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!

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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Welcome Sarah Levin to the JFASD Team!

NOTE: In October 2021, Sarah took on the role of JFASD Strategy Director. This post is from March 2020. Jews for a Secular Democracy (JFASD) is excited to welcome Sarah Levin to our team as Program Coordinator. Sarah is the founder of Secular Strategies, a consulting firm that is pioneering the mobilization of secularist voters and leveraging interfaith coalitions to counter the religious right with a pluralist left. Sarah worked for the Secular Coalition for America from 2013 through 2019...
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A Helpful Primer on Secular Government

An article in the latest edition of The Humanist Magazine, “American Jurisprudence on Trial,” by Gordon Gamm, provides a concise and helpful history of the separation of religion and government and the key issues currently being litigated around the notion of a secular government. Gamm is a longtime leader in both the Humanist and Humanistic Judaism movements. As a retired attorney, his involvement has included providing extensive legal expertise to help ensure that humanists – along with all other Americans...
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Supporting the Goals of the Women’s March

Saturday January 18, 2020, is the third annual Women’s March, with events taking place in Washington DC, New York, and elsewhere. Activists from Jews for a Secular Democracy will be participating, and if you would like to march with our sign, you can download and print the PDF here. (The dimensions match 11”x17” but can be printed larger or smaller at that ratio.) We’re participating because the goals of the Women’s March align with our own Jewish values, and there...
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Become a JFASD Volunteer Leader!

Are you concerned about threats from religious fundamentalists to reproductive freedom, LGBTQ rights, science-based policy, and secular education in America? Do you want to mobilize your community, congregation, and/or fellow Jews to protect the First Amendment and KEEP RELIGION OUT OF GOVERNMENT? We’re looking for Volunteer Leaders to help organize and shape our grassroots advocacy initiatives, focused on defending secular values at the local, state, and federal government levels, to keep our government neutral on religious matters, and to counter...
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Should The Public Fund Religious Schools?

The upcoming Supreme Court case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue In January, the United States Supreme Court will hear a case that could erode the separation of church and state and allow for state governments to increase support for religious private schools using public funding programs. The Montana State Legislature in 2015 enacted a law creating a tax credit for citizens and businesses who donate to fund scholarships for K-12 students in private schools. The credit is equal...
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