Dan Casey of The Roanoke Times wrote an article that is very entertaining if you take it sarcastically… and infuriating if you think he’s being serious.
It’s a fictional account of what goes on behind-the-scenes at the Freedom From Religion Foundation:
“Next we’ll hear from the atheist in charge of the Blue Ridge Mountains area. Lucifer — er, I meant Luke — can you give us a status report?”
“Happy to, madam chairwoman,” says Luke.
“As you know, we’ve been in a fierce court battle with the Giles County School Board over the hanging of the Ten Commandments in their high school. That’s been going on for about 18 months now.
A board member raises his hand. “Can the treasurer tell us how much money we raked in from this effort?”
“Sure,” the treasurer replies. “Let see. Here it is: $1,486,369. Most of it came from California.”
“Very nice,” the chairwoman says. “Any more from the Blue Ridge?”
“The issue has generated newspaper stories in Richmond and Roanoke, but it’s taken a back seat to another much bigger one in Pittsylvania, uranium mining. That’s getting most of the attention.”
Another board member raises her hand.
“And how much have we raised from this one?”
The treasurer shuffles through his papers. “Let’s see — so far, $84,791. And it’s not even our case. This one is totally the ACLU.”
Of course, the FFRF is hardly rolling in dough. Most of their donations go right back into activism, whether that means putting ads in newspapers, putting up new billboards, or adding to their already-swamped legal team. Seriously, I’ve visited their offices. It’s a cozy place…
Compare that to (just to name one religious group’s headquarters) the Focus on the Family headquarters:
Yep. FFRF, those greedy bastards.
Casey’s column (even if it’s joking) wrongly suggests that FFRF does what they do for money and not out of respect for the principle of church/state separation. FFRF believes that religion ought to be a private matter, not a government one. That’s the only reason they file their lawsuits, even if some of them may seem petty to the public.
***Update***: FFRF’s Andrew Seidel has responded to the piece here — I love this part:
Here is what I imagine was going through Mr. Casey’s head as he wrote [Warning: delving into the imaginary mental wanderings of people can be dangerous and often immature. Read on at your own risk.]:
“I really don’t like that nasty FFRF. It goes around helping local people stop violations of the Constitution. How will I ever know that my god is real if my leaders don’t mix him into the government? And what kind of people go around upholding the Constitution and advocating for the rights of minorities? Who do they think they are telling us, the Christian majority, that the law applies to us too? The gall of this cabal, sitting around thinking up nefarious ways of convincing courts to enforce the law. (Oooh, I’m a poet!) And then, believe it or not, courts actually agreeing that the law should be enforced!”