By Suzanne Perry
After a two-year pandemic-related absence, HumanistsMN returned to the State Capitol on May 5 to observe the National Day of Reason, which honors the principles of secular lawmaking and separation of religion and government.
As in 2019, we joined hands with First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and Or Emet, the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, to sponsor a breakfast with legislators to affirm that policy should be based on reason, science, and evidence, not on religious preference.
At the Capitol and at a brewpub event the evening before, our guest speaker — secular-voters organizer Sarah Levin (pictured) — urged us to mobilize to counter the growing threat of Christian nationalism and dogma-influenced policymaking, for example the draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Thanks to the legislators who attended the breakfast, including Senators Jim Carlson and Jen McEwen and Representatives Robert Bierman, Heather Edelson, Sandra Feist, Mike Freiberg, and Todd Lippert.
We were pleased to get support from 15 advocacy and secular groups in Minnesota and beyond. Representatives from ACLU of Minnesota, Camp Quest North, Christians Against Christian Nationalism, Compassion & Choices Minnesota, and OutFront Minnesota spoke at the Capitol. The following additional groups endorsed the event: Black Nonbelievers, Central Minnesota Freethinkers, Gender Justice, Jewish Community Action, Jews for a Secular Democracy, Lake Superior Freethinkers, Minnesota Atheists, Rochester Area Freethinkers, Secular Student Alliance, and UU Humanist Association.
We know many people support the Day of Reason principles. As Sarah Levin advised, we just need to organize to increase our political clout!
Photos by Craig Stilen