Sadly, the summer days are running out (and becoming noticeably shorter), but we still put in a full week’s work at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, fighting for you and our Constitution.
We’ve been busy again this week across the board and across the country. Here’s a sampling of what we’ve been up to . . .
Judge goes secular
FFRF was able to convince an Ohio judge to stop religious activity in his courtroom. We had received a report that Judge Richard Wetzel regularly invited a prayer group to use the courthouse for religious activities — even involving them in legal proceedings that he felt “have a particular need for prayer.”
“Please be advised that, in response to your letter, the court will discontinue the practice of allowing the prayer group use of the courthouse,” Wetzel wrote.
Boom! Another victory for FFRF!
FFRF continues its Georgia billboard campaign in suburban Atlanta with two new additions this month. “Enjoy life now — There is no afterlife” and “The only wall we need is between church and state” appear on two separate billboards, both sponsored by Jack Egger, who you can read about in the upcoming September issue of Freethought Today!
Stop the Kavanaugh hearing!
While we battle for state-church separation daily, we can’t do it all on our own. Besides your generosity as members of FFRF, we also ask of you to help in other ways. This week, we asked you to contact your senators to delay the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. If you haven’t yet, please call (202) 224-3121 and let your voice be heard!
Access to Freethought Now! is free and we never run ads. But we would sure appreciate your help keeping it that way.
Black Skeptics of LA scholarships
For the fourth year, FFRF is giving $10,000 in scholarship awards to four students in partnership with Black Skeptics of Los Angeles, an African-American atheist community group.
The Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award is divided evenly among four outstanding secular students of color who are first in their families to attend college. You can read excerpts of their essays in the next issue of Freethought Today.
FFRF teams up with ACLU groups
FFRF, in partnership with the ACLU of Florida and the ACLU of Florida’s Central Chapter, renewed requests for Kissimmee, Fla., to rescind its “Call to Fast and Prayer” event.
The City of Kissimmee initiated a proclamation signed by Mayor Jose Alvarez, calling in part for “Forty days of prayer for peace, justice, love and solidarity between men and women of all faiths, and invite[s] all residents to join them in this celebration by praying.”
Tell your friends: It’s time to quit the Catholic Church
And the big religious news of the week is, of course, the Pennsylvania grand jury report that shows at least 300 priests have sexually abused at least 1,000 young victims over a 70-year period and the massive cover-up by church authorities.
“If you stand by the Catholic Church, if you donate time and money to this organization, you are complicit. There is no way around it. This will not be the last report. It will not be the worst report. It’s just the latest in a long line. And we all know this to be true,” FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew L. Seidel writes in a blog post.
You can watch Seidel discuss this issue briefly on this week’s News Bites video.
This week’s segment on “FFRF’s Ask an Atheist” features a topic where many of our state-church violations occur — public schools. Dan Barker, Andrew Seidel and Staff Attorney Elizabeth Cavell discuss the top five state/church violations in public schools in this lively production
Give a listen to Freethought Radio
This week on Freethought Radio, after hearing the song “Check It Out,” which FFRF Co-President Dan Barker wrote when he was transitioning out of the ministry more than 30 years ago, we talk with former Catholic priest Stephen Uhl, a long-time generous FFRF member, about why he left the priesthood and what he is doing to bolster secular public education.
Thanks for reading, and more importantly, for being a member of FFRF and helping us fight for you! We couldn’t do it without you. Have a great weekend everyone!
Freethought Today editor