What a supremely important week for us at the Freedom From Religion Foundation!
We were kept in a hectic state by President Trump’s announcement of his Supreme Court pick, even more so because he chose to do it in the evening, primetime style. We had four pairs of press releases and action alerts ready to go, a set each for all the candidates on his presumed shortlist. Our picks were right on the mark, and when Brett Kavanaugh was announced, we sent out our condemnation within minutes.
“If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he will unquestionably eviscerate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment,” Religion News Service quoted FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor from our press release. “It seems unlikely the cherished wall of separation between state and church protecting true religious liberty could survive intact. Many of our hard-won freedoms would be gutted.” Our Strategic Response Team’s research on Kavanaugh shows true cause for alarm!
On our “Newsbite” segment, watch FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel discuss why Kavanaugh is so threatening to the First Amendment and the work we’re doing to expose his record.
On our “Ask an Atheist” Facebook Live feature, Andrew, along with Dan and Staff Attorney Ryan Jayne, talks about the menace that Kavanaugh poses to our Constitution, if confirmed.
Andrew and Ryan also chat about Kavanaugh, with hosts Dan and Annie Laurie, on our radio show this week but in addition to them, we get a distinguished outside voice to assess the Trumpian nominee. Acclaimed Nation magazine columnist and FFRF honorary director Katha Pollitt offers us her assessment, including her vow that “Roe isn’t going down without a fight.”
Kavanaugh occupied much of our attention, but we were able to accomplish a lot more, too.
We sent a warning to a Texas police department that, in a music video, lip-synced along to the title song of the “God’s Not Dead” movie (we kid you not). “A group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation said the video violates the U.S. Constitution because it endorses ‘Christianity,’” a local TV station reports. You bet it does. (Check out the cheesiness of the cops’ vainly star-seeking effort.)
Some nice victories
We also managed to obtain a few wins. We convinced a Tennessee school district to make sure that proselytizing assemblies (a pastor was recently allowed to preach) do not recur there. And we felt vindicated when we discovered in official records that a preachy substitute teacher indeed did work for the Milwaukee Public Schools, despite officials denying it.
We had a bit of fun, too.It was a real pleasure assessing submissions for our high school essay contest. We gladly awarded $13,000 to the winners, including $3,000 for first place. “It is incredibly inspiring to see so many members of the younger generation beautifully express their freethinking views,” said Annie Laurie. You can read the winning essays in their entirety in the upcoming issue of Freethought Today.
Money-grabbing on the Christian Right
And what better fun than razzing a bête noire of ours on the Christian Right? We exposed the money-grabbing distortions of the First Liberty Institute, which claims phantom victories and uses its email updates as excuses for more fundraising.
As we said in our blog, we don’t engage in the same tactics. You can be assured, dear member, that we use your dues and donations in the most transparent way possible to defend your secular freedoms.