"Keep Religion OUT of Politics" Message Comes to Des Moines

Timely Admonition by State/Church Watchdog

The national Freedom From Religion Foundation, with the help of its Iowa members and Iowa Atheists and Freethinkers, is placing a timely message--“Keep Religion OUT of Politics”--that will be up until election day in Des Moines, Iowa. The billboard is slated to go up today on Fleur Drive, near the intersection of Bell Avenue, connecting the downtown and the Des Moines International Airport.

The Foundation, which is a nonpartisan nonprofit, is both a state/church watchdog and the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics). The Foundation is holding its 31st annual convention at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this weekend, and speakers include state/church litigants, Newsweek journalist Eleanor Clift. Army Specialist Jeremy Hall is receiving an “Atheist in Foxhole” award recognizing his lawsuit suing the military for discrimination against freethinkers, for which he has been threatened with “fragging.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, which launched a national billboard campaign a year ago last fall with messages saying “Imagine No Religion” and “Beware of Dogma,” added the “Keep Religion OUT of Politics” message to its billboard repertoire in recognition of the election year. A billboard in downtown Denver and a mobile billboard in downtown St. Paul hailed convention–goers of both parties in late August and early September.

The Foundation is debuting its first 14x48-foot version of the red-white-and-blue billboard with the “Keep Religion OUT of Politics” message in Des Moines. The billboard bears the name of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and its website, ffrf.org.

Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor noted:

“We do not elect a Pastor in Chief. Our Constitution is expressly godless, separating government from religion. We need a reason-based, not a faith-based government.”

She pointed as cause for concern to the unprecedented intrusion of religion in the presidential debates, the continuing political activism of Roman Catholic bishops (forbidding Catholics from voting for pro-choice Catholic politicians), and recent presidential endorsements at the pulpit defying IRS regulations against tax-exempt churches engaging in partisan politics.

Adds Foundation co-president Dan Barker: “It’s time for politicians to quit pandering, and concentrate on running a secular country.”

The Foundation has a billboard campaign to place billboards in all states, and capital cities, if possible. It has placed billboards to date in the capital cities of Madison, Wis., Denver, Atlanta, Columbus, Phoenix and Harrisburg. Penn. It has also put up its message in Seattle and rural Pennsylvania.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., is a national association of more than 12,000 freethinkers (atheists, agnostics) that has been working since 1978 to keep church and state separate.

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

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