Congressional Briefing a Win for the Movement

It can be difficult to find victories in the Secular Movement. From Florida’s proposed Amendment 8 to the Missouri legislature’s override of a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would prohibit women’s access to contraception on religious grounds, it can seem like losing is the name of the game. However, October 1, 2012 can now stand as a gold star day in the secular calendar, the sign of an unequivocal victory.

David Niose, President of American Humanist Association speaks to an overflow crowd at the SCA's first Capitol Hill Briefing.

Monday, October 1, marked the day that the Secular Coalition for America came to Capitol Hill and held a briefing to an overflow crowd on “The State of Secular America.” Staff from over 35 Congressional offices came to hear secular thought leaders and academics speak about the past, present, and future of the movement. In keeping with the nonpartisan focus of SCA, the staff members represented offices that ran the ideological gamut from the most liberal Members of Congress to the most conservative. 

The Secular Coalition has been in existence for just over a decade. In that decade we’ve grown from an iSCA's Executive Director, Edwina Rogers, after the Congressional Briefing. dea in the mind of our president, Herb Silverman, into a fully functioning lobbying organization that continues to gain respect and clout. We’ve seen one U.S. Representative identify openly as a nonbeliever.  We’ve helped coordinate a rally on the National Mall, in the shadow of the Capitol dome. And now, we’re establishing chapters in every state to focus on local issues that affect our constituency where they live, while continuing to keep an eye on the big-ticket federal legislation that impacts us nationally. Monday was just the next mile marker in this ongoing journey.

Victories can be hard to come by in this movement, but they’re there. October 1, 2012 is just the latest example. On to the next one…


Hear audio of briefing here.


More than 50 people from 35 Congressional offices attended the SCA's first Capitol Hill Briefing on the State of Secular America.

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