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Secular Democrats of America Demand Secularism in the White House

“Its political ideology is anti-democratic and anti-scientific. It provides constant cover for white supremacy.”

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The secular Democrats of America prepared a report specifically for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. It was presented by representatives Jamie Raskin and Jared Huffman. It is essentially their demand and plan to make American government completely and totally secular humanist.

You can find the entire report right here.

Below are specific quotes from the report.

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The rise of white Christian nationalism is a national security threat. We recommend you: encourage the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to dedicate resources to the deradicalization programs at hate groups, including, but not limited to, white nationalists; increase monitoring of such groups, including the online environment and take action to address increased hate crimes towards minority faith communities; and shift rhetoric to label violent white nationalist extremist as terrorist

We believe that this is a moment not only to enact policies to advance constitutional secularism but position the democratic party to take back the mantle of religious freedom and pluralism from the republican party.

We urge you not to underestimate the institutional strength of what we refer to (interchangeably) in this document as the Christian nationalist movement or the religious right. This movement is extraordinarily well funded and well organized in the manifestation of its extreme Insectarium agenda is a constant display under the Trump-Pence administration. Its political ideology is anti-democratic and anti-scientific. It provides constant cover for white supremacy.

Its agenda rests on a pinched interpretation of biblical principles preached by Christian nationalist leader ship and thought leaders. With their political agenda sanctioned by a higher power, their base of support is disciplined, motivated, and deeply committed to a vision that does not align with our basic constitutional values and democratic principles.

We ask that you counter this movement narrative by actively working to dismantle its grip on our government and counter it’s in accurate and revisionist messaging around our nation’s founding.

Policy decisions that should be guided by science and evidence, on matters ranging from climate change to comprehensive sex education to federal funding for stem cell research, I’ve been scooter blocked entirely by powerful religious interest groups and further undermined at every turn by the Trump administration.

The first three areas where we believe President Trump has violated basic constitutional principles and elevated religious privilege over the Bill of Rights and the common good. The fourth area of focus is protecting the rights and dignity of nontheists.

According to Gallup the most mistrusted religious minorities in the United States are atheists and Muslims.

Utilize every mechanism at the administrations disposal to ensure that the Department of Education does not funnel taxpayer dollars to private schools.

Reverse all executive orders, rules, memoranda, and other actions that exempt faith based organizations contracting with the federal government from non-discrimination requirements that apply to secular organizations.

We are at your administration to disincentive eyes state funding for programs that are not evidence-based in which can cause harm by spreading misinformation, such as crisis pregnancy centers and abstinence only education programs.

Work with Congress to incentivize states to increase their vaccination rates by repealing all non-medical exemptions to mandatory vaccination for children in schools and day care centers.

Fully and robustly fund comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.

Donald Trump has empowered the religious right in ways no other administration has before, making significant advances in enacting their Christian nationalist agenda.

Oppose religious displays on government property and recognize this issue’s importance as a matter of basic constitutional respect.

Issue guidance that clarifies the duty and obligation of government officials to separate their personal religious beliefs from their work.

Crackdown on nonprofits operating as businesses, including mega churches.

Update the current guidelines to clarify the constitutional boundaries of religious expression in public schools.

Disentangle the conflation of faith and patriotism. In public statements, avoid phrases like “God and country.”

With the rise of Christian nationalism, there is an urgent need to reframe public discourse surrounding patriotism.

When listing faiths in public remarks or talking about religious pluralism, always include non-religious people.

The current motto, “In God We trust,” is a relic of McCarthyism in the anti-atheist hysteria of the 1950s, and it has been invoked by Christian nationalists to reinforce their historically revisionist narrative of our nations founding.

We urge you to avoid invoking the phrase “Judeo-Christian values,” as it has been Weaponized by the religious right to advancing agenda that has the veneer of inclusivity but actually undermines religious freedom and tolerance and does not represent tens of millions of Americans implicitly excluded from its formulation.

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Education

Academic Underachievement As a Permanent Condition

Academic achievement occurs through individual effort: One boy and one girl after another rising above

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On the state and local level, as decisions are made about how and in what form we will educate the nation’s children, an age-old issue remains. The underlying causes of income inequality and civil unrest likely has less to do with media-inflamed coverage and more to do with a lingering issue that few people want to earnestly discuss: educational disparity.

In virtually every U.S. school system, the disparity year after year, decade after decade, and even longer, in mathematics competency, reading proficiency, test scores, honor roll status, and graduation rates, between African American students and other students is disturbing.

A Disturbing Reality

Here in the third decade of the third millennium, with a male African American high school dropout rate at 40% across the U.S., can anyone view the situation optimistically? Any responsible American would understandably be concerned.

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As Eric Hanushek, who is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, as well as a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, exclaimed “It’s remarkable.” Following his extensive analysis of the situation, he remarked, “I knew that the gap hadn’t been closing too much, but when I actually looked at the data I was myself surprised.”

In one community after another, and one school system after another, when strenuous efforts to bridge the gap do not bear fruit, invariably someone yells “foul,” as if some grand conspiracy is occurring and a magic wand, yet to be waved, could suddenly redress all. And, as if hard-working, dedicated teachers are not attempting their utmost for each of their students.

An Undesired Path

Consider the school system in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, North Carolina. This locale, deemed, “The southern part of heaven,” by a variety of writers, is among the most progressive in the United States. The teachers and educators here have a vested interest in demonstrating that their school system, beyond all others, can succeed in the vital area of closing achievement gaps between whites and minorities.

Nevertheless, year in and year out the gap remains. So, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education becomes primed to try anything! Another in an endless line of supposed “fixes” was to eliminate the advanced math classes in the middle schools and to lump all non-pre-algebra students together, with similar plans to eliminate other advanced classes such as in language arts.

Just as you cannot easily erect a sound building on quicksand, and you cannot expect to solve a decades-old problem by starting with a shaky foundation. Taking a lowest common denominator approach to developing school curriculum has never consistently worked, anywhere. It frustrates the students and dramatically increases a teacher’s burden – all such students must then be taught at individual learning speeds. Do you know any superhuman teachers? If so, could you afford them?

Face the Real Issues

Permanently closing the academic gap between underachieving students and the rest of the student population requires addressing reality – airing the truth about the disparity – not resorting to politically “correct” psychobabble and curricula finagling for another ten years, and then another ten, and then another.

This disparity encompasses such issues as the number of hours the television is on in given households, family or parental encouragement for completing homework assignments, a regular workspace, and established hours for studying in a quiet environment, among other factors.

Until solid analysis, exploration, and programs that address these issues are undertaken, no amount of wrangling with classes will prove to be the “winning formula.” And, school boards will have no chance of effectively addressing the continuing problem of poor academic performance among student groups.

In Arthur Conan Doyle’s short story The Sign of Four, detective Sherlock Holmes says, “…When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The schools in U.S. communities routinely exhaust talented teachers with a task that cannot be solved by them, nor is it theirs to solve.

Students Eager to Learn

However improbable to those who wish to pretend otherwise, academic achievement occurs through individual effort: One boy and one girl after another rising above and cracking the books, then coming to class as serious students, eager to learn, and primed to excel. Such achievement is not likely to occur any other way.

Otherwise, expect that income inequality and civil unrest will continue for decades into the 21st century.

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