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Learn to lobby — power to the godless people!

Mary was rather disappointed at this news — it came too late for us, we have already booked our tickets, and we have to miss it all. But you don’t! If you’re coming to the Reason Rally, you can also sign up with the Secular Coalition to get training in lobbying. Learn how to take the reins of power into your hands and change America’s course!

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.

Comments

  1. says

    found only rapists were distrusted to a comparable degree as atheists. The Secular Coalition is working to change this

    The ultimate hope is to change this by making reason and evidence acceptable in America, even where religion stakes its claim.

    Until then, I suppose the political route (not much for reason and evidence) will have to do.

    Glen Davidson

  2. raven says

    While studies show that up to 15 percent of the U.S. population—or roughly 50 million Americans—are secular,

    Likely to be much higher than that.

    I count 22% of the populaion as Nones from the ARIS numbers. This is adding up atheists, agnostics, Nones, and Deists. I don’t have a problem with Deists who rarely kill people in the name of whatever their god’s name is using directions from their magic book they don’t have.

    That would be 67 million people.

    And not all “seculars” are atheistic. You can be a xian and be a secular and many are. According to the polls, 76% of US citizens are xians. A lot of them are going to be census xians or box checkers. Church attendance is only around 30%. A lot of that 76% is apathetic or inactive or simply couldn’t care less.

  3. deanbuchanan says

    @Brownian

    I hate lobbyists.

    All of us Mezzaninites do.

    Stop trying to balconize the country of Pharyngula!

  4. tomh says

    The thing about lobbying is that effectiveness is directly related to money spent. Organized religion spends at least $400 million dollars a year lobbying. The result of this is that it’s rare to find an area of law that doesn’t have exemptions written in for religion. Including reporting how much they spend on lobbying, the way other lobbyists must.

  5. Grumps says

    I’ve suspected for a while now that I’m well out of my depth here and now Brownian and deanbuchanan (#s 2 and 5) convince me. Very funny and very clever. Bravo and thanks both.

  6. godlesslobbyist says

    Good lobbying is about providing good information to and educating elected officials. The Secular Coalition is offering to give anyone who wants them, the tools to lobby anyone from a city council member to a U.S. Senator. It is not about schmooze. It is about being an active participant in your government.

  7. onion girl, OM; imaginary lesbian says

    I’ll be going to this! Looking forward to it; I haven’t done any lobbying in a while.

    Also, just an FYI–if other Pharyngulites are coming to the Reason Rally, the local Horde is organizing a meet-up. Email me if interested: oniongirl at googlemail dot com.

  8. deanbuchanan says

    @11 Usernames

    Because after the training session, we are walking over to the Capital to meet with our representatives and senators. The Secular Coalition has scheduled appointments for us.
    My reps are actually pretty good…Donna Edwards and Barbara Mikulski.

    Since they do a pretty good job representing my political beliefs, I want them to see (in person) that they have non-believers as constituents, including a 10 year old who is proud to an atheist.

  9. says

    It seems to me a fair amount of non-religious folks are a bunch of libertarian free market youngins who don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, some of em grow into penn jillettes eventually. I don’t know how effective lobbying is with those people when combined with socialist pharyngula weirdos. Whoever said its like herding cats is right; in our political system those who are the most homogenous tend to win so the diversity of non-religious people is perversely made into a disadvantage. Maybe it is time to learn how to *make a new system* all together? Revolution here would free many countries to become politically self-determined, their efforts no longer underminded by US corporate interests. I think its possible.