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Mitch McConnell, Clarence Thomas, ex-NFL preachers and baptizing sheriffs

Mitch McConnell, Clarence Thomas, ex-NFL pastors, sheriffs — we at the Freedom From Religion Foundation tangled with a lot of people this week.

We condemned McConnell’s spurious assertion about nonreligious Americans celebrating the disastrous recent Supreme Court rulings. “We are not celebrating that states are mandated to provide taxpayer dollars to discriminatory religious schools providing religious instruction in programs meant to provide a public education to rural students,” stated a letter spearheaded by the Secular Coalition of America and signed by us along with 19 other organizations.

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Countering Clarence Thomas
We were delighted when the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation codifying rights endangered by the extremist Supreme Court. This is in direct response to alarming statements in the Roe repeal ruling by Justice Clarence Thomas, who is clearly licking his chops over the prospect of revoking other landmark judgments establishing a right to privacy. The measures to codify the right to contraception and marriage (including by LGBTQ and interracial) are now pending in the Senate, and you can persuade your senators to vote for them by clicking on the respective links.

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Ex-NFL preacher barred due to us
We persuaded an Illinois school district to cease permitting proselytization jamborees during the school day, such as a recent one headlined by a former NFL player who is now a pastor. “We will refrain from allowing such events to occur in the future,” Community High School District 218 Assistant Superintendent Greg Walder formally responded to us.

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No baptismals in detention centers!
Stop organizing baptismals, we told an Indiana sheriff. There have reportedly been a large number of Christian baptisms inside the Decatur County Detention Center. “This is an appalling misuse of official resources,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor remarked.

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Penalize a brazen preacher, we ask the IRS
A couple of pastors rubbed us the wrong way.

The IRS must immediately take action against a politicking Arizona church that is openly challenging the tax agency, we demanded. The Redeemer Apostolic Church in Mesa, Ariz., recently hosted Pastor Joshua Feuerstein to perform a prayer revival event, who defiantly endorsed Jerone Davison’s candidacy for the U.S. Congress. “Pastor Feuerstein knowingly and flippantly disregarded the law,” FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line wrote to the IRS.

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No police chaplains please
Discontinue your police chaplaincy, we advised an Ohio police department. Government and religion do not mix — and going by a recent profile in the local newspaper of the new chaplain of the Mansfield Police Division, religion forms the overwhelming part of the church pastor’s worldview.

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We announced the Lorraine Hansberry scholarships
On a more positive note, we announced in association with the Women’s Leadership Project the awardees of the Hansberry Humanist Scholarship Awards. This honors Lorraine Hansberry, the playwright, who, most famously, wrote “A Raisin in the Sun.” Congratulations to the winners!

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The history of Black freethinkers
For our Facebook Live feature “Ask an Atheist,” we played a speech from our convention last year in Boston about the history of Black freethinkers. The speaker is Professor Christopher Cameron, author of the new book Black Freethinkers: A History of African American Secularism and the founder of the African American Intellectual History Society. Watch the presentation here.

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REAL wellness through freed from religion
On this week’s Freethought Radio show, after hearing a sneak preview of the Godless Gospel song “Life Is Good,” we talk with U.S. and world triathlon and duathlon champion Don Ardell about his newest book, Freedom From Religion in 30 Days: A REAL Wellness Approach to Critical Thinking, Exuberance and Personal Freedoms.

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Roe repeal looses anarchy
Two of our blogs this week focus on the Supreme Court’s recent reversal of Roe v. Wade and its social ramifications. “Things — as in rights and lives — are falling apart rapidly in the United States following the high court’s capricious and cruel decision to overturn the constitutional right to abortion,” Annie Laurie writes in a blog that riffs off of Yeats’ “The Second Coming.”

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We need to stand up for the truth
Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez urges us to stand up for facts — not fiction — on the abortion issue and has some suggestions for that. “Let’s work together for a future where science, logic and reasoning prevail,” she concludes.

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Northern Ireland’s horrific history
Veteran freethinker and writer Jim Haught provides us with a history lesson on Northern Ireland to mark the imminent departure of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “Back in 1986, I went with an editor group to that part of the world and saw religio-political horror in full bloom,” he writes, and warns that the fragile peace there may be in jeopardy due to Johnson’s Brexit gambit.

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The Senate, the Supreme Court, abortion rights, Northern Ireland — we sure covered a lot of territory in a single week, and it was all all due to your unstinting generosity and support.

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