Freethought NOW!

Receiving media attention, dealing with death, nurturing youth, and reaching out

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After our recent foray into Capitol Hill, the Freedom From Religion Foundation got back to the basics this week: tackling regional issues around the nation and obtaining ample media attention in the process.

Cancel the worship service

Our warning to an Alabama school district about an upcoming officially endorsed religious ceremony has received a flurry of media coverage.

“A back-to-school worship service in DeKalb County could be in jeopardy,” an area TV station reports. “The Freedom From Religion Foundation claims the service, to be held Sunday at Fyffe High School, violates the Constitution and separation of church and state.”

Our claims are grounded in fact.

Remove the crosses

The media has also given airtime to our censure of a Mississippi school district for posting crosses all over school property.

“A group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation is protesting signs posted at several schools because they have a cross on them,” reports a Mississippi TV station. “The signs read ‘passion, purpose, pride #gcstrong.’ The foundation claims it’s an unconstitutional religious display.”

There’s a good reason we’re saying that.

We’re warning you, Florida fundamentalist legislator

Our advice to a Florida state lawmaker over her religious misuse of social media is also drawing notice.

“A legal nonprofit is warning state Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, to stop blocking constituents from commenting on or reacting to her Facebook posts,” states a Florida television station. “The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote to Daniels on July 23 because someone in her district complained she was blocking people who criticized her religious posts on the page titled State Representative Kimberly Daniels.”

Daniels, you may recall, believes in witches and exorcisms.

Don’t allow missionaries into public schools

Just this morning, we publicized to the media a recent letter asking a North Carolina school district to stop giving a religious group regular access to its schoolkids. We’re confident this will also receive good media play.

Coping with death in a secular way

We believe in utilizing other mediums effectively, too. On our radio show this week, we spoke about the unwarranted South Dakota law that’s imposing “In God We Trust” on public schools. (Our opposition to the legislation, by the way, has received lots of news coverage.) Then, we interviewed an impressive young winner of our annual high-school essay contest. We ended on a poignant note by talking with a former long-time evangelical pastor, Dave Warnock, now an atheist who was recently diagnosed with ALS, about his “Dying Out Loud” campaign regarding how a nonbeliever deals with a terminal illness.

Hurrah to our freethinking interns!

We used our “Newsbite” segment this week to inform you of an invaluable initiative we launched a decade ago: our legal internship program. FFRF Legal Director Rebecca Markert recounts why we started it — and informs us about how many former interns have gone on to accomplish a lot. One engaging intern makes a cameo appearance.

We’ve been busy reaching out

Our co-presidents were strenuously spreading the freethought message on the road in recent days. FFRF Co-President Dan Barker took a trip to England, where he was as busy as a beaver. Of his five events, including in Liverpool and Manchester, the standouts were a piano concert in London at a fundraiser for Humanists International and his Cambridge speech at a Rationalists International conference. Meanwhile, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor headed west to Denver to speak at a Colorado secular gathering co-sponsored by our Denver FFRF chapter. This is part of our never-ending campaign to engage with and educate the public.

Whether it’s receiving media play, nurturing freethinking interns or reaching out to the community, we are able to do it only because of you and your kindheartedness.

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