We at the Freedom From Religion Foundation acknowledged the election verdict — and then immersed ourselves in our work again.
The apparent results of the elections will mean that the Christian Nationalist takeover of the federal government should end. Even with the results, it is clear that for reason, humanistic values and our secular Constitution to prevail, our nation will need to unpack, correct and rebalance the judiciary — and with your help, we’ll try to ensure that.
No pandemic exemptions for religious schools
We started off our week by filing a strong amicus brief before the Wisconsin Supreme Court urging it to overturn its injunction halting COVID-19-related school closure orders as they apply to religious and private schools in our home county. The court had issued such an injunction in September in favor of a petition by a number of religious schools and parents here in Dane County, Wis.
“The focus on alleged encroachment on religious liberty misses the point that other Wisconsinites have an equally important right to life,” our brief stated. “For these reasons, the court should rule in favor of respondents on petitioners’ religious liberty claims, or leave the constitutional questions for another day.”
A message for the Pentagon from ‘atheists in foxholes’
For Veterans Day, we highlighted a message from our “atheist in foxholes” members for the Defense Department: Acknowledge their existence and quit proselytizing. The DOD recently announced a multistep process to address diversity and inclusion concerns, which included an anonymous “crowdsourcing” brainstorm of the problem and possible solutions. FFRF invited our veteran and active military members to submit comments — and the response was overwhelming.
The Religious Right’s hold on international policymaking
We also submitted a formal public comment to the Federal Register condemning the Trump administration’s proposal to expand the global gag rule, which denies U.S. funding to foreign NGOs that provide abortion care or abortion counseling. “The global gag rule and the Trump administration’s proposed expansion is a gross display of Christian Nationalism’s international reach into reproductive rights,” commented FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
We put an end to school fundraising for Franklin Graham’s group
We persuaded a Kansas school district to discontinue fundraising for a proselytizing Christian organization by educating officials about the real intent of the Franklin Graham-headed Samaritan’s Purse (the entity in question).
“A lot of these groups rely on school authorities being ignorant about their mission,” said Annie Laurie. “We appreciate how swiftly the district discontinued the fundraising after our alert.”
A secular and feminist performer on our TV show
Our guest on our Sunday TV show is a performer who seamlessly weaves in secular and feminist themes into her music. Shelley Segal is an Australian-born singer-songwriter who now lives in California. The show debuts her music video, “Holy Man,” and features her live performance of the nontheistic “My Morality.” You can already catch the newest episode of “Freethought Matters” on our YouTube channel. Or find out where you can watch the show on Sunday.
A double interview treat
We have a double interview treat on our radio show this week. FFRF Legal Fellow Brendan Johnson describes the amicus brief we filed with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Then we speak with London based-investigative reporter Nandini Archer of Open Democracy about the group’s shocking expose´, “Revealed: $280 million of ‘dark money’ spent by US Christian Right groups globally,” which implicates Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.
Annie Laurie has a fun recount in her new column about how acceptance of “alternative facts” has now evolved into “alternative reality” for some seemingly unhinged preachers who are denying the Biden win and beseeching God for an alternative outcome. Read the piece for amusement — and for a peek into truly bizarre mindsets.
The ultimate question before us
Veteran writer and freethinker Jim Haught in his blog this week ponders the ultimate question before us.
“Is there a supernatural god who may burn you forever in fire after you die?” he asks. “If the answer is yes, it’s the most crucial fact of human life. But if no such god exists, religions have committed millennia of fraud and deception.”
We, of course, operate on the latter assumption — and with your help we aim to spread that freethinking notion everywhere.