We encourage you to read the articles, below, and decide how you feel about them. Several of them have instructions on how you can take further action to support the issue. These actions are one-click Call to Action steps.
Secular Connecticut Update
Note: Secular Connecticut is an organization that promotes bills in the Connecticut legislature. Their focus is on bills strengthening the separation of church and state, and bills promoting humanistic social issues. The following update report was written by Luther Weeks, Chairman of Secular Connecticut.
This year we are supporting three bills:
Medical Aid in Dying
The Connecticut Witch Exoneration Project
Ending Child Marriage
Right now it is early in the General Assembly session, yet we have good news to report on all three bills.
Call to Action:
If you have not already, please sign up for our email list. We will send you requests to contact your Senator and Representative when its critical that they know that constituents support these bills and also when to consider submitting or delivering testimony to the relevant committee. This year all speakers can testify via Zoom or in-person in Hartford. We will supply more details on testifying when the time comes. We are careful to only send email on the most important issues. We will try not to flood your mailbox.
To be added to our email list, email a request to Update@SecularCT.org with
your Name, Town, and optionally with your phone number.
Also keep up by checking SecularCT.org and the Secular Connecticut Facebook
Luther Weeks, Chair
Aid in Dying appeal to legislators. "They Died Waiting" project in the Capitol.
The "They Died Waiting" project uses large portraits of people who died, often in extreme pain and suffering, because the Aid in Dying option was not available to them. Each portrait is held by a loved one. An HFFC member, George Unser, participated in the project by holding the portrait of one of his relatives who died from the pain of cancer.
These portraits are placed in a hallway in the CT legislative office building where the legislators cannot miss seeing them. Participants worked together to hang their portraits in the halls of the Capitol. “They Died Waiting” will remain on display until February 1st, 2023.
Click here to view a compelling one-minute video of the display.
Religious Freedom Day
As elected officials across Connecticut honor Religious Freedom Day with proclamations, Religious Freedom Day, in essence a celebration of freedom of conscience, was celebrated by Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County January 9th, with guest presenter Rob Boston, Senior Advisor and Editor at Americans United for Separation of Church and State. RFD is a commemoration of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a measure drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 that became law in 1786 after being guided through the state legislature by James Madison. The law ended government support for religion in Virginia and guaranteed religious freedom for all. Scholars acknowledge that it greatly influenced the wording of the church-state separation provisions of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “This is a principle which benefits all people, regardless of their individual beliefs regarding religion.“ said Cary Shaw, president of Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC). Religious Freedom Day was designated by Congress in the 1990s. It has been proclaimed by Connecticut governors and by leaders of towns including Norwalk, Stamford, Fairfield, Greenwich, Bethel, New Britain, and Hamden. Call to action: Plan to contact your city or town next January so they can participate, too!
Congressional Freethought Caucus
The Congressional Freethought Caucus (CFC) was established four years ago in reaction to the influence of religion in public policymaking in ways that the Caucus’s founders deem inappropriate in a secular government. They see such influence as hampering effective and appropriate responses to issues ranging from climate change to gun violence. There are currently 16 members of the CFC. These are members of Congress who believe in separation of religion and government and in employing science and scientific research to find solutions to problems. They oppose legislation and government regulations that discriminate against the nonreligious.
Call to Action: What you can do at this point is encourage your representatives to join the Congressional Freethought Caucus (the CFC). We need our voice to amplify and be heard as those in elected office listen to those who have their ear. Right now the Religious Right is bombarding our elected officials as the primary voice that they hear (to be reelected) with a zeal that is well funded and persistent. The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) has set up a way for you to do this with one click. If you go to SCA's Action Alert and hit send, your member will either get a “please join” message or a “thanks for being a CFC member” message. Yes, they figured out how to do that. This one-click step will send the attached message to your representatives.
National Prayer Breakfast
Ask Your Legislators To Boycott the National Prayer Breakfast. The National Prayer Breakfast is taking place on February 2nd. What originated as an informal gathering of members of Congress, joined by the President since 1953, has grown into a multi-day program of meetings, receptions, lunches and dinners attended by over 3,000 people. There are business leaders, faith leaders, diplomats and members of the military from around the country and around the world. And lobbyists. Can’t leave out the lobbyists.
Call to Action:
HFFC encourages you to ask your members of Congress to boycott this event to preserve the separation of church and state. You can do this with one-click here.
Learn more about the Prayer Breakfast.