Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
Vol. 39 No. 05 June/July 2022
FFRF launches ‘secular values voters’ ad blitz
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is utilizing its distinguished membership in a timely and vital national “I’m Secular and I vote” ad campaign beginning over the July 4 weekend, and finishing by Constitution Day, Sept. 15.
“The midterm elections will be critical to policies affecting the separation of state and church and individual liberties,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
Adds FFRF Co-President Dan Barker: “Let’s put the public candidates and officials on notice that nonreligious, secular voters are here, that WE are the true ‘values voters’ and that it’s time that our secular viewpoint be heard and represented.”
FFRF will be featuring one FFRF member per state (or couples, in some cases) in full-page ads in daily newspapers in state capitals on Sunday, July 3. To extend the life of the campaign, a companion billboard will also go up, with a few exceptions. To hit larger metropolitan areas, FFRF is also running ads in Portland, Ore., Philadelphia and Chicago, and will be taking ads in The New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post.
Typical of the ad is the one running in the Chicago Tribune on July 3 featuring “Friendly Atheist” blogger and writer Hemant Mehta (see ad on Page 16).
Each ad features the photo of a local FFRF member, most taken in front of their state Capitol building, and a description about them. The text reads:
“I’m one of more than 75 million secular Americans who are not religious. The ‘Nones’ (those of us unaffiliated with religion) are now 29 percent of the U.S. population. We’re the largest ‘denomination’ by religious identification!
“As a secular voter, I trust in reason, science and America’s secular Constitution.
“I want Congress, my state Legislature, my public officials and our courts to:
• “Keep religion out of government and social policy.
• “Keep religion out of public schools.
• “Keep religion out of bedrooms, personal lives and health care decisions, including when or whether to have children, and whom to love or marry.
• “Use my tax dollars only for evidence-based, not faith-based, purposes.
“If you agree with me, please vote your secular values.”
The ad encourages secular voters to join FFRF. It also links to the results of FFRF’s impressive secular values voter survey. (ffrf.org/valuesvoter)
“We’re so proud of and grateful to the individuals who have stepped forward to be part of this important, election-year statement of secular values,” adds Gaylor.
Future issues of Freethought Today will carry updates about the continuing campaign.
FFRF thanks members, particularly donors to its advertising fund, for making possible this campaign. If you’re interested in being part of this campaign, please see the accompanying story.
Participants still needed
FFRF is looking for members interested in representing FFRF in its “I’m Secular and I Vote” campaign in remaining states. FFRF is seeking a cross-section of U.S. citizens demographically, by age (18 and up), gender, race, sex, ethnicity, etc. They must be registered voters. (To aid in representing younger freethinkers, members may wish to recruit freethinking, voting-age children or grandchildren.)
Volunteers commit to obtain two different sets of photographs: one ideally in front of their state Capitol (possibly substituting a different iconic site). It’s helpful if you live near your capital city or are willing to travel there. The second photograph is a studio portrait taken for commercial use for the billboard. FFRF will reimburse for reasonable photographic fees. FFRF will provide a modest scholarship for students-only who participate. FFRF will finalize photographic and other details by the end of July and is seeking individuals who can follow through and meet deadlines, since the campaign involves contract commitments.
FFRF is still seeking a representative in these states: Alabama; Alaska; Arkansas; Delaware; Hawaii; Idaho; Kansas; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana, Nebraska; New Hampshire; New Jersey, New Mexico; North Dakota; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island, South Carolina; South Dakota; Utah; West Virginia and Wyoming.
If you’re interested, please fill out an application form and read more about it at: secularvote.ffrf.org.