Weekly Report: We’re making things more exciting

We’re making things more exciting
Every once in a while, we at the Freedom From Religion Foundation venture into unexpected directions to make things more exciting.

Be a Halloween star!
What better time to do that than in the days leading up to Halloween? That’s why a highlight this week was our launching of the “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell” campaign that gives all of you the chance to be a star. We’re inviting freethinkers to follow Ron Reagan’s lead in his famous ad for us and declare their independence from religion (and its empty threats). Try it out! It’s an (unbelievable) chance for you to be in the spotlight as a proud nonbeliever.

A free-spirited secular discussion
In the same free spirit, we unveiled our “Secular Town Hall,” the first ever of its kind. Focusing on America’s fastest-growing religious demographic (the “Nones”), the participants answered host Emmy-winning science journalist Cara Santa Maria’s questions on topics such as: “Are there secret atheists in Congress?” “Has Google replaced God for Millennials?” and “Does belief in an afterlife make people indifferent to climate change?” Watch this engaging discussion.

Our Ask an Atheist Facebook Live feature focuses on the Town Hall, too.


A bit astray but still a core concern
We intervened in Colorado over an issue that may seem a bit astray but is actually a core concern of ours: vouchers. We filed a friend of the court brief on behalf of a nonprofit in its ongoing litigation against a Colorado school district’s voucher program aiding religious schools. “The coercive taxing power of the government should not be wielded to oblige Muslims to bankroll temples and yeshivas, or to compel Jews to subsidize Christian churches and Catholic schools, or to force Christians to fund mosques and madrassas,” the brief states. No compulsion in the name of religion!Play the game, guys!
We also did our regular stuff, and got some media coverage in the process.“A high school in Birmingham, Alabama, accused of violating the First Amendment for broadcasting prayers before school football games may have to stop the practice after a religious freedom organization voiced concern,” a local Fox news station reported. “The Hewitt-Trussville City School District received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) this week requesting the district’s high school stop playing a prayer ahead of games because, according to the letter, ‘Public school events must be secular to protect the freedom of conscience of all students.’”

You betcha, y’all.

We actually managed to put an end to a similarly troubling practice at a Georgia high school: a coach praying with his players. After we contacted the district, it promptly responded that the superintendent has met with the principals of all three high schools to ask staff to cut it out.

Yipee!

Keep police departments secular
And in a realm far removed from sports, we objected to a religious chaplaincy program at the  Iowa City Police Department.

“Religious chaplains inject a sectarian coloration into what should be a secular police department that is welcoming of all citizens,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The Iowa City Police Department shouldn’t be favoring and promoting religion in this way.”

With your support, we take on these targets high and low — and keep on persisting. A major focus of ours this year has been the slew of bad Trump judicial appointments.

A terrible Trump nominee
On our bite-sized Newsbite segment, watch FFRF Attorney and Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel discuss a particularly horrible one, a nominee who has called transgender children “part of Satan’s plan.”


The offbeat, the regular, the victories, the persisting toward wins — all of this we are able to do only because of you.Happy freethinking Halloween!

P.S. On our radio show this week, we discuss our just-launched visual media campaign and the Secular Town Hall and then listen to an excerpt from newly appointed New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg’s FFRF convention speech about Trump and Christian nationalism.

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