In April, the number of FFRF Forum members hit 1,000. Online administrator Darrell Barker emailed No. 1,000 to ask if he or she would tell Freethought Today about the Forum experience, and Henryetta Lee of Florida agreed. Offered a gift from FFRF’s Shop, she declined:
“I am not comfortable accepting a gift simply for joining the Forum at the right time. There were 999 other members participating before I became a member. I am no more important than any one of them. Currently, FFRF is fighting many legal battles on our behalf. If possible, I would prefer that the cost of a T-shirt or book be donated to their Legal Fund.”
More from Henryetta:
The FFRF Forum is a great way to connect with other members. I haven’t posted yet; well, I did and accidentally erased the whole thing in edit. There are current events and issues, but my favorite area is the Lounge. It’s is like sitting in a cafe chatting about anything, but you know no one is gonna say “God did or told them something.” So you can relax and not worry about making a scene, having an unwanted heated debate or biting your tongue so you won’t offend someone. Many of us have been there. I bit my tongue for so long with family and co-workers, I’m surprised I can still speak!
I’ve been a freethinker most of my life. To this day, I can’t eat Ritz crackers, as that’s what they served as snacks in bible school! My parents were moderate Christians, enforcing Sunday school but not church. Religion was rarely talked about at home. Yet, the sense was still there that one must believe, toe the family line.
Nearing the age of 40, I finally, slowly started “coming out.” At the time, I worked for a small, family-owned business that had, until me, only very fundamentalist Christian, mostly Baptist, employees. After fighting with family over the fact that, at age 40, I could pursue my own beliefs (I really had to do this!), I then “came out” at work.
The whispers behind my back were never quiet enough. My Meaning-of-Winter-Solstice decorations were laughed at, and my “obvious devil worship” became office gossip. Those were the days, and they weren’t good!
Now, I’m a proud and happy lifetime member of FFRF. I make freethought labels and cards to give and send as well as handing out some of the FFRF nontracts. I also proudly sport a “Darwin fish” tattoo on my right wrist.
I live with my Canadian freethinking husband, Peter Murphy; a parakeet, Kenny; a cat, Peaches (adopted from a shelter when she was 10); and my new 5-year-old Chihuahua, Kita, who is my emotional support animal.
On the bus one day, a religious nut got into a debate with my husband regarding the idea that “God is perfect.” Losing the debate, the man suggested, “Let me give you another example.” “No,” my husband said, “This one’s fine.”
The man quieted down shortly thereafter. As we exited the bus, I passed by him, gave him an FFRF nontract and said, “May the Force be with you.”
It’s been FFRF (and the Forum) that have taken me from the quiet pain of past isolation to the quiet playful confidence of today.
FFRF’s members-only Forum is an online space designed for FFRF’ers to contact each other, discuss FFRF events and debate the universe. More information is here: