Christian nationalism is, alas, going mainstream in this country — and we at the Freedom From Religion Foundation have been diligently countering it.
It’s time for the Republican leadership to denounce Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s un-American call to turn the GOP into a “Christian nationalist” party, we asserted. Another member of Congress also revealed a similar mindset, with Rep. Lauren Boebert speechifying that she was “tired of this separation of church and state junk.” Greene and Boebert are excluding an ever-larger portion of the population with their Christian nationalist vision.
Huff Po features us
The Huffington Post recently noticed our past objections to Greene’s absurdities. “The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for the constitutional separation between church and state, fired back at Greene last month for similar remarks she made, saying she is conflating the term ‘nationalism’ with patriotism,” it noted in a piece posted to the website a few days ago.
Washington Post spotlights us (and you)
Big media outlets are including us in national conversations on important issues. The Washington Post mentioned us several times in a recent piece on the consequences of a recent awful Supreme Court decision on prayer.
“Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, said many districts routinely ignore the string of 1960s and 1970s Supreme Court decisions establishing that public schools cannot require students to recite prayers, cannot allow teachers to lead students in prayer and generally cannot promote or inhibit religion at school,” the article states. “Gaylor said her foundation, a nonprofit founded in the late 1970s, is constantly fighting back against coaches who lead prayers with students at school or school officials who schedule prayer into the school day.”
The piece goes on to mention a number of instances where we have helped members like you file formal complaints against public prayers. Read it here!
We’re famous in Alabama
A back and forth we’re having with an Alabama school district is receiving ample media play. Our attempts to educate the Lawrence County School District that it must stop a teacher from providing religious instruction to her students has been covered by the Decatur Daily and several other area news organizations. “Public schools exist to educate, not to indoctrinate,” insists Annie Laurie.
Spectrum News includes our critique
Our critique of a blatantly politicking hometown priest has also gotten media attention.
“I think it’s shocking and appalling, and rather disgusting,” Spectrum News quoted Annie Laurie about the behavior of a Madison priest who has been disciplined for supporting the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. “She said it borders on being ‘dangerous.’”
No politicking from the pulpit!
This week’s episode of our Facebook Live feature “Ask an Atheist” was devoted to the same issue: We discussed politicking from the pulpit and why it’s unconstitutional for churches to be involved with politics, showing videos of blatant sermon endorsements. FFRF Co-President Dan Barker interviewed Legal Director Rebecca Markert and Intake Attorney Chris Line on some high profile cases. Watch it here.
Au contraire, Mr. Trump
We took strong exception to Donald Trump’s remarks at an extremist gathering, in which he said, “We are Americans, and Americans kneel to God — and God alone.” Au contraire, Mr. Trump, we pointed out: Today, the “Nones” are the fastest-growing segment of the population, and our knees do not bend to a deity.
Christian nationalism redux
There was so much going on with the Christian nationalism issue that we did a follow-up toward the end of the week.
“The gloves are off as public officials and political candidates reveal themselves as self-avowed Christian nationalists,” we stated. “And, finally, the mainstream media is paying attention.”
Attack on LGBTQ rights
FFRF Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez also focused on Christian nationalism in her blog this week, specifically its attack on LGBTQ rights.
“The further marginalization of LGBTQ+ people is a direct result of Christian nationalism ideology being imposed on a secular nation,” the piece concludes. “As freethinkers, we must stand up for secular values because they are fundamental to human rights.”
Thomas Paine memorial receives a boost
We didn’t let Christian nationalism occupy all our bandwidth. We delightedly announced that the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission unanimously voted on Wednesday to support the proposal for a memorial to Thomas Paine in Washington, D.C. A number of us, including Strategic Response Intern Charis Hoard, Life Member Margaret Downey and FFRF Legal Fellow Karen Heineman, guided by FFRF Director of Governmental Affairs Mark Dann, testified at the hearing for a statue to the “Forgotten Founder.”
Biden must preserve abortion rights
We also pushed the executive branch. The Biden administration must act boldly to protect reproductive rights, we demanded. “We ask the administration to provide reassurances to those who may need to seek abortion care, contraception, in vitro fertilization or other forms of reproductive health care that the federal government will be there to protect these essential rights,” our letter to the president concluded. (We are also requesting you to urge the president to declare a National Health Emergency on this front.)
Alito’s disturbing remarks
We took umbrage over Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s recent remarks casting aspersions on nonbelievers as obstructors of religious liberty. “This is a highly disturbing message coming from a justice of the Supreme Court,” stated Dan.
Supreme Court is encouraging conflict
FFRF Legal Fellow Karen Heineman in her latest blog chastised the highest level of the judicial branch for encouraging conflict by not drawing clear lines in its recent judicial decisions regarding religion. “This court seems particularly fond of moving legal boundaries, but not so fond of providing concrete guidance,” she remarked.
A weak apology from the pope
FFRF Strategic Response Attorney Ryan Jayne focused on a social catastrophe that the Catholic Church wrought in our huge neighbor to the north, where Indigenous children were massively mistreated at Church-run schools. “Giving a weak apology was quite literally the least the pope could have done, and it’s decades too late,” he stated.
A focus on global activism
Our radio show this week focuses on activism that’s truly global. We hear Bangladeshi-American author, activist and producer Bonya Ahmed describe how she is promoting science and freethought in Bangladesh and the rest of the world.
Christian nationalism at home, freethought globally and nontheism everywhere — we’re able to address all of these only due to your unflinching backing.