Freedom From Religion Foundation

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is one of the most prominent organized groups protesting against undue favoritism shown to religion and the religious under US law. In addition to filing lawsuits, they also engage in some publicity stunts, publish newsletters and sponsor competitions.[1] They proclaim that "The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion."[2] The title of the organization is most likely a play on the phrase "freedom of religion", which is enshrined in the laws of many western countries - and sometimes considered by extreme social conservatives to specifically mean you can have any religion you like, but no religion is not allowed. Lying for Jesus, anyone?

Criticism of all religions[edit]

The bumper sticker.
Icon fun.svg For those of you in the mood, RationalWiki has a fun article about Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The FFRF is famous for selling stickers that describe the buybull Bible thusly: "The Bible: A Grim Fairy Tale..."[3] As a Western organization they naturally focus most of their attention on Christianity (the majority religion in the West, and therefore the one that is more likely to attempt to theocratize the US), but they are also critical of Islam as well (this closing the “What About Islam” escape hatch),[4] and co-president Dan Barker included a satirical song poking fun at reincarnation in his album Friendly Neighborhood Atheist.

Other acts of braveness[edit]

A photo of the sign at the Wisconsin State Capitol

According to Wikipedia, the FFRF won the right to display a sign in the Wisconsin State Capitol during the Christmas season, which reads:

At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail.

There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.

There is only our natural world.

Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.

They are also noted for sending"stop it1111!!!oneoneelventy11one!!111one!!!11!!" letters (known in some legal circles as cease and desist letters) to a variety of local governmental entities that have led to settlements over religious infringement into politics and everyday life.

Legal wins and losses[edit]

The FFRF has won and lost these legal issues, according to WikipediaWikipedia's W.svg and others.

Wins[edit]

  • Getting the National Day of Prayer declared unconstitutional.[5][6][7] Later vacated per case/controversy clause.[8] That damned Constitution.
  • Overturning an unconstitutionally state-sponsored Good Friday holiday - plaintiffs included Foundation staff and state employees.[9]
  • Winning a lawsuit barring direct taxpayer subsidy of religious schools
  • Removing Ten Commandments monuments and crosses from public land
  • Ending the U.S. Post Office's issuing of religious postage cancellations
  • Ending Bible instruction and forced school prayer in public schools

Losses[edit]

  • Challenged a Congressional proclamation calling 1983 "The Year of the Bible" (dismissed as moot)
  • Challenged a Ten Commandments monument in a public park in La Crosse, Wisconsin (dismissed)
  • Filed a federal lawsuit to stop the building of a chapel at the Illinois statehouse (lost in appeals court)
  • Went to Colorado state court to remove a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds in Denver (lost in State Supreme Court)
  • Challenged "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency in Colorado (lost in 10th Circuit Court)
  • Tried to block the state of Wisconsin from granting $100,000 to assist building a center at St. Norbert Catholic College, DePere, Wisconsin (lost in appeals court)
  • Challenged a lighted nativity scene in a public park in Waunakee, Wisconsin (lost in Wisconsin Supreme Court)
  • Sued over the removal of its banner, "State/Church: Keep Them Separate," from the rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol (lost in federal court)
  • Went to federal court in Missouri to sue over the phrase "So help me, God" on tax forms (case was dismissed, then was lost after refiling).[10]
  • Claimed taxpayer standing to challenge White House faith-based programs which violated the Establishment Clause (opinion of the court was against existence of such standing,[11] though Kennedy, while supporting that determination, nonetheless all but scolded then-President George W. Bush in his concurrence[12] for not considering the constitutionality of his actions)
  • A smattering of cease-and-desist letters regarding prayers at governmental meetings, some of which were ignored and some of which simply led to the invitation of ministers from other religions for variety.[13] (However, this still does not change the fact that this still excludes irreligious people. However, they still claim this as a victory; in fairness, gaining tacit recognition of other faiths in formerly Protestant-only ceremonies is an improvement.
  • Substantially increasing attendance at various religious events.[14][15]

Freedom From Atheism Foundation[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Freedom From Atheism Foundation

The Freedom From Atheism Foundation is an anti-atheist hate site that copied modeled their name on the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The FFAF opposes “militant atheism” (an imaginary threat), but believes that promoting hatred towards critical thinkers faith, specifically especially Christianity, is acceptable.[16][17] Perfectly serious citations of Conservapedia included (!).

External links[edit]

References[edit]