Local, state-level, national or international — the Freedom From Religion Foundation is on it no matter at which level secular issues are at play.
We commended President Biden’s mostly positive State of the Union address, especially the way it admirably defended Roe v. Wade. We will continue to urge the president to use his platform to stand up for secular values.
The State of the Union was important for us in another way, since the ad that Ron Reagan has made on our behalf ran during the post-speech analysis on CBS. The spot also appeared on Stephen Colbert’s live show the same night, kicking off six additional commercials on “The Late Show” this month (March 8-10 and March 15-17). Thank you, Ron!
We started off our radio show this week by commenting on the State of the Union address. Then, after an airing of FFRF Co-President Dan Barker’s performance of the feminist anthem “Bread and Roses” in honor of Women’s History Month,” Dan and Freethought Radio co-host Annie Laurie Gaylor interviewed Katherine Stewart about her powerful cautionary column in the Sunday New York Times: “Why was a Catholic hospital willing to gamble with my life?”
We kept a close eye on the U.S. Senate’s first-ever vote regarding a crucial piece of legislation to protect abortion rights. The Women’s Health Protection Act would codify the right to abortion access throughout the United States. The numbers fell short on Feb. 28 of that needed to break the dreaded filibuster; the fight to retain abortion rights is far from over, however.
FFRF Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez in her column this week spotlights the success of the abortion pill, and how states are trying to restrict access to it. “With 26 states poised to completely ban abortion should the ultraconservative Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the abortion pill offers a safe, accessible and affordable option for self-managed abortion care,” she emphasizes.
Among these states is Florida. Lawmakers there have sent a noxious abortion ban bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to soon sign it into law. “It’s essential, especially in contacting known anti-abortion public officials, to protest such legislation,” Annie Laurie remarks.
Join Dan Barker in Orlando
Dan is actually currently in the Sunshine State — and you can join him there if you wish, where he will be doing a debate on “Is There a God?” Along with hundreds of humanists, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and scientific skeptics, Dan is in Orlando at FreeFlo 2022 from today through Monday, March 6. You can still register in person for this three-day event at the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside hotel. Come on by!
What a mess in Texas!
A state that is trying to keep up with Florida in the worst way possible (including on the abortion front) is Texas under Gov. Greg Abbott. He has recently issued a shameful directive that state family services must investigate for child abuse parents who seek gender-affirming care for their transgender children.
“It’s child abuse if parents don’t seek out such care,” maintains Dan.
A sweet local win
We had a nice victory at the local level when we successfully dissuaded an Indiana school board from opening its meetings with an injection of religion. We’re always glad to lend a hand in ending constitutionally erroneous practices.
The dangers of being a freethinker in Africa
We track the state of secularism internationally, too. That’s why our “Freethought Matters” Sunday TV show focuses on the perils of humanism in Africa in an interview with Leo Igwe, the founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria who himself has been jailed for his work on “witchcraft.” You can already watch the show on our YouTube channel. Or find out where you can catch it this Sunday.
An interview on the cost of Hindu nationalism
I follow events closely in my country of origin, India, and this Sunday, I’ll be interviewing on Madison’s community radio station the author of a new book on Hindu nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. You can listen to my conversation with writer Aakar Patel on Price of the Modi Years live here 5:30-6 p.m. Central time Sunday or in the WORT archives after it is broadcast.
The inventor of essays and a bravely unorthodox thinker
Veteran freethinker and writer Jim Haught calls attention in his column this week to a bravely unorthodox thinker who was also the inventor of the essay form. “Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, yet he will make gods by the dozen,” Michel de Montaigne, born this week almost half a millennium ago, commented in one of his essays.
We completely agree. That’s why with your help and support we diligently try to keep this madness from invading the public sphere.