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

Letterbox (Nov. 2018)

Vol. 35 No. 9 November 2018

South Carolina governor prays, quotes scripture

South Carolina’s Republican Gov. Henry McMaster prayed and quoted bible scriptures on every televised conference he had during the hurricane. I actually laughed and emailed the governor’s office and reminded him of church and state separation. He should not be quoting bible scriptures or having other people quoting scriptures at any time, especially during a disaster like Hurricane Florence. If they felt they should pray to a fairytale god, they should do it on their own time and not in public. That’s not why you get paid from taxpayers’ money.

Stewart Singletary

South Carolina


Thanks, FFRF, for the ad in the N.Y. Times

Thank you, a bit late, for the great full-page ad (“It’s time to consider quitting the Catholic Church”) in The New York Times. It really catches your eye! It’s a great public service. I hope you received some good responses to it.

I have been getting my copies of Freethought Today and reading them cover to cover. I am so glad I rejoined FFRF. What great articles, letters and bios! It makes me feel like I could picket again!

Jan Moffitt

Massachusetts


Message of hope more comforting than prayers

Karen Barron is a Life Member of FFRF. Some of Karen’s friends sent her religious prayers of hope to help sustain her in her fight against cancer. However comforting these prayers may be to those who sent them, they are of no help to Karen, so she wrote her own, needs-no-god, inspirational “prayer of hope.”

I Will Keep Hope

I will keep hope,

however slight it is;

hope for a good week,

hope for a good day,

hope for a good moment. 

Hope for more ease.

I will keep hope through all suffering and loss and darkness. 

I will keep the last hint of hope close to my heart. 

Hope for simple comfort, for peace, for acceptance. 

I will hope for those left behind, hope for all life.

I will hope that tomorrow is yet a chance for more hope.

Jim Barron

Washington


Catholic League rating poor compared to FFRF’s

Of the more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations evaluated by Charity Navigator, fewer than 30,000 earn a four-star rating, the highest bestowed. I was pleased to discover that the FFRF has earned that sterling rating for eight consecutive years, with an overall score of 97.17 (out of a possible 100) assigned in February 2018. Meanwhile, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, a constant critic of the FFRF, has been assigned a dismal two-star rating, with a pathetic overall score of 77.17. Blowhard Bill Donohue, the league’s president, earned a salary of $483,000, amounting to fully 16 percent of his organization’s revenues based on the most recent financial statement.  I guess having to defend the Church from its burgeoning clerical sex abuse scandal does have its rewards, if not in heaven, then in this life. 

Dennis Middlebrooks

New York


Seeking to be 1st openly atheist Eagle Scout

I am in fifth grade and have to do my Boy Scouts “Duty to God” requirement again. This year, I am going to join FFRF. That is my duty!

I am glad to know that the Boy Scouts now allow nontheists such as Buddhists, Unitarians and Jains to join. But this still contradicts the Scouts’ statement “that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God.”

I know that more than half of the kids in my Scout den do not believe in God. So, basically, it’s a lot of us kids lying. Kids are lying so they can make Eagle Scout. However, I am very opposed to lying about my atheism.

I have eight years to complete the rank of Eagle Scout. It is my goal to be the first openly atheist Eagle Scout, but I would be happy if someone beat me to it.

Trenton Downing

California 


Contest winner gets at how Christianity began

I cannot stop chuckling to myself about the caption contest winner from the October issue.

I memorized the limerick. It is so clever and so well done.

Then, I got to thinking: So, this is how the Christian religion got started!

Pat Hall

California

Editor’s note: Here is the limerick, written by Steve Haack, that Pat references:

“There once was a woman named Mary,

Whose impotent husband was wary,

So she claimed it was God,

Who slipped her the rod,

It was really a shepherd named Larry.”


‘In Reason We Trust’ stamper a great buy

I love my “In Reason We Trust” stamper! For years, I would carefully mark out “God” and print “Good” in its place on my money. Now it just takes a nanosecond to de-God my cash.

Before my friend went on a vacation in Utah, I stamped all of his bills that he was going to hand over to the Mormons. It felt great!

I think all of our members should purchase this stamper. It not only spreads the word, it also feels so good.

Ed Burk Colorado

Editor’s note: To order a stamper, go to shop.ffrf.org. See our ad on page 11.


Student essayists were eloquent, poignant, brave

It was with great pleasure that I read the “Students of Color” essays in the September edition.

The eloquence displayed by every single entry left me spellbound, and my emotions were further moved by the poignance of each writer’s personal challenge of being a freethinker in a heightened environment of bigotry and prejudice. I think it’s hard enough being an atheist as a privileged white person.

Because of the social ostracism and loneliness that that people of color must face to embrace logic and reason, these young people rise to the level of heroes in my eyes. And because they have come to their level of reason in more of a vacuum, it makes their words even more powerful.

To all the essayists, you have moved me, and this letter is a dedication to your convictions and bravery. I look up to you all.

Cliff Cuhna

Idaho


Making good on a pledge to support FFRF

I made a pledge to myself, and to a very conservative friend, that if Brett Kavanaugh was approved by the Senate for the Supreme Court, I would become a Lifetime Member of FFRF. I have done so. Go to work.

John Roberg

Minnesota


I enjoy every issue of Freethought Today

Thanks for your wonderful newspaper! I always enjoy it a lot!

Steven Roesch

California


Thanks to everyone at FFRF for all you do

Many thanks to all of you at FFRF to free us from the utter nonsense of religion.

Joanie Barker Nichols

Washington


Essay winners are role models for nonreligious

I was deeply moved by the “Students of Color” essays and congratulate them on their bravery. A time will come when you are free of economic dependence on religious families, and can operate freely to build a sensible society.

It is sad to read of many of you being ostracized by family and friends. You may find it safer to be alone, at least for a while. You are already role models for all nonreligious youth.

On another topic, I saw this sign at the local Baptist church: “All of creation shows the beauty of God.” Really? Alligators, rats, lice, poison ivy?

David M. Shea

Maryland


We need more women in leadership roles

Pedophilia is a crime. Discrimination against women is inhuman and morally nauseating. Awarding tax advantages to organizations practicing these notions is repulsive, against common sense and possibly in contradiction of the law. I would like to propose a new law significantly decreasing the probability of both of these menaces: Any tax-exempt organization should prove that at least 50 percent of its leadership is female. That’s it.

Being reasonable, existing religious tax-exempt groups will lose only 20 percent of their tax-exempt status each year until they satisfy this simple criterion. I firmly believe that the Vatican wouldn’t cover up the crimes of pedophile clergy under the leadership of a female pope. A female mullah won’t send her children to holy war, etc. Everybody wins!

Dr. Peter Szabo

Florida


Youth may save us from theocratic rule

As indicated by a recent survey of freshman students at Universty of California-San Diego, every cloud has a silver lining. The category for religious affiliation shows that nearly 50 percent of our young population shares the nonbelief of FFRF. If a majority of them vote, we may save this country from theocratic rule.

Warren Dunn

California


So that’s what was   meant in Leviticus!

For those who haven’t heard, Washington state recently passed two laws. It legalized gay marriage and legalized marijuana.

The fact that gay marriage and marijuana were legalized on the same day makes perfect biblical sense. Leviticus 20:13 says: “If a man lies with another man, they should be stoned.” Apparently we just hadn’t interpreted it correctly before!

Madison Arnold

New York