The Secular Coalition for America is organizing a state chapter in North Carolina as part of its national effort to lobby state lawmakers about issues of strong separation of religion and government.
The group is hosting a statewide conference call to organize N.C. atheist lobbyists at 2 p.m. July 17.
“In our current U.S. Congress, 38 percent of Representatives held local office first,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, in a press release. “When we get to lawmakers at the local level, not only are we going to help curb some of the most egregious legislation we’re seeing, but we are also building relationships and working to educate legislators on our issues, before they even get to Washington.”
Our state is part of phase three of the group's effort in July which also includes chapters in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Washington. Since June, the SCA successfully held initial organizing calls for new chapters in 17 states. Participants will be trained in lobbying state lawmakers, and the chapter will be provided with a website and other materials.
Two state affiliates, the Secular Coalition for Arizona and Secular Coalition for Alabama, are already operational. The N.C. chapter has yet to have a legislative agenda, but the SCA cited examples of legislation it would be interested in focusing on in a press release. The group mentioned Amendment One, the state's constitutional marriage amendment, a senate resolution designating the Rev. Billy Graham as a North Carolina favorite son and the conflict over legislative prayer in the N.C. General Assembly.
To attend the meeting, call (530) 881-1400. The participant access code is 978895.
- Amanda Greene