The Secular Coalition for America (SCA), a national group representing atheists and secularists, is continuing its plans to politically organize on a massive scale. Back in March, The Blaze reported about the group's intensive lobbying of Congress. Now, the SCA has announced a schedule that will lead to the creation of state chapters throughout the United States.
This announcement, which will bolster atheists' power across the nation, comes just weeks after the lobbying group announced the hiring of Edwina Rogers, a prominent Republican strategist, as the group's executive director. According to a press release announcing the 501(c)(4)'s growth, new chapters will be launching in 48 states and in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico by the end of 2012. There are already chapters in Arizona and Alabama.
In June, the SCA claims that it will begin holding organizing calls for individual states. These trainings, which will continue through August, will provide the framework needed to assist chapters in their formation. This preparatory period will also include assistance with web sites and educational materials, as well as other support services.
The purpose of the organizational model is to very clearly magnify the SCA's impact so that non-believers can continue their campaign for ideological dominance and equality -- specifically at the state level.
"Some of the most egregious violations of church state separation are being promoted and passed at the state level, and we absolutely must act to stop it," Rogers proclaimed. "There are 40 million Americans who don’t identify with any religion, but our political influence has been limited because we have not been organized. This year, that changes."
The SCA, according to its statement, has traditionally focused upon federal efforts throughout its 10-year history. But this new effort -- to bring efforts into effect at the state-level -- represents a major shift in strategy. Here is the schedule the group presents in terms of how it will reach out to U.S. states:
- Phase 1 (June 1 - June 22) - Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia
- Phase 2 (June 25 - July 13) - Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas
- Phase 3 (July 16 - August 3) - Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Washington
- Phase 4 (August 6 - August 17) - Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin
- Phase 5 (August 20 - August 31) - Indiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, Wyoming
The SCA will use this opportunity to stop legislation that it sees as reprehensible. This will likely include bills that allegedly blur the lines between church and state. Additionally, atheists will use the opportunity to train and work with local and state officials before they make their way to Congress and other federal posts -- yet another method that helps put secularists' issues to the forefront.