Freethought NOW!

Victories, billboards and nationwide advocacy

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We have been hard at work this week here at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

We wrote to a Utah school district to once again object to its hypocritical vote earlier this week restoring the King James Bible to lower grade libraries while keeping many other book bans in place. Our statements calling out the district’s double standard have been picked up by ABC4 in Davis County, Utah.

Recognition for a Lifetime Member in a landmark ruling
We were delighted to see the Washington Post’s tribute today to Ellery Schempp, a Lifetime Member of FFRF. Schempp was the student protester behind the 60-year-old landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in Abington v. Schempp, which declared bible readings in public schools unconstitutional.

A victory in Texas
We are pleased to report that the Dickinson Independent School District in Texas will no longer include proselytizing remarks in future graduation ceremonies. After voicing concerns, FFRF received an email response from the superintendent stating, “Dickinson ISD will promptly address this concern, and we will ensure that all future school-sponsored events respect the First Amendment rights of students and their families.” Yay!

Keep God out of Little League
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With the help of an area member, we rented a billboard in Chico, Calif., to send a message to a local Little League team about its exclusionary religious prayer pledge, which is recited at the opening of each tournament. The local FFRF member who generously underwrote the cost of the billboard explains: “As a secular member of the community, I found it disappointing that youth Little League baseball would subject kids to such a coercive and divisive ceremony.”

Ignorant comment by U.S. senator
Following an embarrassing tweet exemplifying white Christian nationalist attitudes on slavery by Sen. Josh Hawley on Juneteenth, we evaluated just a few of the many mentions of slavery in the bible and corrected Hawley’s offensively incorrect comment. Hawley is doing the Show-Me State disservice with his statements.

Continuing the nationwide fight for state/church separation
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We raised constitutional concerns this week in Oklahoma, Alabama, New York and FFRF’s home state of Wisconsin.

We are condemning the Oklahoma state superintendent of education, who just yesterday called for the promotion of Christianity and “Western heritage” in every classroom, including display of the Ten Commandments.

FFRF Staff Attorney Chris Line sent a letter to a city council in Alabama after a Christian foster care community sought taxpayer funds to fulfill its Christian mission and construct a new compound, which includes a chapel.

In Wisconsin, our legal team has moved to file a friend-of-the-court brief before the Wisconsin Supreme Court opposing the argument by five religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations that they should be exempted from paying into the state unemployment system. Creating an exemption would have a profound, detrimental impact on Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance program and the many health care or educational workers who would lose those protections.

A conversation with a Catholic journalist
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This week on Freethought Radio, after reporting state/church victories and complaints, co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor spoke with Catholic journalist Mary Jo McConahay about her new book, Playing God: American Catholic Bishops and the Far Right, exposing the bishops’ growing role in promoting Christian nationalism.

An upcoming Supreme Court decision
This week’s episode of FFRF’s “Ask an Atheist” is a timely rerun covering the Groff v. Dejoy case, a Supreme Court decision regarding religious exemptions in the workplace that will be handed down in the very near future. Learn about the case as our hosts evaluate the arguments made during the hearing.

Passing on euphemisms
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FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor urges in a blog that we omit the euphemisms “pass on” or “pass away” when we talk about death.

“The derivation for ‘passing’ is most certainly religious. ‘Passing’ refers to passing from this world to another,” she writes. “The insistence on using a euphemism for death is part of religion’s triumphalist delusion.”

Anniversary of Dobbs ruling
Annie Laurie wrote another piece upon the first anniversary of the Dobbs ruling, looking at the damaging consequences, inflamed debate and deepened division that have transpired since.

“Justice Alito: It is time to heed the Constitution and leave the decision about abortion not to you, the Catholic Church or elected officials, but to those people facing unwanted pregnancies,” she concludes.

Action Fund highlights
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FFRF’s Action Fund, the lobbying arm of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, has been very busy this week, as well.

The FFRF Action Fund applauded the passing of Resolution 074, which made Dane County, Wis., the home of FFRF Action Fund, a sanctuary for trans and nonbinary individuals.

Michigan also earned applause from FFRF Action Fund after the Legislature there passed crucial legislation banning child marriage without exception. This is a significant step toward protecting young girls from being forced into marriage.

Despite some positive news, the FFRF Action Fund raised concerns that as the Republican presidential candidates start their politicking for the highest office, it is being accompanied by prolific pandering with a definite Christian nationalist flavor.

The FFRF Action Fund declared N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper “Secularist of the Week” for his leadership in continuing to champion legal abortion. In contrast,, New York City Mayor Eric Adams was named “Theocrat of the Week” for continuing to use his office to promote his embarrassing personal religious beliefs.

Thank you so much for making all of our work this week possible!

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