Donald Trump, a prayer breakfast, Black History Month — and a debate with God

Donald Trump, a prayer breakfast, Black History Month — and a debate with God February 7, 2020

The president of the United States and his minions kept our hands full this week.

When we learned a day ahead of his State of the Union address that Trump was going to tout highly problematic voucher schemes, we rushed out a denouncement.

“This voucher proposal is an affront to our constitutionally mandated separation of state and church,” said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Religious education should not be subsidized with public money.”

Trump had some troubling things to add in his speech Tuesday night regarding the state of “religious freedom” in the country, and we quickly offered a rebuttal.

“Our Constitution does not belong to the Christian Nationalists, the Religious Right or any sect or creed,” we concluded. “It belongs to We the People — all the people. And FFRF is fighting to ensure that America will continue to embrace that eternal truth.”

Trump also expectedly made an appearance at a constitutionally questionable annual shindig in D.C. — an event that we condemn every year. “Tomorrow, Feb. 6, the Washington establishment, with President Trump leading the way, will once again flout constitutional principles at a gala prayer event in the nation’s capital,” we warned.

FFRF Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne in our “Newsbite” segment concisely explains the genesis of the National Prayer Breakfast — and why we have consistently opposed it.

While Trump has been spouting dubious rhetoric about “religious freedom,” his administration has been busy trying to get alarming new discriminatory regulations put into place under the same notion. Eight extremely influential federal agencies have proposed changes to the rules governing how they work with religious organizations. The public comment period for all of these proposed changes has been done concurrently in attempt to overwhelm us into inaction. All comments are due by Tuesday, Feb. 18. Please weigh in!

Our pantheon of black freethinkers
But even Trump and his folks weren’t able to monopolize our attention. On the occasion of Black History Month, we updated our pantheon of freethinking African-Americans. Did you know, for example, that singer John Legend thinks religion is “intended to control and subdue people rather than to bring out the best in them”? Check out our posting for other such quotations and facts.

Religion’s pernicious role in African-American history
Religion has certainly played a negative role in African-American history, and we have on our “Freethought Matters” TV show this week a filmmaker and author whose work has focused on that. Jeremiah Camara is the director and producer of the new documentary “Holy Hierarchy The Religious Roots Of Racism In America,” as well as the film “Contradiction.” He is the author of the books Holy Lockdown: Does The Church Limit Black Progress? and The New Doubting Thomas: The Bible, Black Folks & Blind Belief. And he is the creator of the widely watched YouTube series “Slave Sermons.” Find out where you can watch him this Sunday. Or you can always catch the show on our YouTube channel.


Camara is also the centerpiece of our commemoration of Black History Month on our radio show this week. We play an extended excerpt of his speech at our most recent convention, and also hear a Paul Robeson song and celebrate other black nonbelievers.

No funding of a Christian university
As part of our work to keep state and church separate, we asked a Kentucky city to look into possible misuse of official funds by a local Christian university. “Harrodsburg taxpayers deserve transparency and confidence that their tax dollars are not improperly funding the religious mission of a private university,” commented FFRF Co-President Dan Barker.

A debate with God
On a lighter note, FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel recently debated God on YouTube. Watch the hilarious exchanges.

Whether we’re taking on Trump or God, we’re able to tackle these characters only due to the fact that you have our back.

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