Some weeks are big for us here at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and other weeks are even bigger. This week was definitely on the bigger end of the spectrum.
We sued Congress!
FFRF took Congress to court after a year of being stonewalled by the House chaplain and his staff. FFRF Co-President Dan Barker had asked to be allowed to give an invocation as an atheist and was refused on specious grounds, leaving us with no choice but to sue. FFRF filed the lawsuit on the National Day of Prayer to highlight its dubiousness. The suit has welcomingly gotten a lot of media coverage, including a big piece in the Washington Post and an Associated Press story.
Get rid of the huge cross!
Another lawsuit of ours that is getting a good amount of media play is one that we jointly filed this week with the American Humanist Association against the city of Pensacola, Fla., for its refusal to get rid of a huge cross in a public park. Here, too, FFRF (and the Humanists) went to court after a long, frustrating experience with the city.
No busing to church!
The artificially big event that the National Day of Prayer has become caused us to warn an Arkansas school district to to bus its students to a church in celebration of the day. FFRF intervened in the nick of time and got the district to partially back away from its involvement.
And no Christian revivalism
Another victory we had was in West Virginia, where a preacher went around holding Christian revival-style events. The Mingo County Schools district assured us that this will not happen in the future, and that all the staff had been trained to make sure of that.
We took on NASCAR!
FFRF takes consumer complaints, as well as state/church actions. We were in such an expansive mood that we even took on NASCAR, asking our members to tell the organization to take heed of its nonbelieving fans and end the practice of praying at its races. “Turning left isn’t just for the religious right,” we informed NASCAR.
No trusting God in schools
We also focused on the Pennsylvania Statehouse, requesting our members in the state to contact their state senator to stop a House bill that would insert “In God We Trust” in schools. Not a good idea.
So many errant school boards
It was truly so big a week for us that we combined five recent separate letters to school boards and a city council into a press release asking them to stop opening their session with a prayer. They need to do the legal and right thing.
Let people choose their license plate
We also focused on the small but no less important. FFRF intervened on behalf of a person who was denied an “IM GOD” plate by the Kentucky DMV. None of the given reasons passed muster, we informed the state of Kentucky.
Stop behaving like this
We admonished the city of Warren in Michigan for throwing out of city hall a Reason Station that FFRF had helped get in there after a long legal battle. It seems that the city thought that the station and its operator (Doug Marshall) were coming in the way of National Day of Prayer celebrations. Or perhaps the city just didn’t want freethought views around for such an event.
A solution for Wisconsin “Jesus Lunches”
We continued to fight locally against a proselytizing weekly school lunch. Due to a “Jesus Lunch” organized by Christian parents at the nearby Middleton High School, there’s been a lot of negativity. FFRF has a suggestion for a solution that could end this bad blood and divisiveness.
A big case, but not a big windfall
In spite of such a big and busy week, we thought it important to remind you that we didn’t make a bundle off of our recent legal victory over the Chino Valley School Board. The victory was big, but not financially.
What makes our work so big is all of you—and your invaluable support. Without you, we’d be nothing.