FFRF Maine is a local chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. Its purposes, as stated in the bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of religion and government and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.
FFRF Maine recognizes the United States was the first nation to write an entirely godless, secular Constitution whose only references to religion are exclusionary. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees all citizens the right to support the religion of their choice, or no religion at all, by guaranteeing its citizens the freedom "of" religion AND the freedom “from” religion.
First Amendment and Establishment Clause violations are accelerating rapidly. The religious right is successfully working to advance religion in every area of society by: Demanding that Christianity, and no other religion, be taught in our secular public schools; Attempting to limit secular Liberals participation in the political process; Advancing payers in public schools; Promoting government funding of pervasively sectarian institutions and the ongoing campaign against civil rights for women, gays and lesbians. This is especially true when these religious right agendas are advanced by politicians who take action on their behalf, especially those with national impact such as the US Supreme Court, which clearly violates the separation of religion and government.
Now it is more important than ever to be vigilant about opposing the religious right who are attempting to advance their vision of the United States as a Christian Nation. FFRF Maine was organized as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Maine to support the purposes of the Foundation by opposing the religious right in their efforts to destroy our secular government. Our primary goal is to oppose the Good News Club in their efforts to convert our elementary school children to their fundamentalist version of Christianity.
Our members are composed of people who do not believe in any gods regardless of which personal label they ascribe to. Those who are looking for a social community with the opportunity to effect real change in our sectarian society are welcome. The common thread we all share is the right to choose what to believe, uphold the constitutional principle of separation of government and religion and support the philosophical concepts of humanism.
We encourage all non-believers to be open about their non-belief and to help educate the general public on matters of non-belief through writing letter-to-the-editors, by working with other like minded organizations and taking legally appropriate action to preserve our rights when necessary. These actions will help to provide a balance to the religious right agenda. We are also in the process of supporting the Foundations “Out of the closet" campaign.
Maine is the third least religious state in the Union and has at least three other freethinking organizations that provide many social activities for their members along with opportunities to engage with the public on matters of the separation of religion and government. FFRF Maine works with these groups and encourages members to also join these other freethinking groups in the area.
If you are a freethinker who supports the separation of religion and government, please feel free to email the FFRF Maine president at . with any questions you have. You are also welcome to attend one of our monthly meetings held the second Saturday of the month at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine from 10 AM to Noon. Our meetings are primarily social and have short business meeting if needed. Social / business time is flexible depending on chapter priorities at the time.
To join FFRF Maine, go to ffrfmaine.org, click on “Register”, read the registration procedures and fill out the online application. To be a full, voting member of FFRF Maine, you must be a current, paid member of the Foundation. We require proof of your Foundation membership before approval of your FFRF Maine membership can become effective. This can be your membership / renewal receipt or a current issue of “Freethought Today” with attached mailing label showing your name and address.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its chapter, the FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter, this week are placing their third set of friendly but thought-provoking billboards in Chicago, which feature the diverse faces and "testimonials" of local atheists, agnostics and freethinkers.
Eleven "out of the closet" billboards went up in December. View here. Three additional billboards featuring groups of freethinkers, including Chicago Black Skeptics, went up in the new year. View here.
A final batch of seven new billboards is going up this week, most in various neighborhoods on the north side. They include a billboard featuring a smiling former minister, Rich Pope, of Northfield, proclaiming, "No magic. No miracles. No imaginary friends."
Three of the billboards represent couples. Jenn and Ben Zalisko note, "We found love in an atheist community!" Ray Belmonte and Rick Scuch, who are both physicians and atheists, have a plainspoken message: "Religion is a collection of man-made fairy tales." Their dog, Rufus, is also pictured. Alexandra Lafaurie and Melinda Dunker of Chicago, both consultants and freethinkers, ask: "Find it hard to believe in God? You're not alone."
Cheryl Purnell, a graphic designer from Chicago, who identifies as a freethinker, says "Freethought and adventure are my allies!"
Youth is represented by student Viven Castillo, of Chicago, who declares: "This happy heathen is good without God."
"No gods. Just human goodness" is the gentle message of retired veterinarian Allen Cosnow, of Glencoe.
FFRF, the nation's largest association of atheists and agnostics, has more than 21,500 members, including nearly 900 members in Illinois. FFRF also works as a prominent state/church watchdog.
"Although nearly 20% of the population today is nonreligious in the United States, many Americans have never knowingly met an atheist or agnostic," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. "We're proud to introduce our Chicago-area members and their viewpoints to their community. Freethinkers have an important message to contribute to society — that reason, not dogma, should prevail, and that freedom depends on keeping religion out of government."
Since debuting the "Out of the Closet" campaign in Madison in 2010, FFRF has taken the personalized campaign to Columbus, Tulsa, Raleigh, Phoenix, Nashville, Portland, Spokane, Sacramento, Cleveland and Akron. Make your own "virtual billboard" or upload a short freethought video statement.
LOCATION OF BILLBOARDS