An unconstitutional tie-up, a lively debate, a Black skeptic, and 90 years of progress

An unconstitutional tie-up, a lively debate, a Black skeptic, and 90 years of progress February 26, 2021

Even in a comparatively light week, we had a lot going on at the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

We demanded that a North Carolina school district terminate its unconstitutional teamwork with a local church. Thanks to a local complainant, we’ve learned that the church intends to include a gym for school sports teams, a banquet hall available for school use, areas for teachers to hold meetings and perhaps even a pool for the school swim team. Stop this, we’re insisting!

FFRF took on Christian nationalists
FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel sparred with Christian apologist Tom Trento about “Does the God of the Bible Exist” in a debate organized by Trento’s United West, a hardcore Christian nationalist group.  Andrew is a pro at this. Watch him score points!

‘Unapologetically Black, feminist and heretical’
We’ve been getting the freethought message out through all sorts of broadcast media. Our guest on our  “Freethought Matters” TV show this Sunday is a Black skeptic, humanist activist and author. Sikivu Hutchinson, founder of Black Skeptics Los Angeles, talks on the show about her latest book, Humanists In The Hood: Unapologetically Black, Feminist, and Heretical, mentioning fascinating details about Frederick Douglass’ and A. Philip Randolph’s freethinking. Hutchinson’s many books and plays also include Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and The Values War and White Nights, Black Paradise (on Rev. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana, infamy). You can watch the show on our YouTube channel right now. Or find out where you can catch it this Sunday.

Making the journey to atheism
We rebroadcast our “Ask an Atheist” Facebook Live feature from last week, in which Andrew had a fascinating chat with actress Alice Greczyn (“Lincoln Heights”) regarding her new book, Wayward: A Memoir of Spiritual Warfare and Sexual Purity. It tells the story of her transition from belief to atheism — and how it inspired her to set up a resource to help others in similar situations. Due to a technical glitch, it was not live last week and we want to be sure you don’t miss it.

Evolution, communication and nonbelief
On our radio show, co-hosts Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor first talk with FFRF intern and blogger Barbara Alvarez about her latest column on a bad South Carolina abortion law (more on that in a bit) and a recent one dealing with how members of Congress are being shunned by their evangelical families for voting to certify the president. Then they interview Professor James Lull on his book Evolutionary Communication: An Introduction, linking the development of ideas and ideology.

A national threat to women’s rights?
Barbara critiques the shameful near-total abortion ban that South Carolina legislators have passed. She warns that this is quite possibly a precursor to a national-level threat to abortion rights.

“South Carolina’s move to ban abortion is a paternalistic action that claims to know what is best for women, their families, lives and futures,” she concludes. “In doing so, it rejects the human right to bodily autonomy and favors religious motivations. This abortion ban has dangerous consequences not just for women in South Carolina, but throughout our country.”

A lifetime of progress
Our other regular blogger, veteran freethinker and writer Jim Haught, has written a poignant, yet hopeful column applauding progress during his 90 years of existence. “Looking back over nine decades, I’m proud and pleased because secular humanism — the progressive struggle to make life better for everyone — won so many victories during my time,” he writes.

Mobilizing you
We were also busy mobilizing you this week. We asked you to call on Congress to immediately pass the long-overdue Equality Act, a critical piece of legislation extending  federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. (The House did approve it overwhelmingly — and so, see, we got it done!) And we requested our Colorado members to urge their Legislature to pass a good bill that would expand the rights of survivors of child sexual abuse.

It’s amazing how much we’re able to accomplish with your assistance — even in a slightly less frantic week.

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