There’s so much we have to share with you about what we’ve been up to in the past couple of weeks.
Our objection to a student prayer broadcast at an Alabama high school’s football game has gotten a good amount of press attention.
“The Freedom from Religion Foundation made public Wednesday a letter it sent to the school district’s attorney shortly after the Aug. 26 incident at Gardendale High School, claiming the district reneged on its promise to no longer have prayers broadcast over PA systems at games and alleging the incidents violate the principle of separation of church and state,” states a major Alabama news portal.
An Alabama TV station reports, “The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) said it contacted Jefferson County Schools to warn that by scheduling and broadcasting prayer at school football games, it is in violation of longstanding case law.”
A preachy Virginia sheriff
Another complaint of ours, against an overreligious Virginia sheriff, is also creating media buzz.
“The Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office is under fire from the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Sheriff Brian Hieatt recently received a letter from the organization claiming that the Sheriff’s Office violated the separation of church and state by attending several Christian events and posting about them on the agency’s Facebook page,” reports a TV station in the state. “The Foundation says that this may alienate nonreligious people and discourage them from contacting the police for help.”
The IRS needs to punish a Houston church
These aren’t the only instances where we’ve flagged illegal behavior. Withdraw a politicking Houston church’s tax privileges, we are urging the IRS. “Such flagrantly partisan behavior on the part of a tax-exempt institution is inexcusable,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor remarks, insisting that the IRS take action at once.
Important state/church happenings that you may have missed
Annie Laurie has written a blog that will fill you in on several recent important state/church developments. “Discrimination against and exclusion of women and LGBTQ, plus phony health insurance … they’re all in a day’s work for the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the fundamentalist Protestants who want to pervert religious liberty from a shield into a weapon,” concludes her blog, which covers a wide array of topics (as you can see).
A freethinker intellectual extraordinaire
Annie Laurie also pays touching tribute to a recently deceased freethinker intellectual extraordinaire.
“Did you know that writer Barbara Ehrenreich, who died on Aug. 30 at age 81, coined the term ‘none’ to refer to us irreverent ones and nonbelievers?” her homage begins. “Today, Pew and other researchers commonly refer to ‘atheists, agnostics and nothing in particular’ as ‘Nones,’ a term FFRF is so pleased with, we even capitalize it.”
The dismal state of abortion rights
Another Barbara covers abortion rights for us; FFRF Contributing Writer Barbara Alvarez has a couple of well-written recent blogs on that subject. “Secular activists, the time is ripe to advocate for abortion,” she writes in her latest column, covering the downward trajectory of reproductive rights. In a previous blog, she outlined how parental consent laws for abortion are harmful, urging: “If you or someone you know lives in a state where parental involvement is required, it is important to know your rights.”
A Texas populist & a constitutional expert on our TV show
We have a broad array of offerings for you in a variety of media, including a couple of riveting interviews. Legendary Texas populist Jim Hightower has started off our fall TV season with a bang. “Our state has been taken over by a right-wing bunch of thugs who have gerrymandered the state and have basically been having a theocratic and a plutocratic and autocratic kleptocratic rule here,” he remarks on the show. (You can see him in person at our national convention in October.) And leading constitutional expert Professor Geoffrey Stone is the guest on our show this Sunday, focusing on the Supreme Court’s misbegotten recent abortion ruling. You can already watch the interview on our YouTube channel. Or find out where you can catch the show on Sunday.
Religion is out to discriminate
On our “Ask an Atheist” Facebook Live feature, FFRF Attorneys Patrick Elliott, Liz Cavell and Sam Grover warn how religion is coming for anti-discrimination laws (with a huge assist from the U.S. Supreme Court).
We interview a survivor of an extremist attack
We have scintillating guests on our radio show, too. Freethought Radio co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor speak with the brave freethinking Bangladeshi author and publisher of Shuddhashar (Free Voice) Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury (known as “Tutul”), who was attacked with machetes and guns by religious extremists and is now living in exile. And they interview Professor Adam B. Cohen about the study he co-authored for Perspectives on Psychological Science called “Is Religion Special?”
The endless absurdities of religion
Veteran writer and freethinker Jim Haught has a scathingly biting writing style and in his most recent column, he trains his mordant wit yet again on religion.
“It’s often said that everyone should respect the ‘great truths’ contained in all faiths,” he concludes. “If you see any, please let me know.”
We at FFRF feel the same way — which is why, with your support, we try to make sure that faith stays miles away from our government.