What's Happening Now

Thoughts from volunteer leaders and supporters of Jews for a Secular Democracy. If you have something to share, please be in touch, we would welcome your contributions to the blog!

“The Founding Myth” by Andrew Seidel: A Review

It is difficult to write a review of a book with which you mostly agree. The Founding Myth is one of those books for most secular non-Christians and those literate in American history and civics. While the conclusions that Andrew Seidel reaches in the book are common wisdom for those of us who value a secular government, its importance lies in the evidence he produces to demonstrate that the Christian nationalist position is founded on myth, erroneous assumptions, emotion, and...
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The Jewish Imperative for Church/State Separation

In a recent article for the Times of Israel, Paul Golin, the Executive Director of the Society for Humanistic Judaism (our parent organization!), celebrated Rosh Hashanah by explaining the need for American Jews to make clear our belief in science and opposition to religiously based government policy. “Almost all American Jews accept the scientific method as the way to uncover facts about our universe. So why would I bother advocating for us to be loud and proud about not taking...
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Why “Judeo-Christian” Values are Problematic

Listen to any religious-right pundit discuss the intersection of governing and faith, and you’ll likely hear them refer to Judeo-Christian values. Take Focus on the Family (FOTF), for example, a fundamentalist Christian advocacy organization with a public policy approach self-described as “drawn from the wisdom of the Bible and the Judeo-Christian ethic.” Under this guise of Judeo-Christian values, FOTF opposes same-sex marriage and LGBTQ equality, staunchly lobbies against abortion and reproductive freedom, and promotes creationism and abstinence-only sex education. In...
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Welcoming Lincoln Dow, Our New Community Organizer

Lincoln Dow is the new Community Organizer and Program Coordinator of Jews for a Secular Democracy! Lincoln, a native of Houston who now resides in New York, is the first staffer dedicated solely to Jews for a Secular Democracy, a pluralistic initiative of the Society for Humanistic Judaism. Prior to joining Jews for a Secular Democracy and the SHJ, Lincoln worked in state level politics in Texas, most recently focusing on voter registration for Jolt Initiative and before that serving...
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Ten Modern Plagues That Threaten America’s Separation of Religion and Government

DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE PDF HERE. No, we didn’t invent the concept of writing “Modern Plagues” to call attention to social issues during Passover, a holiday intended to remind us of injustices. We do have a unique entry into the field, though: plagues that threaten America’s church-state separation, which is supposed to be protected by our Constitution’s First Amendment. Please download and print the PDF for use at your Seder, or cut-and-paste from below to share: Ten Modern Plagues That Threaten...
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Why Do Religious Fundamentalists Believe That Their Religious Culture and the Political State Are One and the Same?

At root, all fundamentalists of all religions find the modern world and its cosmopolitanism, diversity, and globalism extremely dislocating and threatens them with the loss of their world.  This is because all fundamentalists live within nations that occupy geography that at one time was all about them and their kind, at least in their prevailing founding narrative. In the case of the United States, Christian fundamentalists have lived in a world where their kind have not only appeared the majority,...
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Political Religion, Not Religion Itself, is the Problem

As a Secular Humanist and a Jew, I have much to fear from religious fundamentalists in this country, especially as their political power is advanced by their current influence on all three branches of the Federal government. As I have said in my previous column on these pages, the assault on legal abortion goes well beyond the matter of the woman’s right to choose (a right in which I firmly believe). It goes to the criminalization of certain beliefs/values of both religious...
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On the Authoritarianism of the Religious Right in the Matter of Abortion Rights: A Clear and Present Danger

For some decades now, the work of the Religious Right in the United States has had a major focus on certain human activities which they wish to limit, according to their particular religious views on these matters. As is well-known, the two principal ones are of course abortion rights and LGBTQ rights. As is also well-known, the Religious Right campaigns vigorously — in the political and other realms of activity — not to persuade people of the correctness of their...
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