Contact: Suzanne Perry, HumanistsMN
301.335.0466 / email@example.com
Participants will observe the National Day of Reason, urging policymakers to keep religion and government separate.
Three Minnesota humanist groups have planned a breakfast and reception at the State Capitol on May 3 to observe the National Day of Reason, which honors the principles of secular lawmaking and separation of religion and government that have guided our country since its founding.
Secular leaders, advocacy groups, and legislators will gather to urge lawmakers to base policy on reason, science, and evidence for the common good, not religious preference. Organizers are especially concerned about the rise of Christian nationalism and the impact of religious dogma on our legal system, with devastating consequences in areas including abortion and transgender rights.
“We call on our elected representatives to ensure that government does not favor one religion over another or the religious over the nonreligious, as mandated by the Constitution,” says Ellie Haylund, president of HumanistsMN.
The event will feature remarks by legislators, including members of the new Secular Government Caucus. Guest speaker will be Andrew Seidel, vice president of strategic communications at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who will discuss “Christian Nationalism’s Threat to Democracy.” Seidel is author of The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American and American Crusade: How the Supreme Court Is Weaponizing Religious Freedom.
More than 15 secular and advocacy groups have endorsed the gathering, some of whose representatives will be tabling and/or speaking.
The National Day of Reason is an initiative of the American Humanist Association and other secular advocates. Sponsors of the Capitol event are HumanistsMN, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, and Or Emet – the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism. The three local humanist groups first joined hands to sponsor a Day of Reason event at the Capitol in 2019 as part of a broader effort to build community among the growing number of Americans who do not identify with any religion.
The religious “nones” — nontheists and those who have no religious affiliation — are a growing part of the population, rising to 31 percent in 2022, according to the Pew Research Center.
Unfortunately, we continue to witness the intrusion of religious ideology, and the denial of scientific and historical knowledge, in critical areas including abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, climate change, public health, school curriculums, access to books, and medical aid in dying.
***Note: Andrew Seidel will also appear at a book-signing event for American Crusade at 6 p.m. on May 2 at Sweeney’s Saloon in St. Paul. He is available for media interviews.***
ABOUT THE EVENT: To take place from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in the L’Etoile du Nord Vault B15 (basement) at the Capitol. Continental breakfast will be served. Remarks by participating organizations and legislators will take place between 9 and 10:30 a.m. (Andrew Seidel will speak at 10 a.m.)
ABOUT THE CO-SPONSORS: HumanistsMN; First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis; and Or Emet, the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, all believe in the tenets of humanism: that humans are moral agents responsible for shaping a desirable future for all humanity and the planet, without theism or other supernaturalism, and that the democratic process is best served by an educated citizenry relying on reason and evidence to determine sound policies for the common good.
THE ENDORSERS: ACLU of Minnesota, American Humanist Association, Camp Quest North, Central Minnesota Freethinkers, Christians Against Christian Nationalism, Compassion & Choices Minnesota, Gender Justice, Jewish Community Action, Jews for a Secular Democracy, Minnesota Atheists, Lake Superior Freethinkers, OutFront Minnesota, Rochester Area FreeThinkers, Maverick Alliance of Secular Students (Minnesota State University, Mankato), MN Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance, SMART Recovery, UnRestrict Minnesota, UU Humanist Association, World Without Genocide. (Additional groups will be announced as they endorse.)