About the Freedom from Religion Foundation

The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion. In modern times the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women’s right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery. The Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.

About FFRF

What is FFRF's purpose

The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.

In modern times, the first to speak out for prison reform, for humane treatment of the mentally ill, for abolition of capital punishment, for women’s right to vote, for death with dignity for the terminally ill, and for the right to choose contraception, sterilization and abortion have been freethinkers, just as they were the first to call for an end to slavery.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church. As FFRF’s principal founder Anne Gaylor noted, “To be free from religion is an advantage for individuals; it is a necessity for government.”

What is FFRF’s purpose?

The purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Incorporated in 1978 in Wisconsin, FFRF is the nation’s largest freethought association with more than 39,000 freethinkers: atheists, agnostics and skeptics of any pedigree. FFRF is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). All dues and contributions are deductible for income tax purposes.

What are FFRF's Accomplishments

FFRF and its robust legal department act on countless state/church entanglements on behalf of its members and the public. Through litigation, education, and other persuasive advocacy, FFRF ends hundreds of violations each year, such as prayers and proselytizing in public schools and events, public funding for religious purposes and religious symbols on public property. FFRF has successfully settled countless religion-in-the-public-schools cases in favor of nonreligious students and secular education. These include ending hour-long prayers imposed on Puerto Rican students and commencement prayers at a Big Ten University.

FFRF’s lawsuits have ended a wide range of egregious First Amendment violations. From our very first lawsuit halting religious postal cancellations, to winning the first federal case challenging “faith-based” funding of a pervasively sectarian agency, FFRF court cases protect the wall of separation. FFRF lawsuits have removed Ten Commandments and Jesus paintings from public schools, stopped city/school board prayer; halted school subsidy of child evangelism, removed nativity scenes and Christian crosses from public property, and stopped censorship of freethought displays, literature distribution, license plates and invocations.

Other court victories include:

• Halting federal funds to a bible school offering no academic classes
• Ending millions of tax dollars used to repair and maintain churches
• Halting a government chaplaincy to minister to state workers
• Barring director subsidy to religious schools
• Winning a legal challenge ending 51 years of illegal bible instruction in Rhea County (Dayton, Tennessee) public schools
• Winning a federal court decision overturning a law declaring Good Friday a state holiday
• Successfully suing the Trump Administration over its executive order against church
politicking
• Successfully suing the IRS to reinstitute investigations of church politicking

What Else Does FFRF Do?

FFRF works as an umbrella for those who are free from religion and are committed to the cherished principle of separation of state and church.

• Publishes Freethought Today, the only freethought newspaper in the United States
• Sponsors six annual student essay contests with major cash awards, student activist awards and other scholarships
• Conducts lively, annual national conventions, honoring state/church, student, and freethought activism
• Maintains a Strategic Response Team, full time D.C. lobbyist and legislative action alerts
• Bestows “The Emperor Has No Clothes” Award to public figures for “plain-speaking on religion”
• Promotes freedom from religion with educational books, literature, music CDs
• Provides speakers for events and debates
• Maintains its historic office, Freethought Hall, with major library, studio, auditorium
• Broadcasts Freethought Radio, Freethought Matters TV show, and FFRF’s Ask an Atheist
• Places freethought billboards, bus signs and other advertising

DON’T MISS OUT!

Many ways to get involved:

• Get 10 issues of Freethought Today, FFRF’s lively 24-page newspaper reporting fully on FFRF lawsuits, state-church complaints, victories and members. (Available in print, digitally and mobile friendly.)
• Get discounts on convention registration.
• Receive your cheering Freethought of the Day via email (ffrf.org/day).
• Sign up for FFRF press releases, blogs and action alerts. FFRF will also email you about any state/church separation actions, legislative issues or FFRF functions in your area.
• Receive financial and business information, including FFRF’s annual Statement of Activities, via Private Line’s twice-a-year, member-only newsletter.

Your membership dues support:

• FFRF’s activism and hardworking staff of more than 25 full-time employees.
• Ongoing, significant lawsuits, plus eight staff attorneys, two legal fellows and two legal assistants ending hundreds of state/church violations without having to go to court.
• FFRF’s media and billboard campaigns to heighten freethought visibility.
• More than 20 regional chapters serving local members.
• FFRF’s educational campaigns, including action alerts, news releases and our significant website resources and social media outreach.

Freedom From Religion Foundation