has spoken out before on Commonwealth politics. Earlier this year they spoke out against a legislative effort to give religious adoption organizations in the state an exemption from sending children to same-sex households.

The General Assembly completed this year's session after having approved a budget with 72 percent of Governor Bob McDonnell's proposed amendments.

At present, both the Executive and Legislative branches of Virginia's government are controlled by Republicans and have high-profile conservatives in their ranks. These include Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who has legally challenged the Affordable Care Act in the courts, and Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas, who was the author of Virginia's Marriage Amendment, which voters approved back in 2006.

The Secular Coalition of America did not return a request for comment by press time.

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