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!

Bat Mitzvah Bettering the World

Ilana Schwartz became a Jews for a Secular Democracy (JFASD) Volunteer Leader at age 12 and quickly demonstrated how, at any age, a caring and devoted activist can bring positive change into the world. A member of the SHJ Massachusetts affiliate Kahal B’raira, Ilana decided to lead an advocacy campaign as her mitzvah project. She initially planned to meet with legislators in support of the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, legislation to limit local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement and allow...
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Climate-Change Denial is a Church-State Separation Issue

By Paul Golin [This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Humanistic Judaism Magazine. Reprinted with permission.] There are few existential crises for our species that loom larger than global warming. Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that human activity has contributed to climate change, and that the growing threat to life on earth is real and significant. This “inconvenient truth” about the environment should have galvanized our country into action long ago. Our current U.S. administration, however, not only...
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Trump’s Indefensible Bible Stunt

A picture says a thousand words. Our country is literally burning from our unchecked legacy of racism. A hundred thousand of our fellow citizens are dead from a pandemic that the White House first denied, then downplayed, and continues to make unscientific claims about, in the hope it will all just miraculously disappear. And with all this swirling around him, the President felt it necessary to deploy the National Guard to clear the DC streets (escalating the violence to do...
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Little Sisters of the Poor: The Latest Fight for Religious Liberty at the Supreme Court

On May 6, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in cases related to contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania. When enacted in 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that employers offer health insurance that included contraception to employees. Citing their religious objections to providing birth control, the craft store chain Hobby Lobby, owned by a conservative Christian family, sued the Obama Administration, claiming the government mandate violated the company’s...
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States capitalize on a pandemic to ban abortion as “non-essential”

Religious fundamentalists in at least six states (Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas) are taking advantage of coronavirus stay-at-home orders to block access to abortion, classifying it as a “non-essential” service. They claim to be doing so to preserve PPE and hospital capacity for coronavirus cases, however many abortions simply require taking a pill. Planned Parenthood and other providers have sued, and so far judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas blocked the bans—unfortunately, the Texas ban was ultimately upheld...
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Reject religious exemptions to stay-at-home orders!

Religious fundamentalists leave no stone unturned when it comes to exercising their influence over our government, and a global pandemic is no exception. At least 12 out of the 38 states that have issued statewide stay-at-home orders have granted exemptions for religious gatherings, in blatant disregard for public safety. Jews for a Secular Democracy issued Action Alerts to our supporters in Michigan and Florida urging their respective Governors to remove the religious exemption. If you identify as Jewish and are...
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Reviewing Denominational Stances on the Separation of Religion & State

Jews for a Secular Democracy is a pluralistic initiative of the Society for Humanistic Judaism to mobilize all Jews to work to keep religion and government separate. Many Jewish denominations have issued statements calling for the separation of religion & state. Take a look! Humanistic Judaism: “The Society for Humanistic Judaism (SHJ) vigorously supports the Johnson Amendment as fundamental to American democracy and the separation of church and state. The Johnson Amendment prohibits 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt organizations, including churches and...
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