We at the Freedom From Religion Foundation aren’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic circumscribe our work, as much as we’re focused on it.
We successfully settled today a federal lawsuit over the denial of our Freedom of Information Act request by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. We teamed up with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a governmental watchdog, after HUD Secretary Ben Carson dodged records requests related to the White House bible study.
“Government needs to work in sunlight,” comments FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. “Our lawsuit has ensured that should be happening in the future at HUD.”
A special Earth Day remembrance
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor penned a special remembrance for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a commemoration that is especially meaningful for our staff, since it was the brainchild of our home state Gov. and Sen. Gaylord Nelson. “There is much to celebrate on this Earth Day — and much to despair about,” she writes. (A bonus linked in this statement is FFRF’s new music video, “One Sweet Morning,” poignant words by atheist and lyricist Yip Harburg, in a version recorded by Dan Barker, FFRF’s resident musician and co-president.)
“If human beings are going to be stewards, it’s time to do a much better job,” she concludes. “Earth Day should be every day. Happy Earth Day to you.”
A timeless movie for you this Sunday
For our “Freethought Matters” TV show this Sunday, we bring you a classic FFRF movie. We’re sharing with you a 40-year-old film, FFRF’s first feature, called “A Second Look at Religion.” “Fashions may have changed, I have changed a lot, but the content remains as timely and compelling as when ‘A Second Look at Religion’ debuted in 1980,” Annie Laurie remarks in her introduction. Find out where you can catch it this Sunday. Or you can watch it right now or at your convenience on our YouTube channel.
Our Ron Reagan ad makes an LA media splash
We decided to go an offbeat route for our “Ask an Atheist” Facebook Live feature this week. Dan Barker and FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel first discussed recent letters published in the Los Angeles Times regarding our iconic Ron Reagan ad. And then we Skyped with Doug Harris, and his 9-year-old daughter Elle, who has written her own freethinking book called Elle The Humanist.
But, of course, we’re spending much of our time dealing with the coronavirus in one way or the other.
Trying to make governors see sense on the pandemic
We recently sent 14 letters in a single day to governors around the country cautioning them that the exemptions they’ve granted to religious gatherings from prohibitory orders could have dire consequences (and we’ve previously dispatched three similar letters). It is hard to imagine a clearer need for prohibiting church services and gatherings than a highly infectious global pandemic.
Please sign up for congressional virtual town halls
We’re also mobilizing you to demand of your member of Congress that he or she vigorously defend state/church separation during these times. Congressional representatives are holding regular virtual town halls as a way of staying in touch with their constituents. We have a step-by-step guide for you on how to join in and make your voice heard. Please sign up!
God doesn’t exist
The coronavirus proves that the Christian god doesn’t exist, Dan Barker asserts. He makes a strong case for his claim in a blog we sent out today. “Robert Ingersoll said it best: ‘The hands that help are better far than lips that pray,’” he concludes.
Anti-abortionists seize the moment
For our radio show this week, we interview famed author and columnist Katha Pollitt, from her NYC “epicenter” apartment, about how anti-abortionists are exploiting the pandemic to promote their ideological agenda.
Does life have any meeting?
Maybe you’re thinking even more in our current circumstances about whether life has any discernible meaning. Veteran freethinker and writer James Haught has some deep observations about the subject in his current column for us. Check out his thoughts.
The pandemic, the nonexistence of God, the meaning of life, and other important issues — we are able to deal with all of these and much more due to your unstinting support. Stay safe and healthy!