There are some court victories we really love to savor. This week had one — in which we triumphed over the Texas governor, no less.
We were finally granted permanent relief in our six-year lawsuit challenging Gov. Greg Abbott’s censorship of our Winter Solstice display in the Texas Capitol. “If governmental bodies create public forums, they cannot then censor unpopular or minority points of view,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor commented. We love messing with Texas officialdom when it’s messing with us.
We celebrated another victory for reason over dogma: The Connecticut governor signed a bill into law ending religious exemptions from vaccine requirements for students. We urged other states to follow Connecticut’s lead.
National Day of Reason, not Prayer
This week also had prime examples of days we love and days we care not so much about.
We explained why we’re so over the National Day of Prayer (May 6 this year); we’re focusing instead on the National Day of Reason (today, May 7). The co-chairs of the Congressional Freethought Caucus are sponsoring a resolution for officially commemorating such a day. Finally, here’s a resolution FFRF members can get behind!
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We also urged cities all over the United States not to violate the Constitution by officially backing the National Day of Prayer. “The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the government from organizing or endorsing a religious event,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to the mayor of five towns. Plus, such events send the message that these cities give undue preference to Christianity — at a time when “Nones” are a growing social and political force.
We’re being recognized!
At least some in the media are recognizing this fact. 538, a leading blog analyzing social trends, had a recent podcast focusing on the increasing political clout of Nones, and mentions us (at 39:50) as an example of a leading freethought group.
Taking on the Catholic League
As representatives of the freethought movement, we love taking on the “nasties,” and there are few folks who personify this word better than Catholic League’s Bill Donohue. FFRF Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne decried his denunciation of the Wisconsin AG’s recent announcement of an investigation into clergy sex abuse. “Donohue and anyone else who defend the abusers and try to play ‘what aboutism’ are complicit and should be ashamed of themselves,” Ryan wrote.
An alarming anti-abortion trend
In her blog this week, FFRF Anne Nicol Gaylor Reproductive Rights Intern Barbara Alvarez highlights an alarming trend: local ordinances to ban abortion (with a recent one in Lubbock, Texas, as a standout example).
“The anti-abortion ordinance in Lubbock is a stark warning for the future of abortion access,” Barbara concludes. “Secular activism and vigilance are needed more than ever.”
“The most religious experience I know”
Veteran writer and freethinker Jim Haught offers his reflections on science and religion: “The most religious experience I know.” Read it to absorb Jim’s lovely rumination on the incredibly mysterious, almost fantastical ways science operates.
Our action alert appeals to you
Our appeals to you for help on legislative issues included a religious vaccine exemption (in Maine) and reproductive freedoms (in New York), as well as a request to support a conversion therapy ban in Puerto Rico.
Feminist icon Robin Morgan on Sunday TV show
We have a host of media offerings for you. We spotlight a towering figure in the worlds of feminism and atheism on our TV show this Sunday. Robin Morgan is a feminist activist, scholar, journalist and lecturer and is co-founder of number of organizations. “I like to say that it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to respect religion and respect women at the same time,” she tells “Freethought Matters” co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor. You can already watch the show on our YouTube channel. Or find out where you can catch it Sunday.
Sasha Sagan discusses secular rituals and celebrations
On our Facebook Live “Ask An Atheist” feature, filmmaker, author and secular scion Sasha Sagan joins FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel and FFRF Attorney Liz Cavell to discuss secular rituals and celebrations. Join in for a fascinating conversation.
Hindu nationalism & Covid in India
Our radio show is half celebratory, half somber. Margaret Downey of the Freethought Society talks to Dan and Annie Laurie about how atheists and agnostics, including FFRF, helped the homeless and the hungry through yesterday’s Mayday For Humanity event, a gala extravaganza with many of your favorite freethinking comedians, performers and thinkers (watch here). If you missed donating, you can still do so through this weekend at bit.ly/Mayday4Humanity or text “Mayday4Humanity” to 44-321. Then, I shed light on how Hindu nationalism and religion are exacerbating the COVID megatragedy in India.
Dan and Annie Laurie’s virtual appearance next week
Newsflash: Dan and Annie Laurie will be making a virtual appearance at the Conference on Religious Trauma, which is intended to educate therapists and lay persons about religious trauma syndrome and connect survivors of religious trauma with qualified therapists and resources to aid in recovery. Annie Laurie will be speaking Wednesday, May 12, 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Central. Dan will open and close the five-day event. Tickets and registration for the conference are available here. Email CORTinformation@gmail.com for more information.
We love to inform you about all our activities, since you are the bedrock of all that we do and achieve. Your support of FFRF’s legal fund will make it possible for FFRF to defend our latest court victory, should we need to, and take on other necessary litigation. Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!