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Defend True Religious Liberty
Under Assault by Catholic Bishops

Do you think Catholic Bishops should have veto power over women's contraceptive health insurance coverage? They think so! U.S. Roman Catholic Bishops are waging war against Health and Human Service's mandate, starting in August to ensure U.S. women workers have contraceptive coverage. In a colossal power play, the Bishops seek to impose their narrow religious doctrine on many of America's employees, whether or not they subscribe to the Catholic faith.

The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops has pledged a multimillion-dollar attack against the contraceptive mandate leading up to July 4, 2012. Over 40 Roman Catholic dioceses and institutions are suing to stop Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate. Every Sunday from the pulpit Catholics who shun their own church’s teachings against contraception are being told to help the Bishops use the force of secular law to deny birth control to non-Catholics.

The louder the Church cries “assault against religious freedom,” the harder it works to take away reproductive freedom. While the Bishops preposterously portray themselves as victims of an “attack on religious liberty,” in fact it is they who are the threat to religious liberty. They seek to impose their irrational belief that contraception is “sinful” on everyone else.

True religious liberty requires a separation between dogma and government policy.

The HHS contraceptive mandate does not apply to any church or denominations, including Roman Catholicism. The HHS mandate even exempts non-church religious (or quasi-religious) employers, such as religious hospitals or schools, from providing contraceptive health care for female workers. Instead, HHS is requiring private insurance companies to pick up the costs for providing such contraceptive health care. This policy protects the rights of women employees, and the so-called freedom of conscience of religious institutions. A Methodist woman employed at a Catholic school will be able to use her insurance policy to renew her prescription for birth control pills, for instance, at no cost to the school. This is why the Catholic Bishops are fuming?!

The Bishops have introduced into Congress the so-called “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act,” which goes even further.  They are lobbying Congress to pass a bill that would allow any private employer with a “religious or moral objection” to have veto power over health care coverage. For example, a Jehovah’s Witnesses employer could bar coverage of an emergency blood transfusion for employees. A Southern Baptist or Mormon employer could deny prescription birth control to unmarried female employees.

Don't let church dogma trump civil rights! Join the Freedom From Religion Foundation in standing up for freedom of conscience, women’s right to contraceptive health insurance and true religious liberty.

Look for FFRF’s ‘counter the bishops’ TV blitz airing now!

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is storming the “Bishops’ Bastille” in an unprecedented TV ad campaign to counter the Roman Catholic Church’s inquisition against contraceptive insurance coverage. The 30-second spots feature one of America’s favorite former Catholics — actress Julia Sweeney, beloved by freethinkers for her play, “Letting Go of God,” and by the American public for her portrayal of “Androgynous Pat” on Saturday Night Live! Read more. 

FFRF rebuts Catholic Bishops’ ‘religious freedom’ propaganda

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is fighting back against an offensive by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its upcoming “fortnight for freedom.” Like a secular David defending himself against Goliath, FFRF has launched an opening volley against the monolithic church and its war against the contraceptive mandate. Read more. 

FFRF’s ‘Quit the Church’ billboard hits Times Square

Although Times Square is home to many provocative images, the Freedom From Religion Foundation is upping the ante with its patriotic red-white-and-blue billboard placed this week on Times Square saying: “Quit the Church. Put Women’s Rights Over Bishops Wrongs.”  Read more. 

FFRF debuts ‘Quit the Church’ billboard in St. Louis

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has placed a bold 14x48-foot billboard in patriotic colors at I-70 and North Broadway in St. Louis, Mo., aimed at Roman Catholics, which urges them to “Put women’s rights over Bishops’ wrongs” and “Quit the Church.” Nearly 300,000 people will drive by the board every week during its four-week run. Read more. 



Watch Sneak Preview of FFRF TV commercial starring Julia Sweeney

Julia Sweeney, one of America’s most famous former Catholics as actress and playwright of “Letting Go of God,” stars in a new TV and radio ad just produced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

The commercial counters the anti-contraceptive campaign by Roman Catholic Bishops. The wealthy U.S. Catholic Church has pledged to spend multimillions in a PR blitz leading up to July 4th to overturn the Obama Administration’s contraceptive health insurance mandate. Read more. 


‘Contraception kills’ 

Did you know “contraception kills”?

That’s what an intrepid coterie of FFRF’ers was told by true believers when we counterpicketed a June 8 rally conducted by the Roman Catholic Church at the federal courthouse here in Madison, Wis.

I held a sign, “Quit the Church,” accompanied by about 20 other FFRF members, staffers, interns and volunteers. It was chilling to hear a young male speaker intone, “God is on our side.” At one surreal point during the rally, which featured at least six prayers, a priest instructed all of the present faithful to turn away from the podium and face us counter-protesters. As they prayed aggressively at us we had fun chanting my mother’s mantra: “Nothing Fails Like Prayer.” Read more.

FFRF’s ‘Quit the Catholic Church’ ad in weekend USA Today

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s signature full-page ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” is in today’s USA Today (Money Section), which stays on the newsstands all weekend. The ad by FFRF, a state/church watchdog and the nation’s largest atheist/agnostic association with over 18,000 members, urges liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception. Read more. 




FFRF’s ‘Quit the Catholic Church’ ad in today’s Washington Post

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s full-page ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” runs in today’s Washington Post (A-5 Main), urging liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception. Read more.

FFRF’s ‘Quit the Catholic Church’ ad in today’s Washington Post

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s full-page ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” runs in today’s Washington Post (A-5 Main), urging liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception. Read more.




FFRF ad, ‘Quit the Catholic Church,’ runs in today’s Times


The Freedom From Religion Foundation placed an open letter via a full-page ad in today’s New York Times (page 10, front section) urging liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception. Read more.




Open Letter to ‘Liberal’ and ‘Nominal’ Roman Catholics: ‘It’s time to quit the Catholic Church’

Dear 'Liberal' Catholic: It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. It's your moment of truth. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on, anyway?

It is time to make known your dissent from the Catholic Church, in light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ ruthless campaign endangering the right to contraception. If you're part of the Catholic Church, you're part of the problem. Read more. 

Vatican rules over health care? 

Who will President Obama side with? Women or Catholic bishops? The bishops are trying to boss Obama around, and it's time he showed them that the United States already has a secular "boss" — a Constitution that precludes theocratic interference with our government and its citizens. Read more.

What Does The Bible Say About Abortion? (12 or 100 pack)

Nontracts — the freethought answer to ubiquitous religious tracts. Brief but thorough, easy to read, 3 1/2 x 4 1/4-inch folded brochures address many common myths about freethought or religion. Order individual packs (12 for $4), a Sample Pack or by bulk (100 or more of the same nontract).

Absolutely nothing! The word "abortion" does not appear in any translation of the bible!

Out of more than 600 laws of Moses, none comments on abortion. One Mosaic law about miscarriage specifically contradicts the claim that the bible is antiabortion, clearly stating that miscarriage does not involve the death of a human being. If a woman has a miscarriage as the result of a fight, the man who caused it should be fined. If the woman dies, however, the culprit must be killed:

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . ."

—Ex. 21:22-25

The bible orders the death penalty for murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

When Does Life Begin?

According to the bible, life begins at birth--when a baby draws its first breath. The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

Desperate for a biblical basis for their beliefs, some antiabortionists cite obscure passages, usually metaphors or poetic phrasing, such as: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." Psalm 51:5 This is sexist, but does nothing other than to invoke original sin. It says nothing about abortion.

The Commandments, Moses, Jesus and Paul ignored every chance to condemn abortion. If abortion was an important concern, why didn't the bible say so?

Thou Shalt Not Kill?

Many antiabortionists quote the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13) as evidence that the bible is antiabortion. They fail to investigate the bible's definition of life (breath) or its deafening silence on abortion. Moreover, the Mosaic law in Exodus 21:22-25, directly following the Ten Commandments, makes it clear that an embryo or fetus is not a human being.

An honest reader must admit that the bible contradicts itself. "Thou shalt not kill" did not apply to many living, breathing human beings, including children, who are routinely massacred in the bible. The Mosaic law orders "Thou shalt kill" people for committing such "crimes" as cursing one's father or mother (Ex. 21:17), for being a "stubborn son" (Deut. 21:18-21), for being a homosexual (Lev. 20:13), or even for picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-35)! Far from protecting the sanctity of life, the bible promotes capital punishment for conduct which no civilized person or nation would regard as criminal.

Mass killings were routinely ordered, committed or approved by the God of the bible. One typical example is Numbers 25:4-9, when the Lord casually orders Moses to massacre 24,000 Israelites: "Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun." Clearly, the bible is not pro-life!

Most scholars and translators agree that the injunction against killing forbade only the murder of (already born) Hebrews. It was open season on everyone else, including children, pregnant women and newborn babies.

Does God Kill Babies?

"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."

—Psalm 137:9

The bible is not pro-child. Why did God set a bear upon 42 children just for teasing a prophet (2 Kings 2:23-24)? Far from demonstrating a "pro-life" attitude, the bible decimates innocent babies and pregnant women in passage after gory passage, starting with the flood and the wanton destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, progressing to the murder of the firstborn child of every household in Egypt (Ex. 12:29), and the New Testament threats of annihilation.

Space permits only a small sampling of biblical commandments or threats to kill children:

  • Numbers 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones.
  • Deuteronomy 2:34 utterly destroyed the men and the women and the little ones.
  • Deuteronomy 28:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters.
  • I Samuel 15:3 slay both man and woman, infant and suckling.
  • 2 Kings 8:12 dash their children, and rip up their women with child.
  • 2 Kings 15:16 all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.
  • Isaiah 13:16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled and their wives ravished.
  • Isaiah 13:18 They shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
  • Lamentations 2:20 Shall the women eat their fruit, and children.
  • Ezekiel 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children.
  • Hosea 9:14 give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
  • Hosea 13:16 their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Then there are the dire warnings of Jesus in the New Testament:

"For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the womb that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck."

–Luke 23:29

The teachings and contradictions of the bible show that antiabortionists do not have a "scriptural base" for their claim that their deity is "pro-life." Spontaneous abortions occur far more often than medical abortions. Gynecology textbooks conservatively cite a 15% miscarriage rate, with one medical study finding a spontaneous abortion rate of almost 90% in very early pregnancy. That would make a deity in charge of nature the greatest abortionist in history!

Are Bible Teachings Kind to Women?

The bible is neither antiabortion nor pro-life, but does provide a biblical basis for the real motivation behind the antiabortion religious crusade: hatred of women. The bible is anti-woman, blaming women for sin, demanding subservience, mandating a slave/master relationship to men, and demonstrating contempt and lack of compassion:

"I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."

— Genesis 3:16

What self-respecting woman today would submit willingly to such tyranny?

The antiabortion position does not demonstrate love for humanity, or compassion for real human beings. Worldwatch Institute statistics show that 50% of abortions worldwide are illegal, and that at least 200,000 women die every year--and thousands more are hurt and maimed--from illegal or self-induced abortions. Unwanted pregnancies and complications from multiple pregnancies are a leading killer of women. Why do antiabortionists want North American women to join these ghastly mortality statistics? Every day around the world more than 40,000 people, mostly children, die from starvation or malnutrition. We must protect and cherish the right to life of the already-born.

Do Churches Support Abortion Rights?

Numerous Christian denominations and religious groups agree that the bible does not condemn abortion and that abortion should continue to be legal. These include:

  • American Baptist Churches-USA
  • American Ethical Union
  • American Friends (Quaker) Service Committee
  • American Jewish Congress
  • Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
  • Episcopal Church
  • Lutheran Women's Caucus
  • Moravian Church in America-Northern Province
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Union of American Hebrew Congregations
  • Unitarian Universalist Association
  • United Church of Christ
  • United Methodist Church
  • United Synagogue of America
  • Women's Caucus Church of the Brethren
  • YWCA
  • Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
  • Catholics for Free Choice
  • Evangelicals for Choice

Belief that "a human being exists at conception" is a matter of faith, not fact. Legislating antiabortion faith would be as immoral and unAmerican as passing a law that all citizens must attend Catholic mass!

The bible does not condemn abortion; but even if it did, we live under a secular constitution, not in a theocracy. The separation of church and state, the right to privacy, and women's rights all demand freedom of choice.

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