Fighting constitutionally in the dog days of summer

Fighting constitutionally in the dog days of summer July 20, 2018

These may be the dog days of summer, but we here at the Freedom From Religion Foundation are busy plugging away on behalf of the First Amendment.

The only wall we need
That’s why in the Atlanta area, we put up a large billboard urging folks in the South’s most bustling metropolis to discover our nation’s foundational wall: the one separating state and religion. As the eye-catching panel (part of a year-long campaign) proclaims “The Only Wall We Need Is Between Church-State.”

Who better to warn us about the current threat to that wall than leading freethinker and FFRF honorary board member Susan Jacoby? FFRF Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor interview her on our radio show this week about the dire situation.

Ten reasons to oppose Brett Kavanaugh
Our major recent push on behalf of the First Amendment has been our campaign to oppose President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. You demand one reason? We have 10!

Not surprisingly, Kavanaugh has taken up some of our attention. In a blog, FFRF Director of Strategic Response Andrew Seidel demolishes the notion that Kavanaugh is a constitutional “originalist.”

Tax experts back our case
Our legal effort to do away with a constitutionally discriminatory tax giveaway to clergy got a boost when almost two dozen tax law experts backed our case in a snappy brief.

Give up, Gov. Abbott!
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is clearly not taking a look at our legal record, otherwise he wouldn’t pointlessly have filed a notice of an appeal against our constitutional and legal victory over him for throwing out our Bill of Rights display from the state Capitol.

“This is a settled area of law,” says FFRF Associate Counsel Sam Grover. “By appealing this decision, Gov. Abbott is costing Texas taxpayers more money — in a case that will already cost the state more than $200,000 — in an attempt to undermine one of the most foundational rights in our Constitution.”

Strange bedfellows
And who would have thought that Russian subversion of our democracy could have occurred via religious entanglement?

“It turns out that the Christian Right and Russia are besties,” writes FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Who knew? There’s an overwrought lovefest going on with Russia, and it’s not confined to the Sycophant in Chief.”

A mellifluous victory
Our fight on behalf of the First Amendment is very often at the state and local levels. We chastised a Texas school district for forcing an unconstitutional sort of lesson down the throats of its summer school students by distributing religious paraphernalia. And we won a mellifluous victory when we successfully harmonized an Illinois public high school choir with the U.S. Constitution.

Musical torture
Alas, all sorts of folks seem to feel that they can do religious music, even cops. In a blatant violation of the First Amendment, some police departments are lip-syncing to Christian music videos — with embarrassing AND unconstitutional results. It would be hilarious, if the implications weren’t that serious. Sam and FFRF Legal Fellow Colin McNamara chat about the phenomenon.

Come to San Francisco for a good time!
Unlike devout cops, we freethinkers know how have a good time — and we’ll prove it yet again at the FFRF annual convention from Nov. 2-4 in San Francisco. Register right now and you won’t miss out on the marquee names (Salman Rushdie and Cecile Richards, among others) and loads of fun. Watch me talk about the highlights.


We hope you’ll be there! It’s for you, our members, that we put together our annual gathering — and everything else we do.
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