We don't make promises we can't keep

This weekend marked the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, but I want to tell you what we at the Secular Coalition for America have accomplished in the past 100 days as your political voice in Washington.

Pictured above are the freshman members of the 115th Congress. We promised you that we would meet with every single one of them. And we did. As a result, we conveyed our message, turned some heads, and changed some hearts and minds.

On many occasions, and in both Democratic and Republican offices, when we presented our vision of religious freedom in a secular America, senior congressional staffers said they "never thought about it that way before." Many staffers said they didn't even know that a secular community existed until they met with us. Some even committed to having conversations with their boss and their communications team about how they can use language that is inclusive of the secular community when publicly discussing faith and religious freedom.

As a result of our work, every freshman member of Congress knows that secular Americans have a voice in Washington.

But we didn't stop there. Together with our member organizations, partners, and allies, we met with key lawmakers on the powerful House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees to advocate for the Johnson Amendment, which keeps all nonprofits - including churches - from meddling in elections and engaging in partisan politics at the taxpayers' expense.

We are working more closely than ever before with our allies to fight back attacks on our secular values from this Congress and the Trump Administration. But our most important partner in this fight is you.

In just the first four months of 2017 alone, our supporters have sent more than 30,000 letters to members of Congress. To give you perspective, that is more than you sent in all of 2016.

And that's not all. In the last two months, we sent 185 district-tailored town hall alerts, empowering our supporters to get six members of Congress to go on the record about the Johnson Amendment.

Trust me when I say that I know these last 100 days have not been easy. We've seen the Trump Administration elevate members of the religious right to the highest levels of power, heard the President publicly vow to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment, saw the reinstatement of the disastrous global gag rule, the decree of not one, but two, unconstitutional travel bans, the confirmation of a religious zealot to the Supreme Court, and now we're hearing alarming rumors of a "religious freedom" executive order that's on the way.

We fulfilled our 100-day pledge to you, but we're not stopping to celebrate. Instead, we're asking you to give us the resources we need to build on this momentum and continue fighting back. I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the past 100 days, but you and I both know this is only the beginning. There are going to be many more tough fights ahead and we need to be ready for every single one of them.

We're up to the challenge. Are you?

Larry T. Decker, 

Executive Director

 

 

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