Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

40th anniversary testimonials from FFRF honorary board members

40th anniversary section (April 2018)
Steven Pinker                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

One might think that the legal defenders of the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses of the U.S. Constitution would be grim warriors or killjoy legal sharks. Nothing could be further from the Freedom of Religion Foundation! With humor, humanity — and an unshaking commitment to freedom of and from religion — the Foundation has strengthened our Constitution and kept America at the forefront of Enlightenment values.

Steven Pinker
FFRF Honorary President

Harvard’s Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology. Author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason and The Blank Slate.


Congratulations to FFRF for 40 years of indefatigable work propping up the constitutional wall between church and state — a wall that many constantly seek to dismantle. Of all the secular organizations in America, I think FFRF is the best, because they don’t just talk, but also walk the legal walk. In view of all they’ve done, I’m tremendously proud to be a supporter and a member of their honorary board. 

Jerry Coyne

Honorary FFRF Director

Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago. Author of Why Evolution Is True and Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible.


The Freedom from Religion Foundation restores my faith in the goodness of Americans. Congratulations, FFRF, on your 40th anniversary.

Richard Dawkins

Honorary FFRF Director

Evolutionary Biologist. Author of The God Delusion.


Congratulations, FFRF, on 40 years of providing escape routes for people trapped in their religions! Your legal activities have protected us all from the theocratic urges of many congregations and church leaders. But even more important, FFRF has helped doubters step into the daylight of a secular life. Above all, you have done this without lies and trickery, without exaggeration or insinuation: You have exposed the facts and let them speak for themselves. Well done, and keep it up!

Daniel C. Dennett

Honorary FFRF Director

Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University. Author of Breaking the Spell, Freedom Evolves and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea.


America’s Founding Figures were thinkers thoroughly influenced by the European Enlightenment. If all Americans were as imbued with the spirit of the Enlightenment as our Founders were, we would have no need for an organization so tirelessly and effectively trying to keep the country true to the original vision. So, congratulations to FFRF on your 40th anniversary. I wish we didn′t need you so desperately, but, alas, we do.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Honorary FFRF Director

MacArthur Fellow; 2015 National Humanities Medal Honoree. Author of Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction.


Now hear this: The Pew Research Center reports a growing share of U.S. adults who say belief in God is NOT necessary to have good values or be moral: In 2011, about 48 percent agreed, but in 2017, 56 percent agreed. The trend in the 21st century is to adopt a more secular basis for moral values. Hurrah, FFRF.

Ernie Harburg

Honorary FFRF Director

Scientist, Director of The Yip Harburg Foundation.


I am particularly proud to be associated with the work of the Freedom from Religion Foundation because of its emphasis on programs designed to reach, and use the talents of, freethinking young people. FFRF has been exemplary in lending support to secular young people who often feel very alone in many parts of this nation.

Susan Jacoby

Honorary FFRF Director

Author of The Age of Unreason in a Culture of Lies, Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism and The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll.


If you have had it up to here with faith-based initiatives, creationism and clerical prying into our private lives, FFRF is the organization for you. This scrappy group brings lawsuits against church-state entanglements and puts up witty billboards and bus signs promoting, well, freedom from religion.

Katha Pollitt

Honorary FFRF Director

Columnist, Subject to Debate, The Nation, essayist, poet. Author most recently of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.


For 40 intrepid years, FFRF has been the principled voice and activist vanguard for those of us who care passionately about preserving the separation of church and state that is so fundamental to our democracy. Let me put it plainly: If Jefferson, Madison, Monroe and Paine were alive today, they would be proud to be supporters of FFRF.  And so would Elizabeth Cady Stanton!

Robin Morgan

Honorary FFRF Director

Editor, Ms. (1989-1994), Co-Founder, Women’s Media Center. Author of Sisterhood is Powerful and Fighting Words.


One would have hoped 40 years on that the FFRF would be a quaint anachronism by now, long past its utility, like a ‘Let’s keep flat-earth science out of the classroom’ society.  Instead, its goals have never been more relevant.  Thank you, FFRF, and keep up the good, brave fight.

Robert Sapolsky

Honorary FFRF Director

Professor of biology, neurology and neurological sciences, Standard University. Author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst.


How can we continue our pursuit of happiness when organized religion is always standing in the way? For 40 years the FFRF has been trying to get it to stand aside, and I’m very grateful.

Edward Sorel

Honorary FFRF Director

Artist, illustrator and author. Regular contributor to: The Atlantic, The New Yorker and The Nation.