Winter Solstice 2018/New Year 2019 Appeal For Members

Winter Solstice 2018/New Year 2019 Appeal

Moving forward to preserve democracy and fight theocracy

1Forward Award Cutout 178X600Dear Member:

Snow has already started falling here in Wisconsin, signaling that it’s time for our final appeal in FFRF’s 40th anniversary year.

There’s been a lot of talk about “invasions” lately in our country. We’d like to talk instead about the great “infidel invasion.” The number of U.S. “Nones” (no religion) holds firm at 23 percent, with a third of young people identifying as nonreligious and 21 percent of Generation Z explicitly atheists or agnostics. 

We could feel that palpable excitement and energy at FFRF’s annual convention in San Francisco in November, with almost 1,000 participants celebrating freethought and freedom of conscience. We’re even beginning to see openly atheist or agnostic political candidates get elected (or re-elected). After the midterms, there are now 38 nonreligious state representatives around the nation. All 10 members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus were re-elected on November 6. This is a welcome change in a nation where any hint of irreligion has been considered a political kiss of death.

While it’s the best of times to be a freethinker in the United States, it has become one of the worst of times for upholding the separation between government and religion. The threat of religious dogma undermining our social policies and law has never been more dire, with the addition of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. As this is written, FFRF awaits word on whether the high court will take appeals involving three of FFRF’s currently victorious state/church lawsuits. (Please see the enclosed Year in Review for more on those cases and an up-to-date summary of FFRF’s impressive litigation, legal and educational actions in 2018.)

Nevertheless, FFRF moves forward, epitomized by the new award we have created, sculpted pro bono for FFRF by renowned artist Zenos Frudakis, to recognize individuals such as 2018’s recipient, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood, who are overcoming religious obstacles to move society forward. Knowing that freedom depends on freethinkers, we’re working harder than ever to ensure that reason and our secular Constitution will prevail.

We’re asking for your extra support for the following 2019 campaigns:

General Fund. Gifts to FFRF’s general fund will help underwrite some impressive, upcoming educational endeavors in 2019, which include: • Needed expansion of FFRF’s Stephen Uhl Friendly Atheist Studio to make more room for broadcasting and video productions: FFRF’s new TV show, “Freethought Matters,” “FFRF’s Ask An Atheist” live program and Freethought Radio. • Major sponsorship of the Women of Color Beyond Belief Conference in October 2019. • A unique “Godless Gospel” music project with a major gospel producer (now an atheist) to produce an upbeat, myth-dispelling freethought music video and album with an integrated chorus, which will shed those choir robes, and celebrate freedom and our natural world, not supernatural myths.

Legal Fund — including sponsorship of a major law school symposium. FFRF’s 11-member legal team ends hundreds of state/church entanglements every year. FFRF offers this service to state/church complainants free of charge, writing more letters to end violations than any other group. When educational efforts fail, FFRF goes to court, currently maintaining 12 ongoing lawsuits, with more in the works. Your legal fund donation will support FFRF’s exceptional legal activism. 

New in 2019 will be FFRF’s sponsorship with a major law school of a cutting-edge seminar next fall to expose a dangerous trend in First Amendment litigation — the attack on secular principles by partisan legal advocates rewriting and cherry-picking “history.” With Trump’s packing of the federal judiciary, such phony “history” is now cropping up in legal decisions. Papers delivered at the seminar by notable law professors and historians will correct the record and be published in a book.

PR, TV and Advertising Fund. FFRF hired a highly experienced, energetic video director in 2017, which is paying dividends with such video and broadcast productions as FFRF’s new weekly Sunday morning TV talk show, “Freethought Matters.” We’ve launched the show in nine major cities, featuring interviews with many freethinking go-getters, activists, and authors. The goal is not only to combat the domination of the airwaves by religion, but to provide an attractive, nonthreatening introduction to freethought issues featuring a diverse range of distinguished advocates. Stations don’t run our shows for free, so to reach a larger market, your help is needed.

FFRF seeks also to replenish our depleted advertising fund so we can continue to run the arresting 30-second TV spot recorded for us by Ron Reagan. His endorsement, which airs whenever funds permit, has brought FFRF thousands of new members and educated the nation that the son of a conservative president is “an unabashed atheist . . .  not afraid of burning in hell.” Your donation earmarked for advertising and PR is very much appreciated.

FFRF Endowment Fund. When Anne, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Jon Sontarck originally founded FFRF in the late 1970s, they imagined it would take but a few years to remind the nation of its secular roots. In our 40th anniversary year as a national group, it’s become clear we’re in it for the long haul. If securing FFRF’s future appeals to you, please donate to FFRF’s Endowment Fund, originally created with a most generous gift from member Monty Cleworth, then matched by Adam R. Rose. 

Other ways to give to FFRF include through the Combined Federal Campaign for federal employees, matching gifts, Amazon Smile (.5% of your purchases of eligible products can be designated for FFRF), stock transfers and IRA charitable rollover gifts, which apply to seniors 70½ or older. Such individuals may donate up to $100,000 to FFRF as a qualifying 501(c)(3) charitable organization, if made directly from an IRA account, which is then subtracted directly from the kind donor’s taxable income.

FFRF earns Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating every year. All dues and donations remain deductible for income tax purposes. To keep FFRF moving forward, please use the handy enclosed coupon and self-addressed envelope or designate your solstice/New Year’s gift online:

Warmest thanks,


Annie Laurie Gaylor & Dan Barker, FFRF co-presidents

Won’t you help FFRF in our work so that reason and our secular Constitution will prevail? 


Freedom From Religion Foundation