19 July 2008

Secular Coalition Action Alerts

The Secular Coalition for America does important work in that they are the only group I know of actively lobbying for non-theists in Washington. As you can imagine, they carry a rather heavy load. What can you do to help? Well, you can regularly swing up their website and see if they've got any Action Alerts up. At the moment, there are three.

Stop the Passage of the Boy Scouts Commemorative Coin: What? The Boy Scouts? What harm could this possibly do? What's wrong with the Boy Scouts, you might ask? Well, the Boy Scouts of America rather explicitly discriminates against non-theists as well as homosexuals. Yes, the BSA declaration of Religious Principle states that:
no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.’ The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members.
While courts have repeatedly ruled in favor of the BSA having their own membership guidelines as a private organization (fine--outdated and hateful, but fine), there has been ample and rightful litigation trying to prevent the BSA from receiving any federal funds. Want in on the act? Click here and contact your Senators.

Next, is the effort to Stop Federal Funding of Religious Education. Surely this is something we can all get behind--that is, anyone remotely interested in preserving what's left of our tattered education system, consistently beleaguered with an endless stream of anti-science confrontations.

This month, the Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to continue funding for the DC Opportunity Scholarship program. Sounds inocuous enough, but as the SCA explains:
This program allows parents in the District of Columbia to send their children to religious schools with tuition vouchers funded by American taxpayers.
'Nuff said. Once again, our non-theistic dollars trickle away from our wallets and into the hands of those who perpetuate the plague of irrational thinking in this country--our government is trying to make our country dumber. Click here to say NO.

And finally, please tell Heath and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt that the "conscience clause" is, indeed, unconsciencable. He has teamed up with everyone's favorite moron President to allow medical professionals to refuse treatment that goes against their personal religious beliefs. The SCA says:
Already, a “conscience clause” exists in federal law that allows a medical professional to opt out of performing a procedure or delivering a product if it violates his/her “conscience.” But now, the “conscience clause” is taken a step further and jeopardizes any woman’s ability to get complete and accurate information and services.
How are they doing this exactly? Huffington states:
In a spectacular act of complicity with the religious right, the Department of Health and Human Services Monday released a proposal that allows any federal grant recipient to obstruct a woman's access to contraception. In order to do this, the Department is attempting to redefine many forms of contraception, the birth control 40% of Americans use, as abortion.
What does this 40% include? It includes the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD, and emergency contraception. So, pretty much anything that's not a condom will be defined as "abortion" and the way abstinence only education is trying depserately to phase out condom use, pretty soon we'll all be awash in STDs, babies, and babies with STDs as far as the eye can see. Does this thought horrify you as much as it does me? Then, please, click here.

- - -

Some folks say to ignore the fundamentally religious--that they are fringe, they are not mainstream, and they do no real harm. Pay no attention to the loonies. That is not my opinion--these people are sneaky bastards and, most important, they know how to work the system. Do not let them.

Like I said, the SCA does important work. Please support them by going to these links and doing what you can--supplement an easy email with a snail mail letter, or even a phone call to your representative. And please consider a financial donation to the SCA. They rely completely on our donations, so you know every little bit helps. Wouldn't it be nice to know that at least some of your money is serving your own interests--to fight against having your money spent on the interests of religious crazy people? I'm making my donation today.

No comments:

Post a Comment