Lauryn Seering

Lauryn Seering

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Meet a Wisconsin member: Dawn Thom

Name: Dawn Thom.

Where I live: Green Bay, Wis.

Where and when I was born: I was born in the town of Upham in Wisconsin over 80 years ago.
Family: Six lovely children, all college educated with good careers, nine beautiful grandchildren and two wonderful great-grandsons who make me laugh.

Education: I went to a one-room school during my elementary years except for one year in a two-room school. I graduated from high school and went to business college for two years.
Occupation: At retirement, after 21 years, I was an internal auditor for a bank.

How I got where I am today: I was a stay-at-home mom until the children were self-sufficient and then went back into the workforce. My employer used to say I should just turn my salary over to my college-age children as that is where the money went, even though they also worked.

Eighteen years ago, my then husband, who was Lutheran and head of the family in his eyes and the church's, wanted to teach me a lesson, so I was served divorce papers. His minister quoted the bible that women were not to speak and only ask their husband if they wanted to know anything. The hate in my ex's eyes as he said I belonged in jail and he would try to put me there, set the stage to extract myself from the area. I moved to my present city to be safe.

Where I'm headed: I have written three books, two on local history, now located in the Green Bay library historical section, and one on domestic abuse, which has been approved by Golden House, the Green Bay abuse center. I volunteered for hospice work for a couple of years, learned to fly little planes and kept up on politics.

At this age, it's a one-way trip, but I will end it, kicking and screaming all the way. I'm researching penal institutions, especially how communities and people treat felons who lack of housing and jobs when released, then show amazement when they reoffend. They have created the self-fulfilling prophecy of recidivism.

It has always puzzled me that most people judging someone for making bad choices are the most religious. So many do not have the empathy to reach down and give a hand to the needy. It is like they would soil their hands and not make it to heaven. Yet, Jesus is supposed to have said, "As ye do to the least of these, you do unto me."

Ideas for two new books are rolling around in my head, but I haven't been able to master the software needed. One would be on farm life in the 1930s to 1960s, the other about a young man incarcerated for 18 years after he made a bad decision at age 19 and the trials he has to overcome after release. Something always interferes, especially now with the hysterically funny politics.

My mother lived to be 91 and her brother to age 93, driving a car until he was 92. My father's sister was well over 100 when she passed. All three stayed mentally alert. My brother is turning 88, drives his own car, and he and his wife take care of their house with very few problems. Full steam ahead!

Person in history I admire: The strong women who have stood up for equal rights and had the strength to not back down. Many are "unknown" but have lent their courage to the rest.
A quotation I like: "Let me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to man. " (Sam Walter Foss, 1858-1911) "Your candle does not glow brighter if you blow someone else's candle out."

These are a few of my favorite things: Flowers, pets, people, traveling, cruises, jokes, music and playing the piano.

These are not: Rigid thinking, negative people, control freaks, especially the ones who use religion as a reason.

My doubts about religion started: Until I was 10, we went to a Congregational church with a lovely woman minister named Mrs. Lavis. Then we moved to my maternal grandparents' farm where the closest church was Lutheran, which my grandfather wouldn't attend, so we went to the United Brethren Evangelical Church. The first time I went to the church service, the ritual seemed normal until the minister started thundering how you could only be saved if you gave yourself to Jesus. Otherwise, you would go to hell. He looked and acted crazy. My eyes opened wide, I shrunk into my seat and clung to my grandmother. This was not religion as I had known it up to then.

The more I was forced to go, the more I resisted. But my parents insisted it wouldn't hurt me, so catechism was a must. I hid the book and did not study and knew only one answer when it came time to pass the test, which embarrassed my family no end.

Before I die: My bucket list starts getting shorter, and then other things pop up, so it is never-ending. Those two books are rattling around in my head just waiting to be put down in the computer. Traveling to see different cultures would be a lot of fun. I've outlived traveling companions. It would be fun to go to D.C. again and see the changes made in the last decades.

Ways I promote freethought: By my actions and discussing my beliefs in a rational manner (most of the time, not always calmly) with those who question or make uneducated remarks about beliefs that conflict with theirs.

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Meet our valuable volunteers

Linda Josheff

Name: Linda Josheff.

Where I live: Town of Cross Plains, Wis.

Where and when I was born: July 1946, Madison, Wis.

Family: Husband, Phil; children and spouses, Julie and Rob, Tess and Jeremy; grandchildren, Cameron, 19, Bailey, 17, Addison, 5; dogs, Bob, Annie and Maizie.

Why I volunteer for FFRF: I believe in the work that is being done here.

What I do as a volunteer: This summer I read essay submissions from students.

What I like best about it: Reading what these young people have to say. It pleases me to see the large number of responses and the thought that went into each entry.

Education: Madison Area Technical College, practical nursing program, 1966; MATC, associate degree in human service, 1985.

My day job is/was: Retired LPN with 35 years of nursing experience.

These three words sum me up: Funny, sentimental, impatient.

My freethought heroes are: Anne Gaylor, Christopher Hitchens, Margaret Sanger.

Things I like: Dogs, fresh air, reading, laughter.

Things I smite: Hypocrisy, the denial of availability of birth control for all women.

Sue Schuetz

Name: Sue Schuetz.

Where I live: Cross Plains, Wis.

Where I was born: Madison, Wis.

Family: Sons Steven and Gary, four grandsons, two daughters-in-law, two sisters, a brother and lots of great friends!

Education: Coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison Area Technical College and Edgewood College.

My day job is/was: I worked 18 years for the Dane County Sheriff's Office. Now I enjoy being a very busy and engaged retiree.

Why I volunteer for FFRF: Because I believe in this important work and the amazing, inspiring people here.

What I do as a volunteer: Whatever needs to be done! For example, reading high school and college essays and helping with mailings.

What I like best about it: Being around like-minded people.

Something funny that's happened here: Realizing, every time I walk into the library, Charles Darwin is not a live person.

These three words sum me up: Energetic, creative, curious.

My freethought heroes are: Anne Nicol Gaylor, Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, Andrew Seidel.

Things I like: Walking, reading, Wisconsin Public TV and Radio, being with my grandsons and friends and family, staying at my cabin and doing my artwork.

Things I smite: Barking dogs, wind chimes, pesticides.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit Oct. 7, challenging an annual live nativity performance at Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind.

The complaint notes that for several decades Concord High School has organized a "Christmas Spectacular." Every performance, of which there were five last year, "ends with an approximately 20-minute telling of the story of the birth of Jesus, including a live nativity scene and a biblical scriptural reading. During this segment, students at the high school portray the Virgin Mary, Joseph, the Three Wise Men, shepherds and angels."

FFRF has brought suit on behalf of its 23,000 members, including more than 360 in Indiana, and a local family, whose high school student "Jack Doe" is a member of the performing arts department. Attendance and performance at the event is mandatory for students enrolled in the performing arts department.

The suit alleges that the nativity performance and the reading of the biblical story of the birth of Jesus are "well-recognized symbols of the Christian faith. Their presence at the Christmas Spectacular is coercive, represents an endorsement of religion by the high school and the school corporation, has no secular purpose, and has the principal purpose and effect of advancing religion."

"FFRF is suing to ensure that nonreligious and non-Christian students are able to fully participate in their school's winter concert," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "The nativity represents the pinnacle of Christian belief and its most holy day. This spectacle would be appropriate at a private Catholic school, but is a blatant and egregious promotion of religion in a public school setting."

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FFRF lawsuit ends Georgia school prayer

FFRF dismissed its lawsuit against Emanuel County School District in Swainsboro, Ga., after the district agreed to stop teacher-led prayer and proselytization in its public schools.

A concerned family had contacted FFRF about prayer in kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. FFRF sent a letter in August 2014 to the district but teachers continued to subject students to prayer, and the family's students were bullied and ostracized. FFRF filed suit in February, alleging that teasing classmates and pressure to pray from teachers led one child to drop out of kindergarten, while teachers told the first-grader to start praying and not to listen to the child's mother, whom one teacher described as a "bad person."

But after the suit was filed, the district relented. Emanuel staff have received educational training on their obligations not to promote religious beliefs in their classrooms and the family has been financially compensated.

"We're pleased that the Emanuel County Schools has taken action to correct the egregious constitutional violations that were taking place in its classrooms," said FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. "No devotions and religious practices should take place in public schools, and no small child should ever be pressured to take part in such illegal practices."

FFRF was represented by litigation attorney Wally Nichols of W.R. Nichols and Associates. FFRF Staff Attorneys Sam Grover and Andrew Seidel also worked to build the case.
Grover noted, "Educators in Georgia, where we receive many complaints about religion in schools, and throughout the country, need to know that their duty is to educate students, not fill their heads with religious propaganda."

A 4,743-pound granite monument dedicated to “Atheists in Foxholes and the countless freethinkers who have served this country with honor and distinction” was installed Oct. 6 at FFRF’s new offices in Madison, Wis.

It was dedicated on Oct. 9 during the grand opening of the renovated Freethought Hall. About a fourth of FFRF’s membership are veterans or current members of the military. The monument, made of the same South Dakota granite that Mount Rushmore is carved from, is more than 7 feet high, reflects the long windows that are part of the original 1855 building and provides a focus for the Rose Zerwick Memorial Garden and Courtyard adjoining the new entrance. A teak bench opposite the display provides a spot for reflection. This is FFRF’s second Atheists in Foxholes monument. The prototype, which was carved by World War II veteran Bill Teague, is nestled in the piney woods next to FFRF’s southern Freethought Hall near Munford, Ala., which is overseen by its chapter, the Alabama Freethought Society.

FFRF worked with Pechmann Memorials, which also carved the patio pavers — bearing donor names and slogans — surrounding the monument in the cozy courtyard space.
“FFRF deals with so many state/church entanglements regarding all branches of the military, where substantial incursions by aggressive evangelicals have been made. This monument not only honors nonreligious veterans, but serves as a reminder to our nation that — contrary to that tired, old, untrue cliché — there are indeed many ‘atheists in foxholes,’ ” said Annie Laurie Gayor, co-founder and co-president.

FFRF Co-Presidents

DAN BARKER and ANNIE LAURIE GAYLOR are co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and co-hosts of Freethought Radio. A former minister and evangelist, Dan became a freethinker in 1983. His books, Just Pretend: A Freethought Book for Children and Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher To Atheist (1992) are published by FFRF. Other books include Godless (Ulysses Press, 2008), The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God (Pitchstone Publishing, 2011), Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning, Pitchstone Press (2015) and GOD: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction (Sterling Publications, 2016). A graduate of Azusa Pacific University with a degree in religion, Dan now puts his knowledge of Christianity to effective freethought use. A professional pianist and composer, Dan performs freethought concerts and is featured in FFRF’s musical CDs, "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist," "Beware of Dogma,” and “Adrift on a Star." He joined FFRF's staff in 1987, serving as public relations director. He was first elected co-president in November 2004, speaks widely and has engaged in more than 100 debates about religion.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, a third-generation freethinker, co-founded FFRF with her mother Anne Gaylor as a college student in 1976. She served as editor of Freethought Today, FFRF’s newspaper, from 1985 to 2009. Her book, Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So, first published by FFRF in 1981, is in its 4th printing. In 1988, FFRF published Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children, the first book documenting widespread sexual abuse by clergy. Her 1997 anthology, Women Without Superstition: 'No Gods, No Masters,’ is the first collection of the writings of historic and contemporary women freethinkers. A 1980 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Journalism School, she was an award-winning student reporter and recipient of the Ken Purdy scholarship. After graduation, she founded, edited and published the Feminist Connection, a monthly advocacy newspaper, from 1980-1985. She first joined the FFRF staff in 1985. She has been co-president since 2004. In the late 1970s, her student protest ended commencement prayers at the UW-Madison. She has been plaintiff in or overseen many state/church lawsuits and actions by FFRF. Dan and Annie Laurie have appeared on a variety of TV news shows, including “Oprah,” “O’Reilly,” “Good Morning America,” Univision, CNN and FOX news segments, CBS Evening News and ABC World News Tonight.

Photo: Timothy Hughes

See Dan's bio »
See Dan's online writings »

See Dan's Debates »
Contact Dan »

See Annie Laurie's bio »
See Annie Laurie's online writings »
Contact Annie Laurie »

FFRF President emerita

Anne Nicol Gaylor
Photo by Brent Nicastro.

ANNE NICOL GAYLOR was a founder and president emerita of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She served as executive director from 1978 to 2005, and worked as a consultant to the Foundation. Born in rural Wisconsin, she was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She owned and managed successful small businesses and was co-owner and editor of an award-winning suburban weekly newspaper. A feminist author, she did substantial volunteer work for women's rights (including serving as volunteer director of the Women's Medical Fund). Under her leadership the Freedom From Religion Foundation has grown from its initial three Wisconsin members to a national group with representation in every state and Canada.

Slideshow of Anne Gaylor & FFRF activism
See Anne Gaylor's online writings.

Director of Operations

LISA STRAND is director of operations of FFRF. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Library Association. She has 25 years of experience in nonprofit organizations, both as a staff member and volunteer leader, including having served as board president of the Wisconsin Society of Association Executives and the Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin. She has a B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Lisa is married with a daughter, as well as three cats, a guinea pig and an untended garden that will someday be beautiful.

FFRF Legal

REBECCA S. MARKERT attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and received her B.A. in political science, international relations and German in 1998. After graduating from UW–Madison, Rebecca spent one year working as a legislative fellow at the German Parliament in Bonn, Germany. In the fall 1999, she returned to the United States and began working as a legislative correspondent and assistant to the chief of staff for United States Senator Russ Feingold in Washington, D.C. In 2002, she returned to Madison, Wisconsin, to work on Senator Feingold’s 2004 re-election campaign. After the campaign, Rebecca attended Roger Williams University School of Law and received her Juris Doctor in 2008. She joined the Foundation staff in October 2008.

Rebecca is the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s first staff attorney and primarily works on Establishment Clause cases. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Dane County Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin.

PATRICK ELLIOTT, the Foundation's second staff attorney, hails from St. Paul, Minn. Patrick received a degree in legal studies and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005. He attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and received his Juris Doctor in 2009. While in school, Patrick took an interest in the First Amendment and constitutional law. He joined FFRF as a staff attorney in July 2010, after working part-time for the Foundation since February. Patrick is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin.

ANDREW SEIDEL graduated cum laude from Tulane University with a B.S. in neuroscience and environmental science and magna cum laude from Tulane University Law School, where he was awarded the Haber J. McCarthy Award for excellence in environmental law. He studied human rights and international law at the University of Amsterdam and traveled the world on Semester at Sea. In May of 2011, Andrew completed his Master of Laws at Denver University Sturm College of Law with a 4.0 GPA and was awarded the Outstanding L.L.M. Award. He has written a book on International Human Rights Law and his essay on the role of religion in government and the founding of our nation placed second in the FFRF's 2010 graduate student essay contest. Andrew is a former Grand Canyon tour guide and accomplished nature photographer; his work has been displayed in galleries in Colorado, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Maryland. He joined the FFRF staff as a constitutional consultant in November 2011.

ELIZABETH CAVELL received her B.A in English from the University of Florida in 2005. After college, Elizabeth spent a year as a full-time volunteer in AmeriCorps*NCCC. She attended Tulane University Law School and received her Juris Doctor in 2009. After law school, she worked as a deputy public defender in southern Colorado. She joined the Foundation as a staff attorney in January 2013, after working for the Foundation part-time since September 2012.

SAM GROVER received his B.A. in philosophy and government from Wesleyan University in 2008. He first worked for FFRF in 2010 as a legal intern while attending Boston University School of Law. In 2011, his article on the religious exemptions in the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance mandate was published in the American Journal of Law and Medicine. After receiving his J.D. from Boston University in 2012, Sam worked as a law clerk for the Vermont Office of Legislative Council where he drafted legislation on health care, human services, and tax issues. He returned to work as a constitutional consultant for FFRF in the fall of 2013. Sam has written a paper on counterterrorism and the law that was published by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City and has traveled to southern Africa to work under Justice Unity Dow of Botswana’s High Court.

MADELINE ZIEGLER graduated magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 2011 with a B.A. in English Literature and Political Science. She attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and received her Juris Doctor in 2014. She has worked at FFRF in some capacity since May 2012, starting as a legal intern/extern, and currently works as a legal fellow.

CALLAHAN MILLER graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin — Madison in 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology and Legal Studies and a certificate in Criminal Justice.  She received a Distinction in the Major for Legal Studies and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Delta.  For the majority of her time as an undergraduate, she was a leading member of UW’s ground-breaking Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics student organization.  She joined the FFRF team as an official staff member in January of 2015 after having previously been an intern and intends on going to law school herself in a few years.

RYAN JAYNE received a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Honors College in 2007. After graduating, Ryan taught piano and chess lessons while working as a financial advisor until 2012, when he began law school at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Oregon. In law school he focused on intellectual property and animal law, serving as an associate editor for the Animal Law Review at Lewis & Clark and co-founding the Pacific Northwest’s first Secular Legal Society. Ryan graduated cum laude in 2015, began working with FFRF in January of 2015, and became a Diane Uhl Legal Fellow in September, 2015, specializing in faith-based government funding.

FFRF Staff

JACKIE DOUGLAS is the office manager at the Foundation. She graduated in 2002 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Human Development and Family Services. Jackie is happily married, owns a home on the east side of Madison, and has a black cat named Lucky.

ALYSSA SCHAEFER is FFRF’s Program Assistant.  She graduated from The George Washington University in 2014 with a BA in International Affairs, concentrating in Security Policy.   A native of Wisco, she recently moved back to Madison from the east coast. In her free time Alyssa enjoys traveling, exploring the great outdoors, live music, and lazy Sundays with her cat Lola.

PJ SLINGER is editor of Freethought Today. A Green Bay native, he has a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has worked as a sports reporter, news reporter, copy editor, web editor and photo editor in newspapers in Marshall (Minn.), Mankato (Minn.) and Madison (Wis). Prior to coming to FFRF in 2015, he worked for 15 years at The Capital Times in Madison. He has a wife and three kids.

BILL DUNN is the editor of Freethought Today. He has a degree in history and mass communications (journalism emphasis) from the University of South Dakota and has worked as a reporter, copy editor and editor in South Dakota and Wisconsin since 1980. Bill joined the Foundation staff in July 2009. He has two daughters, Kaitlin Marie and Jamie Lee.

LAURYN SEERING is the publicist, assistant webmaster & communications coordianator. She was born in Wausau, Wis. and studied abroad in Nagasaki, Japan. Lauryn graduated from the UW-Stout in 2012 with her BS in Professional Communications and Emerging Media, concentrating in Technical Communication & International Studies. Lauryn moved to Madison in 2013 and enjoys reading about space stuff, biking and creating art at coffee shops. 

JAKE SWENSON started as FFRF’s first graphic designer in 2015. He was born in Rockford, Illinois, and graduated with a degree in fine art from the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point. He enjoys music, cycling, photography, traveling, and coffee.

LISA TREU is our Director Of First Impressions at FFRF.  She comes to us after working in broadcasting for iHeart Radio in Madison, Wisconsin.  She hosted various radio programs for fifteen years.  Lisa and her husband ran their own Birdhouse/Birdfeeder manufacturing company called Northwoods Mfg., Inc. during the 1990’s where she had her own line of decorative birdhouses that she designed and painted herself.  Lisa is the wife of Harry and is the mother of twin daughters Katrina and Karinthia.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, painting, gardening, feeding the birds, getting silly with her daughters and lounging with her two cats.

ELEANOR MCENTEE has over a decade of experience as a nonprofit bookkeeper and is very dedicated to nonprofit organizations.  In her free time, she journals, spends time with her cats Steven and MacNcheez, and rides her Harley all over Wisconsin and more!

AMITABH PAL is the Communications Director of FFRF. Prior to joining in February 2016, he was the Managing Editor of The Progressive magazine for more than a decade. He was also the editor of the Progressive Media Project, an affiliate of The Progressive that sends out op-eds through the Tribune Wire Service to hundreds of newspapers in the United States and other countries. Pal has appeared on C-SPAN and BBC and television and radio stations all over the United States and abroad. His articles have been published in school and college textbooks in the United States and Australia. Pal teaches a course at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. He has a Master's in Journalism from the University of North Carolina and a Master's in Political Science from North Carolina State University.

FFRF Honorary Board

honoraryboardmembers

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is delighted to announce the formation of a new FFRF Honorary Board of distinguished achievers who have made known their dissent from religion.

The FFRF Honorary Board includes Jerry Coyne, Robin Morgan, Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Ernie Harburg, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Christopher Hitchens, Susan Jacoby, Mike Newdow, Katha Pollitt, Steven Pinker, Ron Reagan, Oliver Sacks, M.D., Robert Sapolsky, Edward Sorel and Julia Sweeney.

“We are so pleased that these outstanding thinkers and freethinkers have agreed to publicly lend their endorsement to the Foundation, and its two purposes of promoting freethought and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause,” said Dan Barker, Foundation co-president.

  • Jerry Coyne, Ph.D., professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, is author of the popular book 'Why Evolution is True' and the blog of the same name.
  • Richard Dawkins, probably the world’s most famous contemporary atheist and a distinguished evolutionary biologist, is Oxford professor emeritus. In his blockbuster book, The God Delusion, Dawkins writes: “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.”
  • Daniel C. Dennett is Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts, and author of the bestselling book about religion, Breaking the Spell. In a newspaper article about his nonbelief, Dennett once wrote: “I’ve come to realize it’s time to sound the alarm.”
  • Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, author of 36 Arguments For the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction and a research associate in Harvard’s psychology department, is FFRF Freethought Heroine of 2011. Goldstein is a 1996 MacArthur Fellow (the “genius” award). She has taught at Barnard and in the Columbia MFA writing program and the Rutgers philosophy department. She’s been a visiting scholar at Brandeis and at Trinity College in Hartford.
  • Ernie Harburg, a retired research scientist, is president of Yip Harburg Foundation and co-author of Who Put the Rainbow in the Wizard of Oz? Ernie has dedicated his retirement to furthering the lyrics, music, memory and progressive views of his freethinking father, the lyricist Yip Harburg, author of classic songs such as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and of Rhymes for the Irreverent, recently republished by FFRF.
  • Jennifer Michael Hecht, poet, historian and author of the acclaimed Doubt: A History and The End of the Soul, told the FFRF 2009 convention audience: “If there is no god — and there isn't — then we [humans] made up morality. And I'm very impressed.”
  • Susan Jacoby, bestselling author of Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, and program director of the Center for Inquiry-New York City, told FFRF convention-goers in 2004: "[President] Kennedy had to speak about his religion because he was suspected of insufficient dedication to the Constitution's separation of church and state. Today's candidates are suspect if they display too much dedication to secular government."
  • Robin Morgan, feminist pioneer, global activist, author of the groundbreaking "Sisterhood is Powerful" and more than 20 books, was formerly Ms. Magazine editor and consulting editor. She is the co-founder of the Feminist Women's Health Network and Women's Media Center and currently hosts "Women's Media Center Live" the radio "talk-show with a brain."
  • Mike Newdow is working pro bono to challenge such violations as the addition of “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. He told the U.S. Supreme Court during oral arguments: “I am an atheist. I don't believe in God. And every school morning my child is asked to stand up, face that flag, put her hand over her heart, and say that her father is wrong.”
  • Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard, is author of The Blank Slate: “I never outgrew my conversion to atheist at 13.”
  • Katha Pollitt, “Subject to Debate” columnist for The Nation, author and poet, has spoken out regularly and energetically as a freethinker, in such columns as “Freedom From Religion, Sí!”
  • Ron Reagan, media commentator, describes himself in a radio ad he taped for FFRF as: “Unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”
  • Robert Sapolsky, a neurologist, Stanford professor and bestselling author, once suggested FFRF put up a sign at its conventions: “Welcome, hellbound atheists.”
  • Edward Sorel, satiric cartoonist and irreverent illustrator who is a regular contributor to The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and whose caricatures have been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, has been a Foundation member since the 1980s.
  • Julia Sweeney, comedian and actress, is writer/performer of the play, “Letting Go of God”: “How dare the religious use the term 'born again.' That truly describes freethinkers who've thrown off the shackles of religion so much better!”

In Memoriam 

  • Christopher Hitchens, the iconoclastic journalist, is author of the bestselling God Is Not Great: “Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”
  • Oliver Sacks, M.D., the compassionate neurologist and bestselling author, describes himself as “an old Jewish atheist.”

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