Secular Coalition to Flood Capitol Hill with Godless Voters to Lobby Representatives

Lobby Day for Reason: March 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC— The Secular Coalition for America today announced the Lobby Day for Reason, a free lobbying day for secular Americans to take place on March 23, 2012, on Capitol Hill.

The Lobby Day for Reason will offer secular-minded individuals a morning of free lobbying training followed by the opportunity to meet with congressional staff to discuss issues related to the separation of church and state. Lunch, snacks, and materials are included.

The event will coincide with the Reason Rally, expected to be the largest secular gathering in American history, co-sponsored by the Secular Coalition for America.  Lobby Day for Reason is free and will begin at 8:30 am on March 23, 2012, at the Hyatt Regency, located at 400 New Jersey Ave. NW, Washington, DC.

This event will encourage and support secular and nontheistic Americans to speak out to the elected officials who were put in office to serve all of their constituents regardless of religious beliefs. The Secular Coalition will support these taxpaying Americans as they put faces to the nontheist and secular communities and tell their federal representatives that they are voters and are paying attention to issues.

The lobbying training will be led by Amanda Knief, government relations manager for the Secular Coalition.

"We want to have a wave of godless voters flood the halls of every congressional building to show all of America that secular and nontheistic Americans are here, that we expect our elected officials to represent our issues, and that we care about our country just as much as any American," Knief said. “Only by participating in the very system that is working against our communities right now can we hope to change things.”

While studies show that up to 15 percent of the U.S. population—or roughly 50 million Americans—are secular, the visibility of our community is still low. Secular Americans often hide their nontheistic viewpoints and ideologies because they fear persecution. A 2006 study conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Department of Sociology found that atheists are the least trusted minority group in America—many of the respondents associated atheism with immorality, including criminal behavior, extreme materialism and elitism. A 2011 study  by the University of British Columbia found only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree as atheists. The Secular Coalition is working to change this by making the voices of all secular Americans—atheists, agnostics, humanists and freethinkers—heard by the Administration and Congressional representatives.   
 
2012 will mark the second consecutive year that the Secular Coalition will host a lobby day. The 2011 lobby day included more than 80 people making almost 50 lobbying visits in one afternoon. The Secular Coalition expects the 2012 event to draw even more secular Americans due to its timing the day before the Reason Rally.

To register or for more information, go to http://secular.org/reasonlobby. The Secular Coalition encourages early registration—those who register early will more likely be able to have visits with their Senators’ and Representatives’ offices. 

CONTACT: Lauren Anderson Youngblood, SCA communications manager................. 202-299-1091 ext. 205 or [email protected]

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