Aug 202008
 

My letter to the editor on the emerging religious left was finally published in the Rocky Mountain News yesterday. They must have been holding it for closer to the Democratic Convention.) Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have printed my affiliation as the founder of the Coalition for Secular Government. Nonetheless, I’m delighted that they published it.

Democrats falling prey to religious influence

Diana Hsieh, Sedalia

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The First Amendment of the Constitution upholds freedom of religion as absolute. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, it builds “a wall of separation between church and state.”

For the past 30 years, that wall has been under attack from the religious right via “intelligent design,” “faith-based initiatives” and now Colorado’s own “definition of a person” amendment.

Alarmingly, Democrats are jumping on the faith-powered bandwagon. A powerful religious left is emerging within the Democratic Party, determined to entangle politics and religion. The ideal espoused by John F. Kennedy that the religious views of a politician should be “his own private affair” is dying.

Democrats, religious or not, must speak out for freedom of religion. If they don’t, their party will soon be in the iron grip of savvy Christian evangelicals, just like today’s Republican Party.

Aug 192008
 

I’m delighted to announce that the Coalition for Secular Government has just published its first issue paper:

Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters
That a Fertilized Egg Is Not a Person

by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh

Colorado’s Amendment 48 — the proposed constitutional amendment that would grant full legal rights to fertilized eggs — would usher in disastrous government controls on abortion, birth control, and in vitro fertilization. It would do so by grossly violating individual rights — in the name of the faith-based fiction that a fertilized egg is equal to a born infant.

Here’s the press release:

MEDIA RELEASE — COALITION FOR SECULAR GOVERNMENT

New Paper: “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life,” an issue paper by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh, published by the Coalition for Secular Government is available on the web at:

http://www.SecularGovernment.us/docs/a48.pdf

Contact:

Diana Hsieh, co-author of “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life” and Founder of the Coalition for Secular Government, diana@SecularGovernment.us

Ari Armstrong, co-author of “Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life” and editor of FreeColorado.com

AMENDMENT 48 IS ANTI-LIFE, NEW PAPER SHOWS

“Amendment 48, the ballot measure that would define a fertilized egg as a person with full legal rights in the Colorado constitution, is profoundly anti-life,” said Diana Hsieh, founder of the Coalition for Secular Government.

“It would obliterate basic reproductive rights in Colorado based solely on the faith-based fiction that a fertilized egg is the moral equal of a born infant. The biological facts show just the opposite: that only the pregnant woman, and then the born infant, are persons with rights,” Hsieh said.

“Amendment 48 Is Anti-Life,” written by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh and published by the Coalition for Secular Government, shows that the ballot measure is hostile to human life in myriad ways:

* Given existing criminal statues, Amendment 48 would subject women and their doctors to life in prison or the death penalty for abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, and fetal deformity.

* It would prevent doctors from properly treating non-viable ectopic pregnancy until the woman’s life and health was in serious danger, thereby causing needless deaths.

* It would force thousands of women each year to bear unwanted children, whatever the cost to their own lives and happiness.

* The measure would ban popular and effective forms of birth control, including the birth-control pill, thereby increasing unwanted pregnancies.

* It would outlaw the fertility treatments responsible for the birth of hundreds of Colorado babies to eager parents each year.

“The voters of Colorado must protect their reproductive rights against this dangerous assault. They must vote ‘NO’ on Amendment 48,” Hsieh said.

Aug 142008
 

I’m pleased to report that my letter to the editor on the evils of entangling government and religion was published in The Oklahoman today. The letter was in response to this article: Kern vows to fight for morals in government. It reads:

Thu August 14, 2008
Kern seeking to destroy protective wall

Regarding “Kern vows to fight for morals in government; The legislator’s anti-gay remarks drew ire earlier this year” (news story, Aug. 6): State Rep. Sally Kern describes herself as a “cultural warrior for Judeo-Christian values.” Such claims should raise alarm bells for patriotic Americans. A free society can’t be founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The Bible doesn’t uphold capitalism, nor support our individual rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. It demands only that we suffer and sacrifice in obedience to God’s will.

Individual rights are based on the objective requirements of human life in society. A person must be free to act on his own rational, independent judgment — without forcible interference from others — to survive and flourish. The only proper purpose of government is the protection of individual rights. For a government to do anything else — including promote religion — is tyranny. That’s why a free society must, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, build “a wall of separation” between church and state.

Kern and her fellow culture warriors seek to destroy that protective wall, thereby paving the way for a repressive theocracy. In the name of freedom, they must be opposed at every step.

Diana Hsieh, Sedalia, Colo.

Hsieh is founder of the Coalition for Secular Government, which supports homosexual rights and opposes restrictions on abortion, tax exemptions for churches and government-sanctioned faith-based initiatives.

The description of the Coalition — written by the newspaper — isn’t fully accurate. As stated in its mission, the Coalition doesn’t support homosexual rights: it opposes government discrimination against homosexuals. (That’s a fine distinction, I know.) More importantly, the Coalition doesn’t oppose tax exemptions for churches, but rather opposes any special exemptions from the tax laws governing all non-profits for churches.

In any case, I’m delighted that they printed it.

Good Deeds

 Posted by on 20 July 2008 at 10:58 pm  Coalition for Secular Government, Health Care, NoodleFood
Jul 202008
 

Here at NoodleFood, we like to use our powers for good.

I’m now blogging regularly at Politics without God about secular government, as is Paul. Paul also continues to blog regularly at We Stand FIRM about free market medicine. Some of the posts from those two blogs have been and will be cross-posted to NoodleFood, most posts have not been and will not be. However, many would be of interest to NoodleFood readers. So from now on, I’ll post a quick list of the week’s posts from each blog each Sunday, exactly like this:

Politics without God:

We Stand FIRM:

Enjoy!

Speak for Rights

 Posted by on 17 July 2008 at 11:10 pm  Activism, Coalition for Secular Government
Jul 172008
 

Over on Politics without God, the new blog of the Coalition for Secular Government, I just published an instructional post on submitting comments in defense of the separation of church and state to the GOP Platform Committee, with a few samples of good comments.

Remember, any submissions should be clear, succinct, and polite, but they need not be your most eloquent work.

Jul 162008
 

I’m pleased to announce the formation of a grassroots ad-hoc group — the Coalition for Secular Government (CSG) — to fight for the separation of church and state. The mission of CSG reads:

The Coalition for Secular Government advocates government solely based on secular principles of individual rights. The protection of a person’s basic rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness — including freedom of religion and conscience — requires a strict separation of church and state.

Consequently:

  1. We oppose any laws or policies based on religious scripture or dogma, such as restrictions on abortion and government discrimination against homosexuals.

  2. We oppose any government promotion of religion, such as the teaching of intelligent design in government schools and tax-funded “faith-based initiatives.”
  3. We oppose any special exemptions or privileges based on religion by government, such as exemptions for churches from the tax law applicable to other non-profits.

The only proper government is a secular government devoted to the protection of individual rights.

The Coalition for Secular Government seeks to educate the public about the necessary secular foundation of a free society, particularly the principles of individual rights and separation of church and state.

Currently, my primary aim with the Coalition is to promote secular government in Colorado by fighting the proposed “Definition of a Person” Amendment (a.k.a. Amendment 48) to the Colorado constitution. However, I urge people outside Colorado to join the fight for secular government. Every state in the union is violating the separation of church and state in ways worthy of opposition.

So if you agree with CSG’s mission and wish to actively promote secular government, you can subscribe to CSG’s Activists e-mail list. To do so, you must aim to engage in some form of activism for secular government at least once per month. Activism can be as easy as posting web comments, forwarding e-mails, and speaking to friends about the importance of secular government.

However, if you’d just like to keep informed about CSG issues and activities, you can join the News e-mail list.

Also, I’ll be updating CSG’s blog, Politics without God, about three times per week. I have a few good posts up already; comments are welcome.

(As will be evident to some, the Coalition for Secular Government is modeled on Lin Zinser’s very effective group Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine. The two organizations are not affiliated, however.)

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