2010 Media Coverage


Christian Broadcasting Network
Dec. 30, 2010 - Atheists accuse D.C.-mayor elect of discrimination
"Secular Coalition for America complained that it is discriminatory to exclude atheists from a service meant to unite all of D.C. 'We would prefer that a government function such as an inauguration not be entwined with religion,' said Amanda Knief, a Humanist Celebrant and government relations manager for SCA."

Politics Daily
December 30, 2010 - Atheists Demand Equal Time at New D.C. Mayor's Prayer Service
"Here's a brain-teaser for the day: The capital's leading lobby of atheists and humanists is complaining because they have been excluded from an ecumenical prayer service on Sunday morning that will launch inaugural festivities ahead of Mayor-elect Vincent Gray's swearing-in."

The Christian Post
December, 30, 2010 - Atheists Protest to Participate in D.C. Inaugural Prayer Service
"D.C. secularists plan to protest city Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray's January inaugural prayer service after his transition team resisted attempts to place a humanist celebrant on the interfaith program. The Secular Coalition for America's Washington D.C. is publicly shaming the mayoral administration for excluding the atheists, humanists, agnostics and other nontheists from its inaugural ecumenical prayer service entitled 'One City Praying Together.'"

City on a Hill Press

September 30, 2010 - Calling All Skeptics

"Advocating for the separation of church and state, the Secular Coalition for America functions like the ACLU for secularists’ civil liberties by lobbying in Washington D.C. and meeting with White House representatives."

Orlando Sentinel

September 29, 2010 - Secular humanists establish beachhead in Arizona

"Arizona becomes the first state affliate of the Secular Coalition for America, which advocates for separation of church and state."


August 26, 2010 - A Q&A with former Bangor legislator Sean Faircloth

"Social change fuels economic change, according to Sean Faircloth. For much of the past two decades, the five-term state legislator and prosecutor has been a strong voice for social change in Maine, championing laws that protect Maine children, including legislation to get deadbeat dads to pay up on child support."

ABC News

August 20, 2010 - Stained-Glass Ceiling: Would America Vote for a Non-Christian?

Sean Faircloth weighs in on the question of a religious test for the US presidency.

Politico / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 20, 2010 - Churches eye immigration's upside

Herb Silverman: “Just because we have a predominant religion in this country doesn’t make us a Christian country and we shouldn’t try to make it more of a Christian country in terms of percentages any more than we should make it a priority to be a white country because we’re predominantly white.”

The Atlantic

July 6, 2010 - Elena Kagan Beats Religious Tests

SCA advisory board member Wendy Kaminer on the criticisms of Kagan's religious sensibilities -- including the Secular Coalition's opposition to her nomination.

Salt Lake Tribune / Religion News Service

July 1, 2010 - Secularists wary of Kagan on Supreme Court

“From the evidence so far, she has too often sided with religious privilege over civil liberties, civil rights,” said Paul Fidalgo, spokesman for the Secular Coalition for America.

Religion Dispatches

June 30, 2010 - Secular Group Calls On Obama To "Keep His Word" on Faith-Based Office

"What's obvious here is that Obama the constitutional lawyer knew what was right, but that Obama the candidate had other priorities"

Politics Daily

June 30, 2010 - Australia's New Leader Is An Atheist: Americans, Don't Try This At Home!

Piece on Australia's prime minister notes SCA's search for the highest-ranking nontheist in government.


June 24, 2010 - Atheists oppose Kagan as no Stevens

“It's a rare instance of organized dissent to Kagan's nomination from what is traditionally considered the left/liberal side of the spectrum.”

The Hill

June 23, 2010 - Palm founder Jeff Hawkins joins Secular Coalition of America

"A lot of America's success is because we're an open society and haven't brought dogma or religious influence into the American political process," Hawkins said. "I think it's an extremely important cause, a founding principle of this country and it would be very dangerous if we lost track on that."

Post and Courier

June 13, 2010 - Faith and the ballot box

Quotes Herb Silverman on his desire to see religion-free political campaigns.

Think Progress

May 27, 2010 - Bachmann Wants Military Chaplains To Be Able To Proselytize At Non-Religious Events

Influential progressive blogger reports on SCA’s tip concerning Bachmann’s prayer amendment.

BeliefNet / Religion News Service

May 27, 2010 - House Rejects Amendment on Chaplains' Prayers

“The Washington-based Secular Coalition for America had rallied against Bachmann's bill, saying it would harm minority rights.

Washington Post

May 26, 2010 - Amendment would let military chaplains pray as they wish

On Faith: Secular Coalition asks Congress to reject Michele Bachmann’s sectarian prayer amendment for military chaplains.

Washington Examiner

May 26, 2010 - Mona Charen: Pro-abortion language intended to obscure

Conservative, pro-life columnist cites Herb Silverman (using the verb “thundered” to describe his quote) in a piece about Sarah Palin.

Santa Barbara Independent

May 18, 2010 – Santa Barbara Secularists Speak

“To celebrate 15 years of existence, the Humanist Society of Santa Barbara on May 15 hosted Sean Faircloth, a lobbying advocate for the Secular Coalition for America, and Dan Barker, a musical activist for the separation of church and state.”

Harvard Political Review

May 17, 2010 – Rise of the Nonbelievers

Highlights SCA as a group uniting the movement toward its policy goals, using “concrete issues” as a rallying point and a tool for political legitimization.

San Marcos Mercury

May 10, 2010 – Unthinking Christians and the National Day of Prayer

“Paul Fidalgo, the communications manager for the Secular Coalition for America, responded to Palin’s simplistic and politically self-serving view of our founders…”

Religion Dispatches

May 6, 2010 – Happy National Day of Prayer

Features SCA’s statement in opposition to official prayer day.

Washington Times

May 6, 2010 – Say Amen Somebody

Secular Coalition’s opposition to the National Day of Prayer—both in general and at the Pentagon—is highlighted.

The Oklahoman / Religion News Service

Mar. 3, 2010 - Foundation urges charitable giving among nonreligious

“A new foundation in Georgia is urging atheists and secularists to donate more to charity in order to show that their generosity equals that of churchgoers — even if their checkbooks haven't shown it thus far.”

Post and Courier

May 2, 2010 - Religion, Law Collide Again

Secular Coalition president Herb Silverman is cited in a discussion of the appropriateness and legality of the National Day of Prayer.

Religion Dispatches

April 22, 2010 - Secular Group Calls On Pentagon To Cancel “Christian-themed” Prayer Day

The Secular Coalition for America comes out strongly against a Pentagon prayer day, explicitly characterized as Christian, and decries its working relationship with the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

Stars and Stripes

April 22, 2010 - Army withdraws Franklin Graham Pentagon prayer day invitation

Though divisive preacher Franklin Graham has been disinvited from a Pentagon prayer event, the Secular Coalition for America protests the fact of a sectarian event sponsored by the government.

ABC News

April 20, 2010 - Sarah Palin's 'Christian Nation' Remarks Spark Debate

The Secular Coalition for America weighs in on Sarah Palin's rewriting of U.S. history.

Raleigh News & Observer

Mar. 18, 2010 - His fortune polishes atheists' reputation

"A Duke University graduate, Stiefel wanted his windfall to better society. Like many modern philanthropists, such as Bill and Melinda Gates or Warren Buffett, Stiefel is not motivated by religious zeal. In fact, Stiefel has become one of the country's biggest benefactors of atheist causes."


Mar. 16, 2010 - One Nation under the Constitution - Interview with Sean Faircloth (mp3 download)

Sean talks about the Coalition's recent historic meeting with White House officials to open a policy dialog
with the Obama Administration — the first of its kind for American nontheists.

Christian Broadcasting Network

Mar. 1, 2010 - White House Gives Ear to Secularist Group [Video]

In this video package, Jordan Sukelow of the American Center for Law and Justice concedes that the secular movement is "very influential" and "effective."

ABC News

Feb. 26, 2010 - Atheist Group Heralds 'First Time in History' Policy Briefing with White House Officials

ABC News chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper covers the historic meeting between the secular movement and administration officials on his "Political Punch" blog.

USA Today

Feb. 26, 2010 - Atheists meet with White House officials

Faith & Reason blog: "On Friday. . . White House officials met with 60 members of atheist advocacy group the Secular Coalition for America, to discuss problems that they believe are fueled by religion."

Washington Post

Feb. 26, 2010 - White House hosts secular leaders today On Faith: "Secular Americans took heart when President Obama gave them a shout-out - believed to be a first - during his inaugural address, now they're looking to push the White House a bit more."

Houston Chronicle

Feb. 26, 2010 - A first: Obama administration meets with atheists 

Believe It Or Not blog: "Today the White House--which has hosted everyone from the Dalai Lama to dinner party crashers--welcomes a group it never has before: non-believers."

Christian Post

Feb. 26, 2010 - Nontheists Hold 'Historic' Meeting with White House Officials 

"The meeting has been labeled 'historic' as it marked 'the first time in history a presidential administration has met for a policy briefing with the American nontheist community.'"

McClatchy News Service

Feb. 25, 2010 - Obama aides to meet with atheists on White House grounds 

"President Barack Obama has burnished his Christian credentials, courted Jewish support and preached outreach toward Muslims. On Friday, his administration will host a group that fits none of the above: America's nonbelievers." (Appeared in several major papers including the Miami Herald, Austin American-Statesman, Sacramento Bee, Raleigh News & Observer, and Denver Post.)

Religion Dispatches

Feb. 5, 2010 - Faith-based Anniversary: Has Anything Changed? 

"Sean Faircloth, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, a CARD member, said, 'In order to live up to the president’s own principles, the Faith-Based Initiatives program must guarantee that no organization that receives federal funding can discriminate against those of differing beliefs. . . '"

USA Today

Feb. 4, 2010 - Obama wades into prayer politics with Tim Tebow, 'Family' 

Faith & Reason: "Long before the Family stumbled into the spotlight, the standard objection to decades of presidential participation at the National Prayer Breakfast is that it scrambles church-state eggs that should be separate. Secular Coalition Executive Director Sean Faircloth says the NPB has 'the appearance of an officially sanctioned government ceremony, implying an endorsement of a particular religious agenda.'"

CQ Researcher

Jan. 25, 2010 - Government and Religion (.pdf)

Republished here with permission from CQ Press, this report includes commentary from Secular Coalition president Herb Silverman on the topic "Is the United States a Christian nation?"

The Atlantic

Jan. 13, 2010 - No Atheists Need Apply

Secular Coalition for America advisor Wendy Kaminer writes about cultural and legal bias against nontheists.

WashingtonPost.com 'On Faith'

Jan. 12, 2010 - Bias Against Pomposity

Secular Coalition for America president and 'On Faith' panelist Herb Silverman notes that advertising revenue is a more influential factor with the media than religion or politics.


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