Outreach & Events - Freedom From Religion Foundation
Lauryn Seering

Lauryn Seering

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Tips for Winning

  • Get the government to stop prayer after your prayer!
  • Show the government why prayers are unconstitutional as part of a government meeting or ridiculous.
  • Don't be shy about your lack of belief. Be an out and proud freethinker!
  • Often, governments require "ordained" prayer-givers . Here are some options for atheists:
  • The United Church of Bacon (Praise Bacon!) offers free ordination (click: Join, Become Ordained)
  • For $20, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster will ordain you and give you a certificate
  • The First Church of Atheism gives ordinations for free, but you can order cards and certificates for a fee.
  • The higher the quality of video recording the better your chances of winning. Use a tripod! (Don't rely on a cell phone if possible.)
  • Your invocation can be sincere yet secular, like Arizona Rep. Juan Mendez's invocation, for which he won FFRF's Emperor Has No Clothes Award, or light-hearted or even facetious (think Flying Spaghetti Monster).
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Contest Terms and Conditions

1. Contestants hereby agree to submit their entries under the following terms and conditions: (i) that FFRF may use any ideas, concepts, or material, in whole or in part, contained in an entry; (ii) that all materials submitted become the property of FFRF and can be used by FFRF for any purpose whatsoever, including commercial use, without compensation; (iii) that the contestant has obtained all rights, permissions, and licenses necessary to use the entry for any purpose; (iv) that no entry or any part thereof infringes any trademark or copyright or otherwise violates anyone's right of privacy or publicity; and (v) that the contestant indemnifies and holds harmless FFRF from any claims, suits, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees) that arise from any breach of the terms and conditions.

2. FFRF reserves the right in its sole discretion to terminate, modify, or suspend the contest at any time. All interpretations of the rules and decisions by FFRF are final. FFRF reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it believes to be tampering with the entry process, voting process, or operation of the website; to be acting in violation of the official rules; or to be acting in a disruptive or negative manner.

3. No purchase is necessary to enter. Becoming a member of FFRF, while a great way to show your support for state/church separation, does not confer any advantage in this contest.

4. Arrangements for the fulfillment of all prizes will be made by FFRF, which reserves the right to substitute any prize for any reason that FFRF deems necessary. All prizes are non-transferable. Upon receipt of any part of the prize, prize recipients are required to comply with any and all applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations. All expenses, including taxes, on receipt and use of prizes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

5. Entries must be received no later than Sept. 30 to be considered by FFRF for the 2014 convention. Entries will be accepted year-round and deadlines will be updated annually.

6. Content: An eligible entry must contain the contestant's original ideas and language, with any quotations properly credited. Invocations must be appropriate for posting on FFRF's website. FFRF retains sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content and an eligible entry.

7. Entries: There is no limit on the number of entries that can be submitted per person, provided that each entry is from a unique government meeting and that the content of the invocation is unique. Contestants who jointly submit an entry shall be treated as a single contestant by FFRF, with any prizes being shared.

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Read Contest Rules & Enter Contest

  • Give an invocation during the official invocation period at any government meeting (not during the public comment period)
  • Prepare a copy of the video recording of your invocation (link, file, or DVD)
  • Prepare a written transcript of your invocation (print, PDF, or MS Word)
  • Prepare your personal information:
  • Your name
  • Your phone number (for FFRF use only)
  • Your email address (for FFRF use only)
  • Your mailing address (for FFRF use only)
  • The name of the government body where you gave your invocation
  • The date you gave your invocation
  • A short personal bio
  • Send the video recording, written transcript, and personal information to or Nothing Fails Like Prayer Contest, c/o FFRF, PO Box 750, Madison WI 53701

Print off this list here.


The Freedom From Religion Foundation and its chapter, FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter, has just placed three additional bulletin-sized billboards in the Chicago area, as an encore to the 11 thought-provoking billboards it put up in December featuring area freethinkers. 

“Your atheist neighbors” include Allen Cosnow, Rick Schuch, Maryann Anderson, Rich Pope and Kathi Wise, who describe themselves as “Moral, loving and generous — without religion.” View this billboard on Dundee southwest of Quentin. 

Chicago Black Skeptics and freethinkers, represented by Cheryl Purnell, Frank Anderson, Kimberly Veal and Deb Barnes, proclaim on boards on Pulaski at Southwest Highway: “No gods, no masters.” 

Board members of the Chicago chapter, Bob Elmore, Jane Winter, Melinda Dunker, Tom Cara and Evan Kane, are pictured with this message inviting viewers to visit their website, ffrfmcc.org: “Atheist? Freethinker? Humanist? Good WITHOUT god? Join us!” The 14 x 48 foot billboard is on Mannheim east of Lake. 


FFRF and its chapter put up 11 billboards in December, some of which are still up. View last month’s billboards. Among the original billboards still up as of today is one featuring FFRF member Kathi Wise, of Palatine, pictured on a lavender billboard affirming “Life is good for this life-long atheist.” 

FFRF, a state/church watchdog based in Madison, Wis., is the nation’s largest association of atheists and agnostics with more than 21,500 members, including more than 800 members in Illinois. FFRF debuted the “Out of the Closet” campaign in Madison in 2010, and has taken the personalized campaign to Columbus, Tulsa, Raleigh, Phoenix, Nashville, Portland, Spokane, Sacramento, Cleveland and Akron. 

“Stay tuned,” says Tom Cara, who directs FFRF Metropolitan Chicago. “Round III, featuring more committed area nonbelievers, is coming soon.” The chapter has been very active countering religious signs on public property, including in Daley Plaza in December and Eastertime

“Nonbelievers are often openly stigmatized,” comments Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “We are proud to introduce the vibrant freethought community to Chicagoland, to let other atheists and agnostics know they’re not alone, and to educate about freethought — the intellectually respectable position of using reason when forming an opinion about religion.” 

Make your own “virtual billboard” or upload a short freethought video statement


FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

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FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.