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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:01 PM

Groupís goal: Take religion out of politics and policy

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/groups-goal-take-religion-out-of-politics-and-policy-86589.html


Edwina Rogers wants to focus on getting religion out of such places as public school science classes. | AP Photo

By PATRICK GAVIN | 1/22/13 9:58 PM EST

There were plenty of references to God during Mondayís presidential Inauguration, and one group is hoping thatíll change soon.

Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, thinks that the decision to take the presidential oath with one hand on a Bible seems a bit outdated.

ďItís a bit of an outdated process,Ē Rogers said. ďI would love to see the U.S. progress and eliminate some of those traditions.Ē

While the president outlined a second-term vision on such issues as the environment and immigration, Rogers has a different plan for the next four years: gaining greater progress and access for nonbelievers in the realm of public policy. Her effort is bolstered by a Pew poll out this month that reported an increase in the number of members of Congress who donít specify a religious affiliation. Although Rogersís cause suffered a setback when the first openly atheist member of Congress ó Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) ó left Congress this year, a new member ó Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) ó says she has no religious affiliation.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/groups-goal-take-religion-out-of-politics-and-policy-86589.html#ixzz2JOAIH9Cw

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:31 PM

1. Leaving aside the political wreckage of Rogers' republicanism, that is a good goal.

At least as important a goal is keeping politics out of religion since that is the more common phenomenon.

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:32 PM

2. As much as I dislike her personal politics, there is an upside to choosing her.

She has *ins* with the Republican party, where the changes really need to take place.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:42 PM

3. Nothing good can come from the republican party.

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:53 PM

5. While I agree, they are the ones who are treading all over the 1st amendment

and where the most work is needed.

Saw Independent Lens last night on what has happened with the School Board in Texas. It was eye opening and terrifying.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:08 PM

6. One of the things that most saddens me about my home state

is that Texas used to be a bastion of Democratic liberalism: Sam Yarborough, Lyndon Johnson (despite his flaws), Henry B. Gonzalez, Ann Richards, Molly Ivens, and others too numerous to count. Oh, and Jim Hightower. I miss him.

What have we got now? Governor Goodhair, gods help us.

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Response to okasha (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:18 PM

7. If you missed it, watch last night's Independent Lens - "The Revisionists"

Something has got to be done about TX (and any other state that is following this path)

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Response to cbayer (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:38 PM

8. The good news is that the TSBE is now much more balanced.

The right-wing nuts are now down from seven to five, five members are Democrats and another five, moderates. The coalition between the last two groups can control the excesses of the right-wingers and even get some decent policy made. In any case, the Board lost a good deal of its influence when individual school districts were empowered to choose their own textbooks, rather than having to accept the Board's mandate.

The bad news is that it's going to take a while to get the bad textbooks perpetuated by Texas' buying power out of the system.

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Response to okasha (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:41 PM

9. I think the estimate for correcting this (given by the show) was 20 years.

That's 20 years of students being fed anti-science in areas all across the country.

Fortunately, CA, as the second biggest purchaser, also has some major sway with the publishers.

Good news about the rebalancing of the school board. It was really horrifying to watch what they could, and did, do.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:52 PM

10. I think the show had to assume

that the then-prevalent conditions would continue. Three things are a cause for hope, here. The Board pissed off a lot of parents, teachers and other voters with its antics. That led directly to the Legislature's stripping it of its state-wide power to choose texts. Another factor is that science texts become outdated in much less than 20 years these days. And finally, textbook publishers will have far less incentive to--pardon my language--whore themselves out to extremists. We'll see more pressure to put the science back in the science classroom.

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Response to okasha (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 03:54 PM

11. Good news all the way around.

There may have been an addendum to the show which I missed, so I am very glad to hear this from you.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 02:42 PM

4. Well, she may have "ins" now

but the Republican Party is notorious for turning those they perceive as backsliders, collaborations, or otherwise not sufficiently conservative, into irrelevant pariahs.

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