The decade-old Secular Coalition for America lobbies for the separation of church and state on the federal level, and officials now want to bring those efforts to statehouses across the country. The SCA already has two chapters in other states and it plans to create 10 more soon.
“Believe it or not, Kentucky is actually one of the states where we had quite a few people who were interested in getting a chapter off the ground and who have been reaching out to us for quite some time to start a chapter there,” says SCA spokeswoman Lauren Anderson Youngblood.
The group is mainly composed of atheists, agnostics and humanists, but Youngblood says the SCA is willing to work with anyone.
But not everyone is willing to work with the SCA.
Lee Watts is a local pastor who holds prayer meetings at the state Capitol. He says while he believes the SCA has a right to lobby for their beliefs, he’s encouraging Christians to peacefully counter lobby for theirs.
“I believe it is their right to try and do this but I believe that Christians too often have allowed for this false conception that there should be a separation of church and state when there is no such thing,” he says.
Watts has encouraged Christians to listen in on an organizational conference call the SCA is holding this week, but not to be disruptive. Youngblood says if anyone tries to disrupt business, the group has ways of regaining control and remaining productive.
The SCA is in its 10th year of operation.