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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Letterbox (Sept. 2022)

New member found what he was looking for

I just discovered the Freedom From Religion Foundation about a month ago. I saw a billboard near my apartment showing a candidate for Chicago mayor looking to God for election advice and thought, “There must be someone who is fighting against this stuff.” I searched online and found FFRF . . . and decided to join. 

I got my first Freethought Today in the mail and read it cover to cover. I was pleased to see the article about the Lake Superior Freethinkers in Duluth, Minn., where I spent my first 40 years. I recall a lecture in my ninth-grade civics class at Central High School about separation of church and state and I questioned why the Ten Commandments monument was on the City Hall lawn. I’m glad it was finally moved.

I’m delighted to have found you. Thank you for your work.

S.G.
Illinois 

Where is the outrage over Catholic justices?

“It is a credit to the Catholic Church that it led the discussion on the morality of abortion for all these years. This ruling makes us proud to be Catholic.” — Bill Donohue of Catholic League.

Donohue is willing to admit the paramount role of the Catholic Church in the holy war against women’s reproductive freedom. Why hasn’t the media done so? It ignores the role of the Catholic Church in overturning Roe v. Wade and continues to talk about the “conservative justices” on the Supreme Court, and not about the fact that five of the six justices who voted against Roe are right-wing Catholics and the sixth is a former right-wing Catholic who is now a right-wing Protestant, all of whom were appointed to the Supreme Court based on their conservative religious views, in open violation of Article VI, Section 3’s “no religious test” clause of the U.S. Constitution.

D.M.
New York 

Religions should stay in their own lanes 

I saw your ad in the Nashville paper and The New York Times on July 3. I have enclosed a check to become a Lifetime Member. 

As an individual who strongly believes in the separation of church and state, here is my belief: Any religion that finds it necessary to go beyond its teachings, its faith and its self-determined morality and rely on the state to impose upon the people religious dictates, that religion has minimized and diminished its self-proclaimed divine authority while interposing itself between the governed and the governors. 

R.T.
Tennessee

Religion has nothing to do with outcomes in life

Life is 50 percent planning, 50 percent chance and religion has nothing to do with it.

C.B.
Idaho

Bowers’ testimony at odds with his vote 

Watching the Jan. 6 committee hearings, I was very moved by the testimony of Arizona House Speaker “Rusty” Bowers. Bowers, a staunch Republican, had steadfastly refused to give in to pressure from former President Trump and others to call a special session of the Legislature and deliver a slate of false electors in order to change the outcome of the Arizona election results, which had resulted in a surprising win for Joe Biden.

Bowers came across as a very thoughtful man of sincerity and integrity, who refused to put his party and fealty to Trump above his duty to his state and country. He became emotional when stating that his “faith” would not allow him to betray his oath to uphold the Constitution, which he apparently considers having been “divinely inspired.”

And, yet, when asked sometime after his testimony at the hearing whether he would vote for Trump in 2024 if he were a candidate for president, Bowers said he would. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling both amazement and disgust at the hypocrisy of religious Americans like Bowers, who would still cast their vote for a person they must know is vicious, corrupt and a danger to democracy. Even the threats and harassment that Bowers and his family — including his terminally ill daughter — were subjected to by Trump supporters are evidently insufficient to inspire a vote for someone else. Go figure.

M.G.
California

The religionization of the Supreme Court

Has the dumbing down of America reached the bottom yet, or what? Several books have been written about the dumbing down of the country, especially over the last 40-50 years, showing educational decline and growing disrespect for science and math, both in schools and among the general population.

The election of Donald Trump to the presidency made us hit rock bottom, where the evangelicals flocked like sheep behind him and brought him into the most important office in the world. He didn’t know or understand much, but he was shrewd enough to wave the bible to fool the ignorant masses.

Among the numerous decisions made during Trump’s minority-supported reign was loading the Supreme Court with even more religiously infested justices than ever before, with devastating, lasting effects. So far, we may only have seen the tip of a very scary iceberg, where the court stripped women of their most basic right — self-control over their very own body! What more of a human right violation can that be?

What happened to the First Amendment about freedom of religion? Doesn’t that mean that no one, and certainly not a justice on the Supreme Court, has a right to impress their own religious hang-ups on others? With so many Catholics already on the court, more of the same kind was the last thing we needed. The last three even lied their way through the nomination proceedings, while one position was simply stolen right under President Obama.

And, finally, there is a very simple solution to the abortion issue: If you are against abortion, just don’t have one yourself!

J.A.
California

Change of voting venue from church was welcomed 

I was very delighted and overjoyed to receive the temporary (unfortunately) polling location change notice for Chester Township. It is unconstitutional, in my opinion, to vote in a church. Keep God out of government! 

When religion ruled, it was called the Dark Ages. Atheists, agnostics and secular humanists would agree. 

As Justice Hugo Black said in Engel v. Vitale: “A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.” 

D.H.
Ohio

Founders were clear about state/church separation

This was first printed as a letter to the editor in the Miami Herald.

Gov. Ron DeSantis infusing religion into the Florida educational system indicates either a lack of knowledge of history or is politically motivated. The Founding Fathers were very clear about the nonestablishment of religion, a cornerstone of American liberty. They sought to free the new nation from the autocratic rule of church as well as government that was prevalent at the time. The newly minted nation stated in 1779 that, “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” Of course, almost all Americans at the time were Christian, but the country was founded as a secular nation, advocating “a wall of separation between church and state.” The wall has been chipped away and now is threatened to be demolished entirely.

The recent decisions furthering state-sponsored religion, abortion bans and unlimited gun ownership have little to do with the Founding Fathers or the Constitution and everything to do with the extreme right politicians and current Supreme Court revisions. 

R.G.
Florida

Claims of freedom, justice are hypocritical 

I realized I can no longer celebrate my country. It is withdrawing from its promises instead of working to implement them. I used to say the Pledge of Allegiance when asked, just leaving out the “under God” part, which I doubt anyone noticed. I’ve decided I will continue to do so, but will have to change the ending to say “with liberty and justice for a select few.” I’m sure people will notice that change, but, at least, I will be honest.

Women make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, so when you add in Blacks, gays, and other marginalized groups, it is indeed just a “few” who are granted liberty and justice, nowhere near “all.” I have always been sympathetic to the plight of many minorities in the United States, but now I can understand even better how they feel. The utter hypocrisy of the claims of freedom, liberty and justice are really hitting home right now.

W.K.
Colorado

Abortion bans are good news for drug dealers

In overturning Roe, the Supreme Court handed your local drug dealer another source of ill-gotten money. Was it a case of unintended consequences?

When red states trigger more anti-abortion laws, these states likely will outlaw medication-induced abortions. Guess who shows up? Drug dealers with access to illegally manufactured abortion pills. Or black-market medication.

Back-alley abortions and bootlegged abortion pills will be the only choices of women needing an abortion, regardless of the reason. Their choice for safe abortions will be gone.

Women will die because of fake abortion-inducing pills bought from drug dealers who don’t care about a woman’s dilemma. The impoverished and women of color will suffer the most as they are most likely to be victimized.

Our nation, thanks to evangelicals, has not recognized that any time laws dealing with morality are passed, they open the doors to increased illegal activity — and huge profits. Justices and evangelicals don’t understand or care about the suffering that drug dealers unleash on the public. 

The Supreme Court’s majority shows it has no idea of what it just unleashed. It is evident to me that the Supreme Court, which I once revered, has now been politicized. It’s no better than a political action committee.

I will not be surprised if our North Carolina Republican-led Legislature will now get on board with trigger law states and make abortion a thing of the past. Now we wait to see what they do.

B.S.

North Carolina

New motto: Don’t give me that old-time religion

As a still-recovering former Baptist, my motto is “Don’t give me the old-time religion — it’s not good enough for me.”

R.L.
Michigan

Alito’s arguments on Roe were egregiously wrong  

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in his opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, said at the outset that Roe was “egregiously wrong” from the day it was decided. Alito then wrote 107 pages of fulsome legal reasoning, citations and appendices. However, despite his extensive arguments, his “egregiously wrong” characterization of Roe makes a basic fundamental error of logic and general semantics.

First, his statement that Roe was “wrong” is irrational since there is no absolute right or wrong, except in established scientific and mathematical areas and for verifiable facts. Alito’s “wrong” is a pure statement of a personal, subjective feeling or opinion in a field which is not provable or falsifiable by logic or science. It’s akin to other subjective adjectives like “beautiful” or “right,” which have no place in a supposedly logical, reasoned proof. Basically, he couched his personal feeling or belief as an established fact. Anyone with any elementary training in basic logic can see right through it.

Second, the Roe decision was made after seven wise and learned justices (Blackmun, Stewart, Douglas, Burger, Brennan, Marshall and Powell) carefully studied the facts and arguments for months and then decided that the anti-abortion statute violated the Constitution. (Two equally wise and learned justices — White and Rehnquist — made a similar study and voted to uphold the statute.) If Roe were so “egregiously wrong,” why was it initially decided by an overwhelming 7-to-2 majority, why was such an egregious error not readily apparent to everyone for the last 49 years, and why did it take 107 pages of argument and tortured reasoning attempting to prove it was wrong?

It’s time that we made training in elementary logic and reasoning a requirement for a judicial office.

D.P.
California

World appalled at failed state U.S. has become 

Most of the rest of the world is horrified and appalled at the failed state that the United States has become.

H.K.
Icelandic Freethought Organization

Poem reflects on status of women’s bodies

In light of the Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, I am submitting this poem of mine, from my first poetry collection (“Trash Picker on Mars”), published by Kelsay Books. 

Better to Own a House

It’s your body, you say, but not if you’re a woman. It’s not like property. There you have real rights — possession, exclusion, disposition . . . enjoyment. With a house, you get to decide who can enter and who can stay. With your body, men have all the keys. They’ll open your vagina and lock up your womb. They’ll cover your body with a tent to resist temptation, then cut your clitoris to rob you of pleasure. You can sell a house but not your body. For that you need a pimp. He’ll work you till you bleed, and keep all the profit. Better to own a house than a body. 

G.T.
Arizona 

Justices were selected for religious reasons

We can now accept the Pledge of Allegiance which says “one nation, under God,” since the Supreme Court has finally made us into a Christian nation by allowing laws that assume fertilized eggs have a soul.

We now have a government which gives financial support for religious education, mints U.S. currency which states, “In God We Trust,” and has accepted a religious test by the former president that the Supreme Court justices he appointed must belong to the Catholic Church (i.e., would overturn Roe v. Wade). That, in fact, is contrary to Article 6 of the Constitution: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” 

Those justices were not only improperly appointed, but also were illegally appointed. It was a religious decision.

J.D.
Florida

‘Dumb’ member just wants freedom from religion

When I was young, I was sent to Catholic parochial school. I was taught that only a Catholic could go to heaven and the rest would go to hell. I was taught that we were not to read the bible because we would misunderstand it. I was also told I was dumb and that I had to learn my place because I was either going to dig ditches or push brooms. 

I got lucky and got kicked out for not signing a pledge. I ended up going to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where people didn’t know I was dumb, and got a degree with a major in math and minor in physics. 

Shortly before my mom died, she told my brothers and me that it had been a mistake to send us to that Catholic school. 

Now, I have heard that they want to use my tax dollars to pay for parochial schools — cults. It is just too much.

I want freedom from religion.

R.K.
Wisconsin

Court has sabotaged rights of Americans

The U.S. Supreme Court is now quite the cesspool and the stench gets worse by the hour.

Woman’s rights are now sabotaged; EPA effectiveness is now sabotaged; gun control, such as it was, is now further sabotaged.

And if that weren’t enough, the distinct separation of church and state is now on the road to substantial sabotage. When the school authorities at Bremerton, Wash., notified the high school football couch that if he wanted to pray, he should not do so at the 50-yard line immediately after a game. Find a more private place. The school does not want religious activities to pressure students to participate. The school is so right. Students may not be Christians. They may not believe in or want to pray at a function, which is authorized at the school. They may very well be atheists.

Public school is part of government. No religious activity is sanctioned by any government activity. That is well specified and defined in the Constitution.

Have these justices even read the Constitution?

R.B.
Maryland

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