We at the Freedom From Religion Foundation were in multimedia mode this week.
We received a bunch of traditional press coverage. An article about a lawsuit we have filed against the state of Arkansas to have a Ten Commandments monolith removed from the Capitol grounds was picked up by a bunch of news outlets.
“Sam Grover with the Freedom from Religion Foundation represents some of the local opposition,” said the piece. “‘Our country is founded on a godless Constitution and the Bill of Rights that follows. Our country is founded on the idea of religious pluralism. The strength of our nation is that the government does not tell people what to believe and how to believe,’ Grover stated.”
What a great quote, Sam!
A Catholic publication quoted FFRF Attorney Patrick Elliott on a case filed by a bookstore owner even more contrived than the website designer case that the Supreme Court unfortunately legitimized in a terrible recent decision.
“Both cases involve business owners who seek to undercut anti-discrimination protections. That is where the similarities end,” Patrick Elliott, FFRF senior counsel, told the National Catholic Register. “The Queen of Angels case seems to be factually different and entirely manufactured. Federal courts are unlikely to find that they have the ability to issue a decision when the claims are entirely speculative.”
Great for a paper that doesn’t quite agree with us to reach out to our group for a different perspective!
Patrick also got extensively quoted by a West Virginia paper regarding a lawsuit we have filed against a school system in the state for a Christian revival at a high school there.
“According to Patrick Elliott, a lawyer with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a settlement could be reached in the next couple of weeks,” reported the Herald-Dispatch. “‘The parties are working on a settlement, and we don’t expect this will be dismissed (July 11), but probably within about 30 days or so,’ Elliott said.”
A story about how we helped a mom goes viral
A website dedicated to viral social media content has actually done a long piece about a mother who contacted us to stop her son’s public school from taking him to a creationist-themed zoo. Read the fun story here.
Media covers our request to Wis. county board
A request from us to a Wisconsin county board asking it to remove anti-freethought language from a recent resolution got a bunch of media play. The local paper, the Green Bay-Gazette, ran a story (unfortunately behind a paywall), and Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta ran a detailed post on the episode, which you can read here.
We are also requesting an apology from a supervisor in our home county for recent unprovoked attacks against the nonbelieving community. Despite the resurgence of Christian nationalism across the country, citizens are free to believe or disbelieve and the government is not free to take sides, we emphasized.
Our Denver billboard defends free speech
A billboard of ours is ardently defending free speech in the Mile High City. A 14-by-48-foot billboard co-sponsored by our Denver chapter proclaiming “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading” (an Isaac Asimov quote) has gone up for four weeks in Denver. “We agree with the great Isaac Asimov that if a book is worth banning, it must be worth reading,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
Speaking of censorship . . .
Our legal team got out a rapid letter today to the Leon County Schools, Fla., demanding it must ban the bible as well, after removing five books due to sexual and violent content at the request of Moms for Liberty. “The district cannot ban books because it disagrees with the viewpoint expressed while allowing other sexually explicit books, like the bible, because it supports their viewpoint,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line writes. Of course, FFRF makes clear we oppose banning books, but that religious zealots can’t have it both ways.
An August freethought gathering in Canada
We have some exciting broadcast media offerings for you this week. On our “Ask an Atheist” Facebook Live feature, FFRF Co-President Dan Barker informed viewers about a late-August freethought meeting called BAHACON taking place in Canada. Joining him to speak more about the event were BAHACON organizer Robert Barnes and a featured speaker, Dave Warnock. Learn more about the gathering here.
Woody Guthrie’s dis of Trump’s dad
And on Freethought Radio, after the 1954 Woody Guthrie song “Ballad of Old Man Trump” (composed in dishonor of Donald Trump’s dad) was played, Professor and author Hector Garcia talks about “Apes, Gods and Reproductive Health Policy.” Listen in!
Arkansas governor is a Christian nationalist troll
A bunch of state officials incurred our ire this week — including in our blogs.
FFRF Attorney Chris Line took on Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders in his blog, contending that she is nothing but a Christian nationalist troll. “This is all, it seems, we can expect from her,” he concluded.
Target should ignore state AGs
And we asked Target to disregard a letter from some state attorneys general falsely insisting its current pride collection violates laws protecting minors and attacks religion.
“The seven attorneys general who shamefully co-signed this letter are clearly abusing their authority by attempting to impose their personal religion onto Target and its nationwide customers,” Annie Laurie said. “No business has to conform to a Christian nationalist agenda to operate.”
Atheists have bragging rights
Annie Laurie revealed some good news in a new blog: A recent poll on gender issues gives atheists bragging rights. Read here about how a deep dive into the survey provides the freethinking community something else to feel proud about.
John Adams disdained Christianity
Veteran freethinker and writer Jim Haught had a gratifying freethought history lesson this week: John Adams scorned Christianity (Haught provides the evidence). In fact, virtually none of our Founders was a traditional Christian, and Haught has a second similar piece on Thomas Jefferson next week.
How Ohio abortion rights activists are fighting back
FFRF Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez in her most recent blog is lauding Ohio abortion activists for fighting back. When the Ohio Legislature increased the threshold for the approval of a constitutional amendment from 50 percent to 60 percent, abortion rights advocates in Ohio got to work and gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures. “I hope that the incredible work of abortion advocates in Ohio is a harbinger for more constitutional amendments to protect abortion,” she writes.
Iowa abortion law has Christian nationalist intent
Alas, activists in other parts of the country will have to ramp up their efforts. FFRF’s lobbying arm, the FFRF Action Fund, condemned the Iowa Legislature’s passage of a six-week abortion ban during a special session called for this purpose by Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Christian nationalist. The Fund will continue to sound the alarm on authoritarian edicts issued by Christian nationalist legislators in Iowa and elsewhere.
Orchids and onions for two very different state-level folks
Nebraska state Sen. Megan Hunt received plaudits as its “Secularist of the Week” from FFRF Action Fund, FFRF’s lobbying arm, for suing an anti-LGBTQ group on grounds of defamation. Damned with the Fund’s “Theocrat of the Week” branding was Oklahoma’s former state Sen. Jason Rapert, who recently said: “My hope is that the people of this nation will reelect Jesus to be on the throne here again in our country.”
A salute to California Rep. Jared Huffman
FFRF Governmental Affairs Fellow Caitlin Berray wrote a piece saluting Rep. Jared Huffman on his perfect score on the new FFRF Action Fund dynamic scorecard. Find out how he attained it.
In various media — and in a variety of ways — we’re able to advance the secular agenda only because of you and your backing.