Freethought NOW!

Kavanaugh, Roy Moore, Ted Cruz — and so much more

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What a week! Like many of you, we’ve been riveted by the hearings surrounding the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A showdown is coming soon with a floor vote. Check out FFRF’s automated action alerts to contact your senators. By the way, we can text you national action alerts. Text FFRF to 52886 to get such alerts in the future.

But even with how important the Kavanaugh episode is, we’ve not let that monopolize our attention.So we took on another controversial figure with a judicial background: former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. He has started a group, the Foundation for Moral Law, with the purpose of imposing religion. When we recently and successfully intervened in a case of prayer being broadcast at public school football games in his home state, he held a press conference to denounce us. We riposted.

“The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Foundation for Moral Law, saying that Moore is seeking to ‘establish Christianity as the paramount law of the land,’” an Alabama news site reports. “It also outlines what it describes as errors of Moore’s interpretation of law and describes his efforts as ‘treasonous.’ The letter, dated Tuesday, concludes, ‘We are sorry to see you continue your shameful and ignorant posturing.’”

We don’t believe it necessary to be falsely polite when it comes to folks like Roy Moore — or Sen. Ted Cruz.

That’s why when Cruz recently repeated a tired old canard about the absence of school prayer being responsible for shootings in schools, we immediately set him straight. “If prayers prevented shootings, we would not expect to see shootings at private Christian schools, and certainly never at Christian churches,” we pointed out.

Sweet victories

In the midst of taking on these guys, we obtained a couple of sweet victories.

“The Dixie State University Inn removed all religious texts from its rooms over the summer following constitutional concerns from guests,” reports a Utah paper. “According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a University Inn guest made a complaint after she found two copies of the Book of Mormon in her room during her stay. She also reported she found a copy of the bible in another room on a separate occasion.”

FFRF has previously gotten religious texts similarly removed from the University of Wisconsin, Northern Illinois University and the University of Iowa. Watch FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line pithily explain on our “Newsbite” segment why we do this — and why it matters.

Chris was on our radio show this week to talk about the Dixie State and other recent victories. Then, FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor interviewed biographer Angelica Shirley Carpenter about her new book, the long-overdue first biography of a 19th-century freethinking feminist, Born Criminal: Matilda Joslyn Gage, Radical Suffragist. Dan and Annie Laurie also dissected the “Values Voter Summit.” It’s chilling.

We caused county commissioners in West Virginia to rewrite policies regarding religious banners after we objected to Christian signs hanging from a courthouse gazebo. “We are very pleased that the county ensured that the promotion of religion on public land would not continue and that the courthouse lawn would remain free from religious coercion,” remarked Annie Laurie.And we educated a Massachusetts school district about secularism, making it promise to keep its graduation ceremonies free from religion.

Some schools deserve detention

We protested religious public school events — before and after the fact.

When we learned about possible teacher and adult involvement at the annual See You at the Pole Christian event on Wednesday in a Texas school district, we warned school officials about it. And we chastised a Louisiana school district over unconstitutional prayer gatherings (involving a pastor and district employees!)  that recently took place at many of its schools.

Watch Maryam Namazie and the Secular Student Alliance

Our TV show, “Freethought Matters,” is going great guns. An interview with internationally renowned human rights activist and feminist Maryam Namazie will be broadcast Sunday morning in several cities around the country: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland (Ore.), Sacramento (Calif.), Seattle, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Check the listings for your area! In our hometown of Madison, Wis., Dan and Annie Laurie’s interview with Kevin Bolling, the executive director of the Secular Student Alliance, will be aired Sunday night at 11 p.m. on Channel 3.

Cheers for the Congressional Freethought Caucus!

We had something to make us really happy this week. We publicly rejoiced when the most invaluable caucus in Congress — the Congressional Freethought Caucus — doubled in sized within a few months of its inception. “With its membership quickly increasing, it’ll become an even more effective group advocating for freethinkers and secular folks around the country,” commented Dan Barker.Of course, “advocating for freethinkers and secular folks around the country” is what we do day in and day out — regardless of what’s in the news. And we’re able to do all of this only because of you.

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