Last updated on: 3/10/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

Secular Coalition for America Biography

Position:
Con to the question "Should the Words “under God” Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reasoning:

“Daily affirmation of the existence of a specific monotheistic God, or even a generic monotheistic god, is a religious affirmation even if it is draped in the Flag. Thus, a public school district policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase ‘under God’ violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment…The phrase ‘under God’ does not qualify as mere ceremonial deism when included in a daily teacher-led recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by public school elementary students. It is a government sponsored claim of the existence of a single deity that excludes believers in all other deities and excludes those who do not believe in any deity.”

Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow, Secular Coalition for America Amicus Brief, Feb. 10, 2004

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Other
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Description:

“Secular Coalition for America is a lobbying organization whose purpose is to amplify the diverse and growing voice of the non-theistic community in the United States. Our sponsoring and honorary member organizations are leaders in the national freethought movement who have come together to formalize a cooperative structure for visible, unified activism to improve the civic situation of all American citizens whose worldview is naturalistic. The Secular Coalition for America is committed to securing the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom from religious establishment in public schools and the elimination of statesponsored rituals conditioning students to associate public service or patriotism with theistic belief thereby adding to the social and political disenfranchisement of nonbelievers and minority religious views…”

Elk Grove Unified School District v. Michael A. Newdow, Secular Coalition for America Amicus Brief, Feb. 10, 2004

Mission:

“The Secular Coalition for America is committed to promoting reason and science as the most reliable methods for understanding the universe and improving the human condition. Informed by experience and inspired by compassion, we encourage the pursuit of knowledge, meaning, and responsible ethical codes without reference to supernatural forces. We affirm the secular form of government as a necessary condition for the interdependent rights of religious freedom and religious dissent. We come together as national freethought organizations to cooperate in areas of mutual interest and to support each other in our efforts to uphold separation between government and religion for the benefit of all within the nontheistic community. As resources allow, we will actively cooperate in projects that support our position, with priority given to political action initiatives and public relations opportunities.”

Secular Coalition for America website (accessed Apr. 30, 2007)

Other:
Non-profit 501(c)(3)