FFRF’s New York Times ad creates stir

FFRF ran a full-page ad in the July 3 New York Times to protest the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling that is bringing in many new members (welcome, all) and is still creating a stir.  

Featuring a portrait of birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger, whose motto was “No Gods — No Masters,” the ad criticizes the  “all-male, all-Roman Catholic majority” on the court for putting “religious wrongs over women’s rights.”

That caught the attention of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who facetiously thanked FFRF for showing there is still anti-Catholic bigotry. Dolan claimed the ad was a “drippingly bigoted blast in the hospitable pages of The New York Times.”

The near-apoplectic Bill Donohue, Catholic League president, of course claimed FFRF was bigoted for pointing out that six of the nine court members are Catholic, with five of them very committed and reactionary Catholics. 

FFRF’s 2012 full-page ad in the Times was titled “It’s time to consider quitting the Catholic Church.” (The paper made FFRF rephrase the original headline, which was the much punchier: “It’s time to quit the Catholic Church.”)

Dolan is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which the ad criticized for openly declaring war on the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate and for placing dogma above humanity.

Online newscaster Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks” featured an amusing analysis July 13 of the reaction to the latest ad, running clips of Fox News going after FFRF. Andrea Tantaros emceed a round table going after FFRF and the Times, showing a close-up of the “Dogma should not trump civil liberties” part of the ad.

“The ad doesn’t go after Catholics. It says we don’t want the Catholics to force their religion on us,” Uygur pointed out. “If there’s so much bigotry against Catholics, how did so many of them wind up on the Supreme Court?”

FFRF has taken the lead in calling for repeal of the 1993 Religious Freedom Resoration Act, which was the basis for the Hobby Lobby ruling.

“None of our civil rights, established after decades and decades of struggle and education, will be safe until RFRA is overturned,” commented Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. (See more about ruling on page 5.)

Freedom From Religion Foundation