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!

A Statement on the “Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment

The Establishment Clause, along with the “Free Exercise” Clause, are the bases for the mission of Jews for a Secular Democracy. It is important to understand that the Establishment Clause does not just say that “Congress shall make no law establishing a [state/national] religion”, although its meaning clearly includes that. It says instead that “Congress shall make no law RESPECTING an establishment of religion”. That is a much broader statement than if it had said “Congress shall not establish a...
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JFK: Church and State

I wish all Americans could listen and absorb this speech. Especially elected officials in every level of office. A person’s religion, faith, spirituality, secularism, or no belief is their own affair. It should never be exploited or manipulated for political points or votes. You should elect leaders based on their resume, life experiences, character, intellect, and work ethic. Speeches like this are important to our national identity. [Click on the video below.]  

Timeline – The Assault on Science

2017 will be known as the year of a concerted assault on science-based policies in federal government agencies. Read on for just a brief summary of the most significant actions taken by the Trump administration: 1/25/17: In response to a media blackout ordered for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entities such as “AltEPA” and “RogueNASA,” ostensibly created by frustrated federal employees, begin posting climate change data and other science-based information on social media. 2/3/17: The Department of Agriculture removes public access to animal welfare...
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Jews Stand with Refugees and Immigrants

As a people who have had a long history as a minority and who have been marginalized in many societies over many centuries; as a people who know well what it is like to live for centuries without a permanent home or a secure place;as a people who have often been both immigrants and refugees, and who know what it is to be turned away; and as a people who have been victims of prejudice and worse at the hands...
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A Brief History of Jewish Migration

The myth of the “wandering Jew” began in the 13th century in Europe, but it characterizes much of Jewish history, even before the date of the legend. From the Maccabee revolt of 135 B.C.E. to Jewish expulsions from countries in the mid-20th century, the list of places where Jews were forced out is long, and the list of destruction, murder, and severe restrictions on housing, livelihood and worship are even longer. Regardless of location, two common elements were present; a...
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Whose “Family Values”?

The recent decision by the Trump administration allowing businesses and non-profits with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to withhold contraception coverage is another instance of religious intrusion into health care matters and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Reproductive health should be governed by medical science, the rights of women (and other patients), and other principles consistent with the secular nature of our Constitution. Withholding contraception coverage from all of one’s employees could not be a clearer instance of imposing one’s...
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Secular Public Education

One issue critical to the health of secular democracy is also one that Jews of most denominations have very actively supported for many generations — public education. Our public schools are secular by law, which means of course that public education is not anti-religious in any way, but rather that they do not favor any one belief or discriminate against any belief either. The mission of public schools is simply education. Our public schools by very long tradition have also...
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Secular Government and Democracy

The need for strong secular governance institutions in our democracy could not possibly be clearer than it is now. Among many other things, freedom of religion and belief would not be possible without it. — Since the above is true, it follows that there has never been a stronger need for strong secular organizations in civil society. That is because we understand better than most what secular governance is, and how vital it is. That being true, we will work...
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