We’ve been ruffling feathers in several states recently.
Major media outlets have taken notice. Texas Public Radio reported on our threat to sue the state if the Legislature brings to fruition a law mandating that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public schools:
Ryan Jayne, senior policy counsel for the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), explained to Texas Public Radio’s “The Source” on Thursday that the FFRF will file a lawsuit if the bill passes.
“We are planning on suing in the event that this bill is passed and signed into law. We are preparing that lawsuit right now,” he said.
Jayne said that the bill is unconstitutional and a violation of the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment, which prohibits the state from establishing a religion.
“The bill is not just promoting Christianity to students generally. It’s taking sides on a theological debate within Christianity, and the state cannot do that,” he said.
Bible burial in the Lone Star State
A school district in the Lone Star State has thrown us for a loop. We’re in disbelief at the burial of a bible at a school to commemorate a new facility — and the district’s explanation isn’t helping.
“A bible burial is a novel way to violate the First Amendment, but it is still a violation,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor about the superintendent’s attempt to rationalize the bizarre ritual. “The district cannot allow private citizens to appropriate school property for burials of bibles or other religious uses, much less publicize religious ceremonies on its official website.”
Also ban the bible, we’re advising a Utah school district
A school system across the country has caught our eye. We’ve contacted a Utah district that has prohibited at least 33 books with supposedly inappropriate sexual content to back up a local parent’s request to also ban the X-rated bible from school libraries.
“We want to make it clear that we are adamantly opposed to banning books,” says Annie Laurie. “But the religious zealots can’t have it both ways.”
A responsive Indiana school board
We had good luck recently in Indiana (of all states) when a responsive school board there ended prayer at its meetings after we pointed out the constitutional inappropriateness of the practice. The board and its president proved to be receptive to FFRF’s constitutional lesson — and we’re pleased at the tone and content of the reply.
An ex-minister warns on our TV show of white Christian nationalism’s dangers
We have a smorgasbord of delectable media offerings for you this week.
An evangelical minister-turned-academic who has written a new book warning about the dangers of white Christian nationalism is the guest on our Sunday TV show. White Christian nationalists “don’t care if you share their morals or their identity. What they want is that you will grant them power and access, and if you do so, you will be their man as long as you are viable,” Bradley Onishi explains to “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 on Sunday television.
Dan Barker debates God and suffering
Is God responsible for your suffering? Dan recently debated self-described Christian Apologist Andrew Knight on this issue. Watch the fascinating exchange here. (You can perhaps guess Dan’s perspective.)
An atheist pirate campaign
Our Freethought Radio guest this week fills us in on a fun and yet constitutionally necessary activity that his group is engaging in: Evan Clark, executive director of Atheists United, talks to hosts Dan and Annie Laurie about the “Atheist Street Pirate” campaign to remove Jesus signs from public property.
The urgent need for court reform
On the latest episode of the only all-women secular legal podcast in the United States, powerhouse attorneys discussed the timely topic of court reform. “We Dissent” hosts FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert, FFRF Attorney Liz Cavell and American Atheist Attorney Alison Gill spoke with Katie O’Connor, deputy chief counsel at Demand Justice, a national organization that works to restore balance to the federal courts. Listen to the compelling conversation here.
What FFRF’s lobbying arm has been up to
Speaking of courts, FFRF’s lobbying arm is doing a victory lap regarding the judiciary. On “Ask an Atheist,” a Facebook Live feature, FFRF Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann and FFRF State Policy Manager Ryan Dudley speak with Jasmine Nears from America Votes, which helps to coordinate the activities of over 400 local and national groups. FFRF Action Fund recently became a member of America Votes-Wisconsin and participated in the election of Judge Janet Protasiewicz for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Mark and Ryan talk with Jasmine about the importance of this race in Wisconsin and across the country, especially when it comes to abortion and the separation of state and church.
While honoring censored Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr as its “Secularist of the Week” recently, FFRF Action Fund is naming not just one but two “Theocrats of the Week”: U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson and U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden. These three public figures represent larger trends that are ongoing in this country. Find out exactly in what regard.
Honoring library workers
Do you know that April 25 is Library Workers Day? FFRF Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez and FFRF Equal Justice Works Fellow Kat Grant used the occasion to assert that libraries — and the people who work in them — deserve our support more than ever, since they are under attack by religious extremists.
Misplaced rules in Missouri
Kat focuses on a misbegotten set of rules issued in the Show Me State in a blog written this week. “Show Me” a gender-affirming care ban and I’ll show you why it’s wrong, Kat writes.
We need to battle religious delusions
Veteran writer and freethinker Jim Haught asserts that it is imperative to fight religious untruths — even if it may seem like an uphill battle at times.
“The battle probably will never end,” he concludes. “We have a deep obligation to keep fighting the delusions.”
We couldn’t agree more, and that is why, with your support, we’re on the front lines combating untruths day after day and week after week.