2012-2015 Media Coverage
New York Times
May 30, 2015 - Wanted: A Theology of Atheism
“Many atheists are still in the closet,” said Nichelle Reed of Sunday Assembly. Nonbelievers like her hope that if they emphasize good works over grand argument, they can convince the bigots that atheists are decent human beings. Kelly Damerow, the interim executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said that there is little discussion of moral philosophy among the activists she works with. “We get it. We know we’re good to each other,” she told me. “We would rather show people that we’re good.” Read more
Religion News Service
May 28, 2015 - Can There be an Atheist Vote? Nonreligious Sets Sights on 2016
“It’s easy to ignore 2, 3 or 4 percent of the population,” said Kelly Damerow, interim director of Secular Coalition for America, who met with Vitter’s staff in April 2013. “But with this state-by-state breakdown we can now go into their offices and say, ‘Here’s your state.’ It’s hard to ignore almost 1 in 5 people.” Read more
May 21, 2015 - Study Finds Number of Evangelical Christians on the Rise
At about the one minute mark in the video, the Secular Coalition's Diana Castillo talks about the tremendous growth of the religiously unaffiliated. Read more
May 12, 2015 - US Christians Numbers Decline Sharply Poll Finds
Pew Research Center found that 71% of Americans identified as Christian in 2014 - down from 78% in 2007. In the same period, Americans identifying as having no religion grew from 16% to 23%. Read more
May 3, 2015 - A Senator's Faith -- and Humility
The secular coalition invited [Senator] Coons to speak [at the Secular Coalition 2015 Lobby Day] because, as he said of himself last Thursday night, he is “dedicated to the separation of church and state and to the equal protection under the Constitution, which I swore to uphold, whether you are religious or secular." Read more
The Washington Times
January 5, 2015 - Atheists urge lawmakers to reject Bible for swearing-in ceremonies
The Secular Coalition for America asked members of Congress to reject using religious texts such as the Bible or Torah to swear into office Tuesday, urging them to instead use the Constitution — or nothing at all. Read more.
The Los Angeles Times
December 7, 2014 - Patriotic Americans have the right not to believe in any God
We'd like to see more public officials recognize that reality; one way of doing that is to include nonreligious speakers in solemn public events. (That wasn't done when public officials, including Obama, came together last year to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, despite a request that the speakers include a representative from the Secular Coalition for America.) Read more.
The Washington Post
November 5, 2014 - Election night was a long one for atheist voters
Both men had the support of several nontheist groups, including the Secular Coalition for America and American Atheists. In his concession speech, Woods described his loss as something of a win. Read more.
October 4, 2014 - Opponents are Reacting to the 'Atheist Lobby'
The “A Rating” to which the billboard refers comes from the Secular Coalition for America, a coalition of over a dozen atheist and humanist groups from around the country that have joined forces to urge legislators to protect church-state separation and the rights of nonbelievers. Read more.
Religion News Service
September 23, 2014 - Secularism takes over religion newswriters
But about half the exhibitors in the hall of the convention center represented one or another form of secularist activism, including the venerable Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, American Atheists (“A Non-Prophet Organization”), the Secular Coalition for America, and the Secular Student Alliance. Read more.
The Washington Post
July 21st 2014 - United Church of Bacon: May the Lard be with you
We teamed up with the Secular Coalition for America at the American Atheists National Convention in April and raised over $23,600. Read more.
The Washington Post
July 17, 2014 - Hobby Lobby protesters ‘Knit a Brick’
Did the Hobby Lobby decision make you so mad you could knit a brick? That’s the question behind a new protest spearheaded by the Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella advocacy organization of more than a dozen atheist and humanist groups. Read more.
The Sun Chronicle
July 11th 2014 - Secular Coalition for Massachusetts plans Hobby Lobby protest in Seekonk
The coalition will gather on the sidewalk at 165 Highland Ave. to protest the recent decision by the Supreme Court favoring Hobby Lobby’s right that found companies can cite religious beliefs to avoid covering some or all contraceptives in employee health plans. Read more.
June 30th 2014 - Stores Can Be Anti-Abortion Christians, Supreme Court Rules
Professional advocates were similarly split. Atheists, of course, were upset; Amanda Metskas, the president of the Secular Coalition for America, said in a statement that “this is a sad day for anyone who believes in true religious freedom. Read more.
The Washington Post
May 9th, 2014 -Supreme Court Prayer Ruling May Spur New Alliances
“Not only does this rally the full spectrum of nontheists, it angers many Americans who are part of a minority religion and also many Christians who believe firmly in the separation of religion and government,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella group that lobbies on behalf of more than a dozen nontheist groups, including American Atheists. Read more.
The Huffington Post
May 5th, 2014 -Supreme Court Legislative Prayer Ruling Criticized by Religious Groups
The Secular Coalition for America, which is comprised of over fifteen member organizations for atheists, humanists, agnostics, and freethinkers, issued a statement criticizing the ruling. Read more.
April 2nd, 2014 - Congress still failing but improving on church-state issues, advocates say
Congress has earned a failing grade from a secular advocacy group that, nonetheless, expresses optimism that lawmakers are learning to discern the sometimes blurred line between church and state. Using an A-to-F scale, the Secular Coalition For America graded the House and the Senate, awarding 42 As and 315 Fs among the 113th Congress‘ 535 members. Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Secular Coalition flunks most members of Congress on church-state report card
If some secular organizations had their way, much of the current class of lawmakers would flunk out of Congress. The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization of 13 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and The Freedom From Religion Foundation, issued a “report card” on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate based on their votes on recent legislation involving church-state issues. Read more.
April 1st, 2014 - Atheist Group's Report Card Flunks Congress, Gives Elizabeth Warren Perfect Score
While 58 percent of Congress as a whole received a failing grade, a larger share of the House of Representatives, 62 percent, received an “F” based on their votes on 14 bills, including the FEMA Funding For Churches resolution and the Military Religious Freedom Protection Act. Thirty-five House members, or 8 percent, received an “A.” Read more.
Real Clear Politics
February 9, 2014 - Nonbeliever PAC Gets Into the Midterm
“Back in November, when podiatrist Lee Rogers was being interviewed as a potential endorsee by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC, the California congressional candidate was surprised by what he learned about the fledgling political action committee.” Read more.
The Washington Times
January 16, 2014 - Obama offers shout-out to atheists on Religious Freedom Day
"For the first time, President Obama included atheists in his annual observance of Religious Freedom Day. In a proclamation marking the occasion, Mr. Obama said that “America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith.” Read more.
December 24, 2013 - Holidays with the Secular Coalition
"Offices all across Washington are sprinkled with holiday paraphernalia: Nativity scenes, candles, Christmas trees, menorahs and so on. The downtown office of the Secular Coalition of America, however, is a bit more bare." Read more.
December 3, 2013 - Atheists in Foxholes Want Chaplains Too
"As the U.S. Senate renews debate on the National Defense Authorization Act, secularists are pushing lawmakers to add an amendment to the bill that would permit non-religious chaplains in the military." Read more.
November 22, 2013 - Atheists in the military need chaplains, too
"This summer the House finally passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act, catapulting military issues to the forefront of public debate. Among these issues was the question of Humanist chaplains in the military. Currently nearly 30 percent of the military identifies as religiously unaffiliated or atheist/agnostic. Yet there is not a single atheist or Humanist chaplain to serve these brave men and women who make incredible sacrifices to protect our freedoms every day." Read more.
September 18, 2013 - Atheists and humanists launch Freethought Equality Fund PAC
"On a larger scale, the new PAC reflects a long-term strategy among nonreligious activists to increase their profile in Washington; last year the Secular Coalition for America hired Edwina Rogers, a veteran Republican lobbyist, as its executive director, in part to open doors on Capitol Hill." Read more.
July 24, 2013 - House Republicans vote to ban nonbelievers from serving as military chaplains
“Chaplains for nontheistic military service members are absolutely crucial for so many men and women who are serving our country,” Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, said in a statement on Wednesday. “Religious chaplains are ill equipped to handle the problems of nontheistic service members and unfortunately, seeking psychiatric help can stigmatize a service member for the rest of their career.” Read more.
June 24, 2013 - Secular Coalition reports progress in White House ties
"The Secular Coalition of America on Monday reported a "positive step" in opening lines of communication between the White House and the "nontheistic community" after the group's executive director and others held a recent meeting with administration officials."
Los Angeles Times
May 1, 2013 - After Boston memorial, nonbelievers complain about being left out
"Some “non-theist” individuals and groups are aggrieved that not even one seat was reserved for a nonbeliever at the service for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, despite a request for some recognition from the Secular Coalition for America." Read more.
April 25, 2013 - Atheists postpone protests after Bangladeshi disaster
"The U.S. groups — led by American Atheists and the Secular Coalition for America — decided to continue with protests as originally planned, while the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the U.S. and Canadian branches of the Center for Inquiry, and the British Humanist Association decided to postpone." Read more.
Religion News Service
April 18, 2013 - Atheists at prayer? Thoughts on Boston’s healing
"The Secular Coalition for America posted a statement on its website that it was disappointed that non-theists weren’t represented, noting that at least two of the victim’s on Monday’s bombing were non-believers."
February 13, 2013 - House passes bill to give disaster relief to religious groups
"The House Wednesday (Feb. 13) overwhelmingly passed a bill to allow places of worship to receive federal aid to repair their buildings damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The bill, which garnered strong bipartisan support, is also expected to pass the Senate, and would address what its sponsors consider a discriminatory practice that keeps federal disaster money from religious groups.The Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and like-minded groups urged the House not to pass the bill." Read more.
January 23, 2013 - Group’s goal: Take religion out of politics and policy
"Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, thinks that the decision to take the presidential oath with one hand on a Bible seems a bit outdated." Read more.
January 17, 2013 - David Niose, Secular Coalition Of America President, On The Decline Of Religion In The U.S. (VIDEO)
"David Niose, president for the Secular Coalition of America and author of "Nonbeliever Nation," joined Ahmed on HuffPost Live to discuss the decline of religion in the U.S." Read more.
January 17, 2013 - What Does Religious Freedom Mean?
"President Barack Obama declared Wednesday to be Religious Freedom Day, but what does 'religious freedom' mean? And do nonreligious people fit into the picture? The Secular Coalition for America took the president's declaration, one which he makes every year and one in which he typically mentions the nonreligious, to emphasize the separation of church and state and the freedom to not believe in any religion." Read more.
The New York Times
November 9 2012 - Politicians Who Reject Labels Based on Religion
"Although raised a Mormon, Ms. Sinema is often described as a nontheist — and that suits the activists just fine. A blogger for the Secular Coalition for America wrote Thursday that while he was still dispirited by the loss of Representative Pete Stark of California, an open nonbeliever, he was 'emboldened' by the apparent victory of Ms. Sinema, 'an open nontheist.”' Her nonbelief, the blogger, Chris Lombardi, wrote, “was not used to slander her as un-American or suggest that she was unfit for office.'" Read more.
November 8, 2012 - Believe it: Atheists win in a landslide
"An email from the Secular Coalition of America notes some of their highlights from Tuesday, calling it “a big day for the country and for secularists in general.”(This, despite the fact that the only open nontheist in Congress, Pete Stark, lost.)" Read more.
The Washington Post
November 8, 2012 - The’nones’ say 2012 election proves they are a political force
"Last month, Lauren Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, approached Broderick Johnson, a senior adviser to the Obama campaign, as they both left a conference on religion and the election...So who, Youngblood asked Johnson, could she reach out to with their concerns about civil rights, access to health care and education? 'He said,’We don’t view you as a constituency,’” Youngblood said. “He said,’We don’t do outreach to that community.’” Read more.
Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2012 - Atheist group gives Obama an unenthusiastic nod over Romney
"There's been a lot of talk about where faith-based groups stand on the issues and the candidates in the presidential campaign, but not so much about the faithless. Now the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group for atheists, has issued a report card on the candidates that knocks both major party candidates for injecting religion into politics, but expresses a clear preference for President Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney." Read more.
October 17, 2012 - Secular coalition grades presidential candidates
"When judged on their ability to relate to the desires of secular Americans, the presidential candidates aren’t making the grade, according to a large coalition of secular organizations. Looking at their positions on everything from faith’s place in the presidency to where it fits in education, health care and other American priorities, GOP candidate Mitt Romney got an F, President Barack Obama barely got by, earning a C, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson came out at the top of the class, receiving a B." Read more.
October 16, 2012 - Secular group releases presidential report card
Among the non-believers, they really don’t believe in Mitt Romney, it seems.The Secular Coalition for America released its report card for the presidential candidates today and Mitt Romney did not fare well." Read more.
The Raw Story
October 16, 2012 - Secular group gives Romney a failing grade
"The Secular Coalition for America noted that Romney has insisted the United States is a Christian nation, and thinks the concept of the separation of church and state has been taken “well beyond its original meaning.” Romney has also said his faith would inform his decision as president, was a supporter of the controversial Blunt Amendment, fought for abstinence-only sex education, and promoted government funding for faith-based organizations." Read more.
October 12, 2012 - None of the Above
Secular Coalition for America Communications Manager, Lauren Youngblood featured on PBS' three part series, which focuses on the religiously unaffiliated.
San Diego Reader
October 4, 2012 - Atheist lobby officially launches in California
"The Secular Coalition for America, a new lobbying group for “non-theistic Americans” that announced plans in June to establish a presence throughout the country, has officially launched its California chapter." Read more.
The Washington Post
October 1, 2012 - A case of nonbelief
"The nation’s atheists went to Capitol Hill on Monday to launch an effort that they hope will someday give them the lobbying clout of the Christian conservative movement." Read more.
The Raw Story
September 25, 2012 - Atheists condemn House resolution to reaffirm importance of religion
"The Secular Coalition for America on Tuesday blasted a resolution proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives that 'reaffirms the importance of religion in the lives of United States citizens.'" Read more.
September 11, 2012 - Secular organization troubled by conventions
"In the wake of the Republican and Democratic national conventions, one organization has found something to critique about both of them. The Secular Coalition for America, emboldened by the ambitious agenda of its new head, Edwina Rogers, has outlined its objections to what it witnessed in Tampa and Charlotte and its plans for the campaign season’s final stretch." Read more.
September 5, 2012- Atheists bummed by Democrats' God flip
"Lauren Anderson Youngblood, spokeswoman for the Secular Coalition for America, told POLITICO that America’s founding fathers wanted separation of church and state. 'This is one of our core founding principles — the idea of separating religion and government,' she said. Other atheists were equally critical of the reversal." Read more.
September 5, 2012 - Atheists organizing Maryland lobbying group
"Maryland atheists may soon have a lobbying group of their own. The Secular Coalition for America, a nonprofit that lobbies of behalf of atheists, agnostics, free thinkers and "other nontheistic Americans," announced plans Wednesday to organize a Maryland chapter to advocate in Annapolis for strong separation of church and state." Read more.
July 26, 2012 - Poll: Most Americans would vote atheist for president
"Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition for America, knows that first-hand. In 1990, he ran for governor of South Carolina where an old law banned atheists like him from holding public office. Silverman lost — by a landslide — though his candidacy did lead to the repeal of the law by the state's supreme court. Silverman, who tells the story of his run for office in his book "Candidate Without a Prayer," says that to push their approval numbers higher, more atheists need to "come out," just as gays and lesbians have done." Read more. Article also ran on NBC 10 Knoxville and the Huffington Post among other locations.
July 13, 2012 - National Atheist Group Steps Up Lobbying Efforts in All 50 States
"A national atheist organization has ramped up its plan to organize local chapters in all 50 states by setting up a lobbying group in Tennessee, among other locations." Read more.
July 13, 2012 - Nonreligious lobby group plans first Ohio chapter
"A lobbying group that works to keep religion out of government and increase the visibility of nonreligious citizens wants to establish a volunteer chapter in Ohio." Read more.
The Examiner (Florida)
July 11, 2012 - Atheists register lobbying group to fight church and state issues
"The issue over the separation between church and state has picked up steam ever since the evangelical Christian wing in the Republican party has grown in numbers over the last few years. While evangelical Christians have had multiple platforms to voice their opinions, atheists and non-believers haven't had the same opportunity, until now." Read more.
The Texas Tribune
June 14, 2012 - Atheist Group Takes on the States
"An atheist group — the Secular Coalition for America — is opening a Texas office in January to lobby for 'a strong separation of church and state,' and hopes to open similar offices in the rest of the states. Organizers say they find more "egregious" laws and legislation at the state level than in Washington, D.C." Read more.
NBC (Jacksonville, FL)
June 13, 2012- 11 PM [Watch Video]
"The Secular Coalition for America is forming a florida chapter this month. They will lobby state lawmakers in favor of strong separation of church and state."
San Diego Free Press
June 13, 2012 - The atheists are coming!
"The Secular Coalition for America plans to launch chapters in California and either other states. That should give the local fundies something to rail about." Read more.
San Diego Reader
June 13, 2012- Atheist Lobbying Group to Install California Chapter
"The Secular Coalition for America, a group describing itself as “a lobbying organization representing nontheistic Americans and advocating for a strong separation of religion and government,” has announced plans to launch a chapter in California and eight other states." Read more.
June 13, 2012 - Fla. atheists organizing, part of national effort
"Florida atheists are organizing to advocate for the separation of church and state.The Secular Coalition of Florida plans to hold an organizing conference call June 26. It's the state chapter of the Secular Coalition for America. The group plans similar chapters in all 50 states." Read more. [This article originally published by the Associated Press and also appeared on Tampa Bay ABC affiliate, Tallahassee ABC affiliate, Channel 7 News Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, the Pendleton Times-Post (Indiana), among other news outlets.]
June 12, 2012 - In God we trust?
"Edwina Rogers refuses to name names. If the executive director of the Secular Coalition for America knows which members of Congress aren’t religious, she isn’t telling. And according to Rogers, 28 of the 535 lawmakers claimed they did not personally believe in a higher power.But only one, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), has publicly acknowledged his atheist views. The rest are staying mum, and Rogers won’t break their confidence." Read more.
The Raw Story
June 5, 2012- Secular group faces push-back from Kentucky’s unofficial state pastor
"The Secular Coalition for America is opening chapters nationwide to promote the separation of religion and government at the state level. The group has already established two chapters in Alabama and Arizona, and plans to establish another eight in the following days.But in one of those states, Kentucky, the SCA has already received push-back from Brother Lee Watts of God & Country Ministry. Watts, the self-proclaimed “chaplain to the Kentucky state government,” has encouraged Christians to lobby against the group and participate in their conference call on Wednesday."
May 30, 2012 - Secular Coalition will bring lobbyists to Virginia Capitol by 2013 to advance atheist views
"A national secular group is planning to have a lobbying interest in Virginia by next January with an unabashedly godless agenda. Virginia is among the first group of states the Secular Coalition for America is targeting for opening chapters with trained lobbyists in the statehouses." Read more. [This article was distributed by the Associated Press, and ran in several publications including ABC Richmond affiliate, ABC Lynchburg/Danville affiliate, WTOP, San Antonio Express, The Republic, Democratic Underground, and several others]
May 9, 2012- Nonbelievers flex their political muscles
"The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization that represents 11 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and the American Humanist Association, is looking to take its secular-based activism out of the nation’s capital and into the states.Beginning in June, the Washington-based SCA will install directors in 18 states including Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Alabama. State directors will meet with local politicians and train and mobilize local nontheists to lobby on behalf of secular issues and causes." Read more. This article also ran in the Huffington Post and CNN's Belief Blog.
April 30, 2012- National Day of Reason Set to Compete With 2012 Day of Prayer
Lauren Anderson Youngblood, a spokesperson for the Secular Coalition for America, says the day is mainly about raising awareness and making everyone feel included. "There are a number of laws – many at the state level – that are threatening religious liberty and the separation of religion and government," Youngblood told The Christian Post. "We're not specifically against prayer, yet we wanted to offer an alternative so that many Americans would not feel like second class citizens on a day when the nation is told to pray." Read more.
The Raw Story
April 30, 2012- Rep. Pete Stark recognizes ‘National Day of Reason’
The National Day of Reason was promoted by the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. The yearly celebration occurs on the first Thursday of May, the same day as the National Day of Prayer. Read more.
March 23, 2012- 'Woodstock For Atheists': A Moment For Nonbelievers
[Lead by the Secular Coalition for America] "...nearly 300 atheists will meet with staffers at the House and Senate this week, partly to lobby and partly to show their numbers." Read more.
March 23, 2012- Atheist organizer takes ‘movement’ to nation’s capital
Read article here.
The Washington Post
March 23, 2012-Reason Rally on National Mall
“'We want people to come out of the closet and show people we can be good without God,' Herb Silverman, president of the Secular Coalition, told the Post’s Michelle Boorstein." Read more.
March 22, 2012-Atheist rally billed as 'coming out' moment for nonbelievers
"The America Atheists also are holding their annual convention in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Secular Coalition for America has scheduled its “Lobby Day for Reason” on Friday." Read more.
March 20, 2012 - Reason Rally, religious freedom rally converge this weekend
"Herb Silverman, a leader of the movement [president of Secular Coalition for America], says the rally symbolizes a new phase of unity. The groups are modeling themselves on the Religious Right and its huge success at setting asides theological differences (say, between conservative Catholics and Protestants) to focus on shared agenda items, such as opposing abortion and the removal of prayer in public schools.'We want people to come out of the closet and show people we can be good without God,' said Silverman, who successfully sued in his home state of South Carolina to eliminate a ban on atheists holding public office." Read more.
March 20, 2012 - Atheists to cheer for godless USA at 'Reason Rally'
"...Underwriting the $300,000 price tag for the rally include the American Humanist Association, the Center for Inquiry, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Secular Coalition of America. Sarah Hamilton, 23, of Indianapolis, also has a bus ticket to the rally. She calls herself "a skeptic who understands the scientific method and applies it universally to uncover the what is right and true. Skepticism is like the gateway drug to atheism." Read more.
March 15, 2012- Secularism Supporters Speaking Out
"Beware, y’all. The National Mall will be getting all kinds of godless next week. Secularist groups will make like a revival March 24 on the nation’s front lawn with speeches and music to rally support for, well, secularism. The groups behind the rally include American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Atheist Alliance of America, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Secular Student Alliance, Secular Coalition for America, Society for Humanistic Judaism and Washington Area Secular Humanists." Read more.
The Washington Post
January 5, 2012- Candidates rate poorly on secular scorecard
"If kids brought home grades like this, they’d be grounded.The Secular Coalition for America rated all presidential candidates on nine issues, including church-state separation, civil rights, evolution and taxpayer funding of religion.At the bottom of the class is Michele Bachmann, who scored straight F’s before bowing out of the race after the Iowa caucuses. She was followed closely by former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who both scored a string of F’s and a single C." Read more.
This article also ran in USA Today, The Examiner, and the National Catholic Reporter.