By Suzanne Perry
The State Capitol was abuzz on May 3 as more than 70 advocates for secular government gathered to commemorate the National Day of Reason. HumanistsMN 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 religious preference.
The event, the third of its kind, drew people from across the state, including eight legislators, most of them members of the Secular Government Caucus that was set up after last year’s Day of Reason gathering. We are lucky to have strong legislative allies.
Andrew Seidel of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an acclaimed author and constitutional lawyer, described Christian nationalism’s threat to our democracy, noting that claims that we were founded as a Christian nation — and should stay that way — violate the First Amendment and are profoundly un-American.
Thanks to the legislators who spoke: Sens. John Marty and Steve Cwodzinski and Reps. Esther Agbaje, Robert Bierman, Sandra Feist, Mike Freiberg, Rick Hansen, and Athena Hollins.
We know our cause has wide support. Twenty secular and advocacy groups in Minnesota and beyond endorsed the Day of Reason event.
Special thanks to the groups who tabled and/or spoke: ACLU of Minnesota, Camp Quest North, Central Minnesota Freethinkers, Christians Against Christian Nationalism, Compassion & Choices Minnesota, Gender Justice, Jews for a Secular Democracy, Minnesota Atheists, OutFront Minnesota, SMART Recovery, UnRestrict Minnesota, and World Without Genocide.
The following additional groups endorsed the event: American Humanist Association, Jewish Community Action, Lake Superior Freethinkers, Rochester Area Freethinkers, Secular Student Alliance, UnRestrict Minnesota, and UU Humanist Association.
The Day of Reason team will work over the coming year to build on this momentum!
Photos by Craig Stilen.