The New York Times has run a full-page ad today highlighting a new lawsuit that the Freedom From Religion Foundation has brought against the U.S. Congress.
FFRF filed the suit after the national lawmaking body denied its Co-President Dan Barker a chance to give an atheist invocation. “Atheists Don’t Have a Prayer in Congress,” the headline aptly notes.
As the ad (on page 5 of the national edition) points out, congressional prayers are extremely sectarian, with Christians comprising 96 percent of officiants, even though a quarter of the American population is nonreligious. “Shouldn’t the House of Representatives be Representative?” the ad asks.
Congressional prayer also costs U.S. taxpayers a good-sized bundle, the ad reveals. Approximately $800,000 of tax dollars maintain a staff for two Christian chaplains whose major purpose is to open the House or the Senate with a prayer.
(Similar FFRF ads are running in Sunday’s Washington Post and in USA Today this weekend.)
The ad is also aimed in this election season to get freethinkers to flex their electoral muscle, linking it to FFRF’s groundbreaking “I’m Secular and I Vote” campaign.
FFRF is part of a coalition sponsoring the Reason Rally this Saturday, June 4, a massive gathering of secular-minded folks in the nation’s capital to celebrate and make their presence felt.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest freethought organization, with 23,800 nonreligious members nationwide.