Lauryn Seering

Lauryn Seering

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Repeal RFRA

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IT'S TIME TO REPEAL FEDERAL AND STATE RFRAS
The so-called religious freedom restoration act
 

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Help ensure no hate in any state 
 
Religious protection laws, once considered shields, are now being used as weapons against the LGBTQ community, religious minorities, atheists, and even against women’s right to birth control. A law euphemistically called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed by Congress in 1993, is spawning state versions, including the Indiana law passed in April 2015 creating a nationwide furor. Yet Indiana is not alone in passing legislation that makes minorities, gays, nonbelievers and women vulnerable to religious bigotry. At least 20 other states have passed state RFRAs, with more states considering such laws. In the United States, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution protects religious liberty. RFRA is not only unnecessary, but is being used to undermine true religious liberty. The best protection for religious freedom is a government free from religion.
 
Below find out why RFRA should be repealed at the state and federal levels, and how you can take simple actions to effect change. 

Read FFRF's FAQ about RFRA here. 
 
contact president, congress members
 
Please immediately call, email and write:

CONTACT

Please immediately call, email and write:

Your U.S. Senators 

Your district Representative

Demand that your representatives in Congress uphold women's rights over religious wrongs, and restore some semblance of fairness to our corporate system, by repealing RFRA now.

TALKING POINTS

Use your own words if possible, or cut and paste any of the wording below. Always identify yourself as a constituent. (Also see FFRF's statement on the Hobby Lobby ruling for more arguments.)

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to take action in the wake of the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Please take action to repeal the misguided Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been used to decide that a corporation trumps the civil and reproductive rights of women workers to choose their own form of contraception.

I'm dismayed and frightened by the implications of this decision, which puts the personal religious views of corporate executives above the rights of tens of thousands of employees. Corporations are not people and a corporation cannot practice religion. Yet the Supreme Court has ruled that the access to contraceptive coverage granted by the Affordable Care Act creates a significant burden on a corporation's free exercise of religion. The decision is completely divorced from reality!

The main justification for this outlandish decision is the Supreme Court's holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of Congress's original intent, RFRA has become an untenable law. It carves out vast exceptions to neutral laws that only certain religious sects can claim. In the corporate context, this provides an unfair competitive advantage to any corporation willing to claim that it has a religious objection to a regulation.

Employers should not have a right to deny fundamental rights to employees in the name of "religious liberty." Please introduce or sign onto a bill to repeal RFRA immediately.

 
 
 
 

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- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/action/item/20865-ask-congress-to-counter-supreme-court-s-hobby-lobby-ruling#sthash.b22CJfKs.74qPIuyW.dpuf
Please immediately call, email and write:

CONTACT

Please immediately call, email and write:

Your U.S. Senators 

Your district Representative

Demand that your representatives in Congress uphold women's rights over religious wrongs, and restore some semblance of fairness to our corporate system, by repealing RFRA now.

TALKING POINTS

Use your own words if possible, or cut and paste any of the wording below. Always identify yourself as a constituent. (Also see FFRF's statement on the Hobby Lobby ruling for more arguments.)

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to take action in the wake of the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Please take action to repeal the misguided Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been used to decide that a corporation trumps the civil and reproductive rights of women workers to choose their own form of contraception.

I'm dismayed and frightened by the implications of this decision, which puts the personal religious views of corporate executives above the rights of tens of thousands of employees. Corporations are not people and a corporation cannot practice religion. Yet the Supreme Court has ruled that the access to contraceptive coverage granted by the Affordable Care Act creates a significant burden on a corporation's free exercise of religion. The decision is completely divorced from reality!

The main justification for this outlandish decision is the Supreme Court's holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of Congress's original intent, RFRA has become an untenable law. It carves out vast exceptions to neutral laws that only certain religious sects can claim. In the corporate context, this provides an unfair competitive advantage to any corporation willing to claim that it has a religious objection to a regulation.

Employers should not have a right to deny fundamental rights to employees in the name of "religious liberty." Please introduce or sign onto a bill to repeal RFRA immediately.

- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/action/item/20865-ask-congress-to-counter-supreme-court-s-hobby-lobby-ruling#sthash.b22CJfKs.74qPIuyW.dpuf
Please immediately call, email and tweet:
 
Comments: 202-456-1111
 
 
 
tweet public officials, celebrities and corporations who don't like indiana law 
 
Ask them to fight Federal RFRA, too! Use the hashtag #RepealRFRA and tweet:

The White House @WhiteHouse
Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton
Audra McDonald @AudraEqualityMc
George Takei @GeorgeTakei
NFL @NFL
Angie’s List @AngiesList
Gen Con @Gen_Con
Apple CEO Tim Cook @tim_cook
Walmart @Walmart
Salesforce @Salesforce
NCAA @NCAA
NASCAR @NASCAR

here is what is happening in your state 
 
Professor Marci Hamilton, foremost legal expert in the harm of RFRA, keeps citizens posted on what’s happening in your state, and posts timely commentary on RFRA problems. If you live in a state that’s adopted RFRA, contact your governor and legislators today. Read more here!
 
Find out why it’s time to repeal RFRA
 
ffrf asks governor to repeal state rfras, including conn. and va. 
 
It’s great that the governors of Connecticut and Virginia have condemned Indiana’s discrimination law. But did you know their states also have adopted RFRA laws codifying the right of religious people to be exempted from civil rights laws? Read more
 
stop the hate #boycottindiana, overturn rfra laws everywhere
 
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When my mother-in-law Pat Barker's eyes were opened to religion after a lifetime of devout fundamentalist belief, she poignantly told my husband, Dan: "I'm so glad I don't have to hate anymore."

"You don't have to hate anymore" could be the slogan of the movement known by the hashtag #boycottindiana.

- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/22672-stop-the-hate-boycottindiana-overturn-rfra-laws-everywhere#sthash.TlL2gRz7.dpuf

When my mother-in-law Pat Barker's eyes were opened to religion after a lifetime of devout fundamentalist belief, she poignantly told my husband, Dan: "I'm so glad I don't have to hate anymore."

"You don't have to hate anymore" could be the slogan of the movement known by the hashtag #boycottindiana.

- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/22672-stop-the-hate-boycottindiana-overturn-rfra-laws-everywhere#sthash.TlL2gRz7.dpuf

When my mother-in-law Pat Barker's eyes were opened to religion after a lifetime of devout fundamentalist belief, she poignantly told my husband, Dan: "I'm so glad I don't have to hate anymore."

"You don't have to hate anymore" could be the slogan of the movement known by the hashtag #boycottindiana.

- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/22672-stop-the-hate-boycottindiana-overturn-rfra-laws-everywhere#sthash.TlL2gRz7.dpufWri
Writes FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor: “When my mother-in-law Pat Barker’s eyes were opened to religion after a lifetime of devout fundamentalist belief, she poignantly told my husband, Dan: ‘I’m so glad I don’t have to hate anymore.’ ‘You don’t have to hate anymore’ could be the slogan of the movement known by the hashtag #boycottindiana. Read more!
 
welcome to the fight: religion should not trump the law
 
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FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel tells you why Indiana’s law was no surprise to FFRF. Read more. Also read Andrew’s column, ‘Five Reasons Why Hobby Lobby Ruling Should Terrify you.’
 
dispelling myths by apologists for rfra
 
FFRF Attorney Andrew Seidel dispels myths by apologists for RFRA and paints the big picture. Read more here!
 
ffrf, marci hamilton brief calls on supreme court to overturn federal rfra
 
FFRF, working with noted state/church attorney Marci A. Hamilton, asked the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case, to declare the federal RFRA unconstitutional. Read why here
 
what's wrong with hobby lobby ruling? 
 
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 ruled that under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, it is lawful for corporations to deny women employees contraceptive insurance coverage otherwise mandated by the Affordable Care Act if they claim the corporation’s “religion” is offended by birth control. The decision was not decided on the basis of the Constitution, but the Congressionally-enacted RFRA. Congress need only repeal RFRA to ensure worker and women’s rights. Read more here!
 
VIEW FFRF'S FULL-PAGE AD IN NEW YORK TIMES AGAINST HOBBY LOBBY RULING
Please immediately call, email and write:

CONTACT

Please immediately call, email and write:

Your U.S. Senators 

Your district Representative

Demand that your representatives in Congress uphold women's rights over religious wrongs, and restore some semblance of fairness to our corporate system, by repealing RFRA now.

TALKING POINTS

Use your own words if possible, or cut and paste any of the wording below. Always identify yourself as a constituent. (Also see FFRF's statement on the Hobby Lobby ruling for more arguments.)

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to take action in the wake of the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Please take action to repeal the misguided Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been used to decide that a corporation trumps the civil and reproductive rights of women workers to choose their own form of contraception.

I'm dismayed and frightened by the implications of this decision, which puts the personal religious views of corporate executives above the rights of tens of thousands of employees. Corporations are not people and a corporation cannot practice religion. Yet the Supreme Court has ruled that the access to contraceptive coverage granted by the Affordable Care Act creates a significant burden on a corporation's free exercise of religion. The decision is completely divorced from reality!

The main justification for this outlandish decision is the Supreme Court's holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of Congress's original intent, RFRA has become an untenable law. It carves out vast exceptions to neutral laws that only certain religious sects can claim. In the corporate context, this provides an unfair competitive advantage to any corporation willing to claim that it has a religious objection to a regulation.

Employers should not have a right to deny fundamental rights to employees in the name of "religious liberty." Please introduce or sign onto a bill to repeal RFRA immediately.

 
 
 
 

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- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/action/item/20865-ask-congress-to-counter-supreme-court-s-hobby-lobby-ruling#sthash.b22CJfKs.74qPIuyW.dpuf
Please immediately call, email and write:

CONTACT

Please immediately call, email and write:

Your U.S. Senators 

Your district Representative

Demand that your representatives in Congress uphold women's rights over religious wrongs, and restore some semblance of fairness to our corporate system, by repealing RFRA now.

TALKING POINTS

Use your own words if possible, or cut and paste any of the wording below. Always identify yourself as a constituent. (Also see FFRF's statement on the Hobby Lobby ruling for more arguments.)

I am writing as your constituent to urge you to take action in the wake of the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Please take action to repeal the misguided Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which has been used to decide that a corporation trumps the civil and reproductive rights of women workers to choose their own form of contraception.

I'm dismayed and frightened by the implications of this decision, which puts the personal religious views of corporate executives above the rights of tens of thousands of employees. Corporations are not people and a corporation cannot practice religion. Yet the Supreme Court has ruled that the access to contraceptive coverage granted by the Affordable Care Act creates a significant burden on a corporation's free exercise of religion. The decision is completely divorced from reality!

The main justification for this outlandish decision is the Supreme Court's holding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) protects Hobby Lobby from the generally applicable rules of the Affordable Care Act. Regardless of Congress's original intent, RFRA has become an untenable law. It carves out vast exceptions to neutral laws that only certain religious sects can claim. In the corporate context, this provides an unfair competitive advantage to any corporation willing to claim that it has a religious objection to a regulation.

Employers should not have a right to deny fundamental rights to employees in the name of "religious liberty." Please introduce or sign onto a bill to repeal RFRA immediately.

- See more at: http://ffrf.org/news/action/item/20865-ask-congress-to-counter-supreme-court-s-hobby-lobby-ruling#sthash.b22CJfKs.74qPIuyW.dpuf
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Wisconsin Vouchers

What is the current Wisconsin voucher system like?

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A Freedom From Religion Foundation “In Reason We Trust” sign was stolen March 28 from the first floor Capitol rotunda in Madison, Wis. The sign features Thomas Jefferson with his thought-provoking quote, “Question with boldness even the existence of a god. . .”

FFRF Staff Attorney Sam Grover and Legal Intern Ryan Jayne filed the permit application on March 9. The sign was put up in the Capitol to counter Eastertime religious displays.

After contacting authorities, FFRF was given access to the security footage. On Sat., March 28, at 1:13 p.m., three suspects were recorded removing the 20x30 inch sign, along with the easel it was propped on.

The suspects are two males and a female, all Caucasian. Footage reveals one male suspect struggling to remove the tape securing the sign to the easel. The additional suspects joined shortly after, and posed to take multiple “selfies” on a cellphone camera. The thief left via the Wisconsin Avenue exit and the others exited via the West Washington exit.

The thieves will be chagrined to learn that the wooden easel wasn’t FFRF property. The stolen easel was a rental from the Capitol Police Department.

This theft is considered a Class A misdemeanor, with a fine up to $10,000 or imprisonment for up to 9 months. 939.51(3)(a) (a).

FFRF is offering a total of $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thief.

If you have any information pertaining to this theft, please contact FFRF.

FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with more than 22,000 members, including over 1,300 in Wisconsin.

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Stop Voucher Expansion in Wisconsin

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take action now!

Wisconsin is Ground Zero in the attack on our public schools

Stop Governor Walker’s voucher expansion in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s budget bill includes a disastrous proposal to expand the voucher program — raiding tax dollars from public schools and giving them to private (mostly religious) schools. Walker’s proposal would lift the 1,000-student cap on statewide private school tuition vouchers, opening the floodgates for state funding of religious schools. In the recently expanded statewide voucher system, 100% of the state-funded schools are Christian, and 73% of students attend Roman Catholic schools. The state must end this pernicious experiment to siphon funds from our public schools to fund church-run, religiously-segregated schools.

Walker's proposal could destroy our public schools. Up to 40% of Wisconsin K-12th grade students would be eligible to leave public schools, taking public funding with them to enrich parochial and other private schools. In Madison, more than 12,500 students would be eligible for vouchers under Walker's budget bill. Almost half of the students within the Madison Metropolitan School District could leave it at public expense! Public schools are governed by publicly elected school boards and are subject to open meetings and records laws. Where public money goes, public accountability ought to follow. Taxpayers have no means to monitor the voucher schools that they fund, which have been rife with abuses, including fraud, failures, teaching of creationism, etc. 

You can help stop Walker’s brazen attack on public education! If you only take action on one state/church issue this year, make it be this one. (Scroll below to find FAQs and talking points).

contact your state legislators 

Find your state legislator here

(Type your full address in the small searchbox at far right above map.)

Click here to contact your Assemblyperson.

Click here to contact your State Senator.

Phone the Wisconsin Legislative Hotline 

In Madison, dial 266-9960
Statewide 1-800-362-9472

contact the joint finance committee

The Wisconsin Legislature’s powerful Joint Committee on Finance is seeking comments from the public now. Ask the committee to delete Walker’s voucher expansion provision:


Joe Malkasian, Committee Clrk
Joint Committee on Finance
Room 305 East
State Capitol
Madison WI 53702
608/264-8314 

contact the governor's office

Governor Scott Walker
Office of Governor Scott Walker
115 East Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
(608) 266-1212

Faqs and more background on why vouchers hurt our public schools

Read our brief FAQ on the problems with the Wisconsin voucher program.

Read a detailed FAQ on the problems with all voucher programs.

Read FFRF’s letter to the Legislature on why Wisconsin’s “experiment” in vouchers should be ended.

talking points

To email your legislator, the governor or Joint Finance Committee. Feel free to cut and paste any wording below:

As a Wisconsin citizen, taxpayer and your constituent, I urge you to take action to remove Governor Walker’s irresponsible voucher expansion language from the budget proposal. End Wisconsin’s disastrous experiment with school vouchers, which raid our public schools to enrich largely religious private schools at taxpayer expense. Walker’s expansion is a brazen attack on our public, secular school system. I join the call for a legislative investigation into voucher fraud and an end to school voucher expansion. Where public money goes, public accountability should follow. Please act now to protect our public schools.

view ffrf's anti voucher tv spots

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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 the Foundation. His newest book, Life Driven Purpose: How an atheist finds meaning, was published by Pitchstone Press in 2015. His previous book, the autobiographical Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists, was published in 2008. 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 the Foundation's musical cassettes, "My Thoughts Are Free," "Reason's Greetings," "Dan Barker Salutes Freethought Then And Now," a 2-CD album "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist," and the CD "Beware of Dogma." He joined the Foundation staff in 1987 and served as public relations director. He was first elected co-president in November 2004.

Annie Laurie was also editor of Freethought Today from 1984 to 2009, when she became executive editor. The paper is published 10 times a year. Her book, Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So, first published in 1981, is now in its 4th printing. In 1988, the Foundation published her book, Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children, the first book documenting widespread sexual abuse by clergy. Her 1997 book, 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 UW-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 joined the Foundation staff in 1985. She has been co-president since 2004. She co-founded the original FFRF with Anne Gaylor (see below) as a college student. 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 is a founder and president emerita of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She served as executive director from 1978 to 2005, and is now working as a consultant to the Foundation. Born in rural Wisconsin, she is 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 has done 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. She has more than 25 years of experience in nonprofit (primarily association) management, including 15 years as executive director of the Wisconsin Library Association. She 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.

KATHERINE PAIGE graduated magna cum laude from Wichita State University in 2010 with a B.A. in History, Political Science, and French. She attended law school at the College of William & Mary where she received her Juris Doctor in 2014. Katherine became FFRF’s first Legal Fellow in September 2014, specializing in faith-based government funding.

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 since May 2012, starting as a legal intern/extern, and currently works as a law clerk and legal publicist.

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.

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.

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. She was born in Wausau, Wis. and has also lived in Nagasaki, Japan. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2012 with her B.S. in Professional Communications and Emerging Media, concentrating in Technical Communication and International Studies. She also received a double minor in Journalism and English. Lauryn moved to Madison in January 2013 and enjoys reading about astrophysics, basking in the sun like a turtle and creating art at coffee shops. Lauryn is a practicing Pastafarian

DAYNA LONG is an administrative assistant at FFRF. Originally from Illinois, she attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received a degree in English. She has been with FFRF since July 2013. She spends her free time volunteering for the Wisconsin chapter of the National Organization for Women. She also enjoys reading, cooking, and admiring her beautiful cats.

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.”
  • Oliver Sacks, M.D., the compassionate neurologist and bestselling author, describes himself as “an old Jewish atheist.”
  • 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.”

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