Chris Stedman to Step Down as YHC’s Executive Director

The Connecticut Coalition of Reason is sincerely grateful to Chris for his service as part of our coalition. His leadership, insights, and personal touch in working with communities across the state will be sorely missed. We wish him success in Minnesota and also in all of his future endeavors.

Chris’s announcement is below.

Dear community members, friends, and supporters,

Later this year I will be stepping down as Yale Humanist Community’s executive director and moving back to my home state of Minnesota to work with a number of Humanist organizations to establish a Humanist Center. As a part of this work, I will also serve as a fellow at Augsburg College’s Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. Click here for additional information about what I’ll be working on in Minnesota, if you’d like to learn more.

While I am happy about going home, this was a difficult and bittersweet decision. Building and directing the Yale Humanist Community has been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life since I was brought on in 2013, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together. I’m excited about what the future holds for the Yale Humanist Community and looking forward to the energy and vision a new director will bring, and I hope for your understanding and support as I transition out of this role.

I will be staying on in a part-time capacity for the rest of the academic year to fulfill our remaining 2016-17 programs and work with our board to identify a new director, while I also begin some work on the Humanist Center of Minnesota remotely. I’m deeply committed to ensuring that the Yale Humanist Community finds an amazing new executive director, and my board and I are already working hard to set that person up for success. I hope anyone who is interested will apply, because this is a great opportunity to do meaningful Humanist community work. Please click here for more information about the position and how to submit a letter of interest.

I want to thank everyone at Yale and at the Yale Humanist Community — especially our incredible community members, students, partners at Yale and in New Haven, and board members, interns, volunteers, and staff (past and present) — who has made my experience here so profoundly rich. I also want to thank my collaborators at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, the Humanist Institute, the Humanists of Minnesota, Augsburg College, and others for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to work with them on building a center for Humanist life in my home state. Finally, I want to extend my gratitude to everyone who has supported me and the communities I’ve served over the years for all of your encouragement and inspiration. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn with and from you.

With gratitude,
Chris Stedman
Executive Director
Yale Humanist Community

Connecticut Coalition of Reason Elects New Officers for 2017

At the Connecticut Coalition of Reason’s (CT CoR) annual meeting on January 15th Richard Siddall, President of the Humanist Association of Connecticut (HAC) and resident of Southbury, was re-elected co-chair; Dennis Paul Himes, Connecticut State Director for American Atheists and resident of Vernon was elected co-chair; and Rebecca Williams, secretary of the Hartford Area Humanists (HAH) and resident of Meriden, was elected secretary.

CT CoR is off to a great start in an already busy 2017. In a little less than eight weeks, CT CoR along with the Secular Coalition for Connecticut will be hosting Secular Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Hartford. This one day event will start off with continental breakfast and talks by some of our secular leaders about the importance of the secular community as a voting bloc and the three pieces of legislation we are focusing on this year: 1) Patients Right to Know, 2) Standardization of Oaths, and 3) Aid in Dying. Although Aid in Dying will not be submitted this year as new legislation, it is crucial that the dialog continue on this important legislation. Following breakfast participants will meet with their state representatives and senators throughout the day to talk about what is important to them as secular citizens in CT and ask them for an affirmative vote on our bills. For more information on Secular Advocacy Day, visit

The Connecticut Coalition of Reason is a group of eight atheist, free-thought, and humanist groups based in CT with a goal of fostering a sense of community. Additionally the group aims to “raise public awareness that people who don’t believe in a god or gods can be decent citizens who contribute to the larger society.”

CT COR board members pictured from left to right: Front row – Rebecca Williams, Anita Peters, Richard Siddall, Carol Siddall, Shanna Bokoff, and Stan Greenberg. Back row – Klaus Kingstorf, Cary Shaw, Chris Stedman, Pat McCann, Dennis Paul Himes, and George Unser. Not pictured – Tanya Barrett, Dan Blinn, and Ken Spencer.

Jerry Bloom is the 2016 American Atheists’ Connecticut Activist of the Year

Dennis Paul Himes
Connecticut State Director–American Atheists

On Wednesday, December 21st, I was proud to award the 2016 American Atheists’ Connecticut Activist of the Year Award to Jerry Bloom.

The town of Shelton had for years allowed a religious display on town property every Christmas season, and when Bloom objected he was rebuffed. When he requested that he be allowed to erect nonreligious display alongside the religious one, he was denied. So, together with Freedom From Religion Foundation, he sued the town. A settlement was eventually reached in which all viewpoints may now be represented.

What especially impressed me about Jerry’s actions, is that he took them without knowing that there’s an Atheist community in Connecticut to draw on for help. He stood up for what was right and prevailed, even though he thought he was alone in his efforts. Since then, the Atheist community and he have discovered each other, and we are now proud to call him one of us.

Not One but Two Atheist Holiday Displays in Connecticut!

Tis the season to be jolly! And the season keeps getting jollier for the 39% of Connecticut’s population that are non-theistic, as two Atheist displays are up on public property in response to religious displays.

You may recall that around this time last year Shelton, CT resident, Jerry Bloom, was denied the right to display a Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) banner in one of the town parks, even though there was a Christian manger on display ( Well that has changed this year. Although he wasn’t given permission to put up the banner next to the manger, he was given permission to put the banner up in a different park in town. Last year the FFRF filed suit against the town of Shelton for denying Bloom the right to post his banner. That suit is still pending and it isn’t clear what the outcome will be now that Bloom can post his banner in another park… “separate but equal” anyone?

Addtional coverage of the FFRF banner going up in Shelton can be found here:
CT Valley Independent
Hemant Mehta

In Vernon, CT the story is a little different. Almost 10 years ago, American Atheist Connecticut State Director, Dennis Paul Himes, asked permission to put up an atheist display on the town green next to the nativity scene also displayed on the green. Himes was granted permission and along with a crew from the Connecticut Valley Atheists (CVA) erected the display you see pictured. It’s now a tradition in Vernon and the townsfolk don’t seem to mind at all with the exception of last year, when the display was vandalized ( We are hopeful that this year the religious vandals won’t be as rude.

Additional coverage of the AA/CVA display going up in Vernon can be found here:
Patch –

Governor Malloy Disappoints Godless Connecticut Again and Again!

Governor Dannel P. Malloy rejecting proclamation requests from the Connecticut Coalition of Reason (CT CoR) is getting to be so routine in Connecticut that you can set your calendar by it. The governator has just rejected the Yale Humanists Community’s request for a Carl Sagan Day proclamation. The reason given was that “Carl Sagan was not someone from Connecticut or someone who impacted Connecticut in a special way or someone who went to school in Connecticut.” In May, the governor rejected our National Day of Reason Proclamation request without giving a reason (while at the same time issuing a National Day of Prayer proclamation) and in February he rejected our Darwin Day proclamation request because the prior year’s Darwin Day proclamation request was denied (on a technicality).

So now we know at least two criteria for a good proclamation request: 1) it cannot be previously rejected and 2) if the request is in honor of someone, that person must have had an impact on CT or have gone to school or lived in CT…. Stay tuned for our Mark Twain proclamation request (bod 11/30/1835)! If that doesn’t work, famous non-religious Connecticut residents Paul Newman and Katherine Hepburn will be in the queue.

We have also just submitted another Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the governor’s complete proclamation acceptance/rejection criteria list since it is not on his proclamation request website nor articulated anywhere else. But we won’t be holding our breath while we wait for it since it appears that the governor’s office makes up the rules as they go along.

For those of you who would like to voice your disapproval of the Governor’s action, please call his office at 860-566-4840.


Chris Stedman interviews Nick Sagan (son of Carl Sagan) at the 2015 Carl Sagan Day celebration hosted by the Yale Humanist Community at Yale University.


The crowd at the 2015 Carl Sagan Day celebration hosted by the Yale Humanist Community at Yale University waiting for Nick Sagan.

CT Humanists Bring Death to Life With a Cup of Joe

This October and through March 2017 Humanist organizations will be raising the living to talk about death, dying and the meaning of life at Death Cafes throughout Connecticut. Humanist Celebrants Dan Blinn, Anita Peters and Yale Humanist Chaplain Chris Stedman are inviting the public to engage in friendly conversation, eat cake, drink a cup o’joe, and talk about death.

Death Cafés are part of a life affirming international movement to encourage people to gather in social settings and have honest and frank conversations about death. In 2015 there were 1500 death cafes in 33 countries. “Our goal,” said Dan Blinn, the founding President of Hartford Area Humanists and one of the organizers of the events, “is to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives.”

“Every discussion is different and often covers several topics” said co-organizer Anita Peters, a founding member of Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County. Peters said that her first Death Café’s topics ranged from an animated discussion about whether the last wishes of the deceased should be honored to a poignant recognition by one participant that his fear of dying was really a fear of dying alone.

Chris Stedman, Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, is including a Death Café as part of his organization’s year-long series on How to Be a Human. “Death is a part of life,” said Stedman, “and by talking about death, we can’t help but talk about how we live.”

The first event will be on October 10th at 6:30 PM at the Silver Star Diner in Norwalk. The next event will be on October 13th at the Triple A Restaurant in East Hartford. Other events will be scheduled throughout the state over the next six months, including the Death Café at The Grove in New Haven at 3 PM on March 26, which will be preceded at 1 PM by “How to Approach Death,” a lecture by Ann Neumann, scholar and author of The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America (Beacon Press, 2016). The public is welcome to attend the events without charge.

Dan Blinn, Anita Peters, and Chris Stedman are all Humanist Celebrants who officiate at weddings, funerals, and other life cycle events. They are accredited by the Humanist Society, an organization established by a group of Quakers in 1939 as the Humanist Society of Friends by the Society of Friends that is currently an adjunct of the American Humanist Association.

For more information on the Hartford Area Humanists, visit
For more on the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, visit
For more on the Yale Humanist Community, visit
For more on the Death Cafe movement, visit
For additional information, contact:
Anita Peters: 203-536-6203 or [email protected]
Dan Blinn: 860 324-3533 or [email protected]
Chris Stedman: 203-900-7942 or [email protected]

Godless CT Demands Apology from Bridgeport Police Chief

Bridgeport’s Chief of Police, Armando Perez, recently made public remarks pointing to a lack of belief in the supernatural as the reason for the city’s crime challenges. Chief Perez was quoted as saying, “The problems that we’re having is because people have abandoned church, people have abandoned God, and that cannot happen.” He continued, “Let’s bring God back in our lives, back in our church — bring our kids — in our city, in our schools — absolutely.” Of course, we here at Connecticut Coalition of Reason, along with Connecticut’s non-religious population (which makes up 39% of the state), have a different opinion…one based on facts. We said as much in our letter to the Chief, the Mayor, and the City Council President.

Hemant Mehta, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the United Coalition of Reason have all joined joined us is our condemnation of these public remarks.

We’ve requested that Chief Perez retract his remarks and offer a public apology to Connecticut’s large, thriving, and rapidly growing non-religious community.


Connecticut Nontheists Represented at Connecticut Forum

by Susan, Education Officer and National Coordinator, United Coalition of Reason

Members of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason were in the front-and-center of the public’s eye last week when they hosted a table at the Religion in America 2016 panel discussion, hosted by the Connecticut Forum. This highly-attended conference wasn’t a place you would normally find non-believers making their presence known, and with a line-up of well-known and high-profile speakers—Irshad Manji, Jon Meacham, Dr. Jennifer Michael Hecht and Michael Gerson (two Christians, a Muslim and an atheist)—it was an event that was guaranteed to raise questions more than provide answers.

Connecticut CoR’s Chris Stedman, Chaplain and Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, Elisabeth Brown and Pat McCann, Connecticut CoR Co-Chairs.
Connecticut CoR’s Chris Stedman, Chaplain and Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, Elisabeth Brown–Hartford Area Humanists and Pat McCann–Connecticut CoR Co-Chair.

After putting out a blanket call to secular organizations for literature, materials provided from UnitedCoR, American Atheists, the Secular Policy Institute, Freethought Society, Foundation Beyond Belief, Secular Student Alliance and the Foundation for Critical Thinking on Connecticut CoR’s table caused quite a stir. People came past, took leaflets, dialogued with the Connecticut CoR members, and from what we saw, made some new friends in their local communities. I remember Pat asking someone, “You didn’t know Connecticut is the 47th least-religious state? Have you read the Pew Forum’s result?” to which that person found it on their phone, and began to study the statistics—perhaps for the first time ever.

People taking last-minute leaflets before rushing to their seats at the start of the program.
People taking last-minute leaflets before rushing to their seats at the start of the program.

From the look across the people in the balcony, diversity was clearly the goal of the event. We took our seats up in the balcony area along with a variety of people: some in turbans, men wearing a kippah, some dressed in a thobe, others with rock band t-shirts, some in suits and ties, others carrying a glass of wine. The “tribalism” that some have spoken about wasn’t noticeable in the theatre, and even the hushed discussion that took place from time to time amongst the audience didn’t come across as divisive or ridiculing.

I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised by some things that were discussed, as it was a different kind of discourse than what we’ve been reading in the news lately. The presenter, Ray Suarez, was very open about his interest in the role that religion had played in this year’s Presidential election, and many of the panellists also joked about certain aspects they felt were ironic between Evangelical beliefs and the lifestyles and personal/political choices of the candidates. Jon Meacham was very open about the “civil religion” in America, even during the service of Pres. Eisenhower, as he remarked that one Cabinet member went on record during a meeting in the mid-1950s “Jesus Christ, we forgot to start with the goddamn prayer!” which brought rapturous laughter from the audience. Irshad Manji spoke openly of how many of the Muslim students she has taught over the years are not afraid to talk about their doubts and disbelief with what they perceive their religion is teaching them, when compared to modern life and social-scientific breakthroughs. Likewise, the panellists were critical of the attempts made by certain groups within the “Christian Right” who have tried to preserve what they consider to be the “Golden Era” through stunts such as Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s 10 Commandments monument, or his defiance of Federal court orders regarding same-sex marriages.


I also felt that there were some missed opportunities during the event. For instance, when Hecht questioned Manji, “What is your god like? Give me some attributes”, and Manji admitted “I don’t know,” it was a perfect opportunity to mention that groups like Muslimish has members with similar questions. During one conversation, Gerson said that he thought there had been a balance between the role of religion in Government and vice versa, and this statement could have been countered by asking why some groups want to rework critical legal precedents such as The Johnson Amendment that helps maintain this balance. When the conversation focused on communities and how there is a growing number of religiously-unaffiliated Millennials, the speakers could have been shown how non-theistic communities such as Kansas City Oasis, Sunday Assembly and various chaplaincies across the US are growing and benefitting from this decline of mainstream religion.

As we were about to leave The Bushnell Theatre, a lady came past the table. “Good to see you again, Pat. Take care.” I asked Pat if she was part of the Connecticut CoR. “No. Actually, she’s a Lutheran minister. I spoke to one of her Confirmation classes some time ago about what it means to me to be an atheist.” Although not everyone is willing to provide this kind of an outreach, clearly it has worked well for members of the Connecticut CoR, and perhaps this is one of many reasons their table and outreach at the Connecticut Forum was so well-received. We know that the folks in Connecticut CoR are planning a large political action for March 2017 with the help of the Secular Coalition of America. We look forward to see how the CoR’s new connections and community partners will help their work and activism in a few months’ time: hands that had previously been clasped in sectarian prayer are now joining hands with people in Connecticut CoR to prepare for collaborative work.



Connecticut CoR Shows Its Pride

by Dan Blinn
Hartford Area Humanists and
Former Co-Chair–
Connecticut Coalition of Reason

Members of several Connecticut secular organizations participated in the Second Annual Hartford Pride event in Bushnell Park. Two of the groups, Connecticut Valley Atheists (CVA) and Hartford Area Humanists (HAH), co-sponsored a booth at the Hartford Pride. Secular and LGBTQ communities have many shared priorities and values. Ten Atheists and Humanists showed up to help strengthen those bonds and to make connections with members of the LGBTQ community and their supporters.


Hundreds of people visited the booth, helping themselves to buttons and pamphlets contributed by United CoR, the American Humanist Association, and American Atheists. Many of the visitors were eager to learn more about Connecticut’s secular community and the various programs and activities promoted by the Connecticut CoR member organizations. A few just stopped by to grab a piece of candy, but many lingered and asked questions about secular beliefs and values. Visitors included Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, who was a speaker at the event, and former Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.


The day-long event also gave Humanists and Atheists an opportunity to work together and to compare notes on their respective organizations. CVA and HAH co-sponsored a booth at the first Hartford Pride event held last year, and they plan to return in future years. Everyone had a great time, and the participants agreed to meet in the near future to discuss collaborating on other projects and events.


After the Connecticut CoR’s protest of Franklin Graham a few weeks ago, we appreciate that Connecticut CoR followed-up with their message of support for LGBTQ+ communities in Connecticut! Thanks to Dan and others in CT CoR for their visibility and message of inclusivity!!

Connecticut CoR Protests Franklin Graham Event and Promotes Inclusive Community Politics

by Jase, Executive Director, United Coalition of Reason

As the rain poured on the night of Wednesday, August 31st, part of me thought that Franklin Graham’s Decision America 2016 stop in Hartford, Connecticut would be a wash-out. The Facebook event that was posted by the Connecticut Coalition of Reason provided information that they’d been informed Graham would attract around 30 to 50 attendees, and so with the inclement weather, we anticipated a small gathering, perhaps that we would outnumber the attendees.

We were wrong…the local news reported over 1,000 people!

As we made our way with Pat McCann to the area that we were allowed to stand and protest, I remembered that we’d heard reports from Iowa that when their members protested Graham’s show, the event organizers tried to chase them away, and yet one lone Iowa protestor stood his ground and exercised his right to assemble and free speech. As we walked around the Connecticut capitol building, teams of volunteers for the event were directing foot traffic, and were busy handing out religious literature, American flags, Christian flags, little bottles of water and snacks. I politely declined to accept a Christian flag from a volunteer and was given the most unusual look from them; although I took an American flag, it seemed as if I wasn’t falling in line with their expectation.

connecticut-cor2-SOnce the Connecticut CoR volunteers set up their protest before the rally, a few people passed by. For the first ten minutes with Connecticut CoR’s banner on prominent display, few people took notice of its message. However, as the crowds began to assemble, more people noticed the banner (and Dean Anthony’s “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” sign), and the reactions became notably different. Some people stood and stared at the protestors, others shook their heads, many people took photographs, and a few came to implore us to repent and even offered to pray for us. Even after one person came and offered a personalized prayer on his knees for the group in front of the banner, upon his conclusion, Pat replied, “I’m still an atheist!”

Even fewer people decided to come and have a conversation with us, and for those who did, I’ll admit that they were polite and seemed to truly want a dialogue with us. The main question that was asked tended to be, “Why are you here?” In such situations, certain people and personalities tend to stick out in your memory. I remember speaking with two young Evangelical pastors. One of them tried to engage me with theological discussions on how their view of god’s transcendence led them to agree with Franklin Graham that America is falling away from the will of god and that, as a result, its decisions and leaders are becoming increasingly immoral. They recalled to me how Graham’s father, “Billy” Graham, was a man of courage and leadership, calling out to people to repent and turn to salvation. I asked them if they felt betrayed by Billy Graham’s later theology—bordering heterodoxy—that he announced on Robert Schuller’s famed Hour of Power. Apparently, they hadn’t seen that broadcast, and when I encouraged them to look it up for themselves on YouTube, one of them asked me, “What difference would it make?” What difference would it make??—for a former evangelist to state that “I don’t think that we’re going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at anytime…that’s what god is doing today: he’s calling people out of the world for his name whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ”? If Billy Graham truly believed what he said, his views were far more inclusive than the ones his son espoused in Connecticut.

We couldn’t tell if he was praying FOR or TO Pat McCann—Co-Coordinator of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason…
We couldn’t tell if he was praying FOR or TO Pat McCann—Co-Coordinator of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason…

Another person came and asked me the “Why are you here?” question. He was wearing a bright orange coat that had the word “Chaplain” written across the back, and he identified himself with the Rapid Response Team (as he offered me another granola bar…we noticed that the nontheistic protestors were offered food and water more often than the attendees). I said to him, “I’m a chaplain, too” and we began to discuss the kinds of things that he did as a chaplain. He mentioned to me that some of his friends were working with FEMA, and were waiting to be deployed to Florida, as Hurricane Hermine was building strength in the Gulf of Mexico. During his recollection of the food that his friends and colleagues donated, emergency packages that they distributed, homes cleared and sometimes rebuilt for local residents, the topic of prayer arose as he pointed to Dean’s yellow sign. “We also have prayers when we participate in these relief efforts,” he told me. “I don’t understand, though, why we’ve been asked to not pray with people. I think that Graham is right that our government is trying to stop us from feeling like we can be a Christian in public.”

It was ironic that the chaplain mentioned this point, as I could hear Graham in the background talking in general terms about “religious liberty” and some interesting interpretations on early Colonial American history. I asked the chaplain what he understood about modern American religious pluralism, and where it came from. He indicated that he’d attended over 40 of Graham’s talks on the tour, and that he had heard him speak of religious liberty on many occasions. “Aren’t you getting tired of hearing the same speakers talk about the same topic? Don’t you want to hear something new?” I asked the chaplain. He responded that he wasn’t tired of hearing the inspirational stories of how many colonists fled Great Britain in search of a new home where they could worship as they pleased. The point that I continued to raise with the chaplain is that, the colony to Connecticut’s east—Rhode Island—was where everyone could truly find religious liberty, thanks to Roger Williams’ vision and work. I also mentioned to the chaplain that sectarian prayers being offered by public funding is something that non-theistic people have an issue with, especially if tax money has been spent to support religious work. “But, what about my right to free speech about Jesus?” was the chaplain’s counter-question. “What if your prayer was something that offended another person’s religious beliefs?” was my reply. “Ok, other than atheists, who else might be offended by it?” asked the chaplain. “How about our Jewish friends? Remember when Billy Graham had to apologize?” I asked. “No, I don’t. And the Jews need to accept Jesus as their savior, too, because we know the Bible says…” said the chaplain. We were clearly at an en-passé, but we parted company as friends.

L to R: Sarah Croucher—Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, a NARAL intern, Dennis Paul Himes—Connecticut State Director for American Atheists, and Dean Anthony.
L to R: Sarah Croucher—Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Kate Berger–NARAL intern, Dennis Paul Himes—Connecticut State Director for American Atheists, and Dean Anthony.

Near the end of the protest, I was visited by a kind and articulate gentleman named John Donovan who had driven quite some distance to attend Graham’s event. He was a Vietnam veteran with an honorable and distinctive service, and his father played a significant role in the negotiation for the release of the American pilot in the “U-2 incident”. In fact, the main character in Spielberg’s movie, Bridge of Spies was a portrayal of his father. After discussing a few things with me, John gave me a print-out of his article, and on the back of the article was a personal letter that he had written to Franklin Graham. “I think you need to read this more than Graham does,” John told me. I kept this letter, because I think that John answered his own question of “Why are you here?”:

To: Rev Franklin Graham


The biggest decision Christians in America could make now-in this age of cultural pandemonium-is to focus more intensively on moral regeneration at the local level. What the laws dictate isn’t unimportant, but politics and policies tend to be reflective of deeper cultural conditions.

Religion is at the center of culture, and it is only the power of prayer-organized and persevering-that will create an authentic breakthrough toward a culture of character. The problem now is that the social ills affecting our nation are fully reflected in the part of our population that calls itself Christian. A true community of mutual spiritual influence must now be developed and become militantly influential.

Militantly influential? Is this a declaration of warfare? Who are the allies and who are the enemies? What is the intended outcome and on what terms will it stop? From what Donovan wrote, and given Graham’s Evangelical-centric message, it appears that being inclusive is not on the agenda, and certainly is not what Graham is well-paid to advocate. Although Graham avoided an outright endorsement of any political candidate or party, one thing he was clear about was that he felt that Christians must be elected to any and all public office such as mayors, school boards, and especially to be appointed the Supreme Court. Books, education and public policies were high on Graham’s list of indoctrination to promote his view of “Biblical values” that proclaimed secularism is communism, that “progressives are the same as atheists,” and that his views stood in stark opposition to “the nation’s sins — abortion, same-sex marriage and an entertainment industry that glorifies sex and violence.”

If a rally that closely resembled a tent revival meeting can be held on the steps of a state Capitol, then we found our reason for why we were there. But, we were not alone with our protest that day, although we were not allowed to be anywhere near the crowd. At the very back of the crowd stood two clergy members of the Metropolitan Community Church of Hartford, proudly waving the rainbow flag. Rev. Aaron Miller made it explicitly clear that Graham’s “brand” of Christianity was divisive and that it led to people feeling broken, useless and second-class, rather than being inclusive. Graham’s views of isolationist Christianity not only divides between believers and non-believers, religions against religions, but he is also preparing to divide the Christian community against itself. As a result from this polarization, perhaps now is the time for non-theistic communities to make new friends and community partners with others—like the MCC—who disagree with this agenda and message.