The Freedom From Religion Foundation over this patriotic holiday is announcing to the nation that there are 75 million nonreligious adult Americans who want religion out of government — and are voting that way.
“We’re putting public candidates and officials on notice that secular voters are here, that WE are the true ‘values voters’ and that it’s time that our secular viewpoint be respected and represented,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor.
The campaign includes a renowned Native American composer, the founder of Black Nonbelievers, the founders of Hispanic American Freethinkers, nonreligious students and what FFRF calls “just ordinary, everyday atheists, agnostics and humanists who believe in the all-American ideal of true religious freedom.”
FFRF, a national state/church watchdog with more than 36,000 members, is running newspaper ads and complementary billboard messaging in time for the July 4 weekend in about half of the United States, with the rest appearing around Constitution Day, Sept. 17. View all ads.
FFRF’s full-page print advertisement, featuring a different state representative (or couple) in each state, is running in more than 20 dailies on Sunday, July 3 — most in capital cities plus some larger metropolitan areas like Portland, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Brent Michael Davids, a celebrated Mohican composer identified as an atheist, is featured in FFRF’s New York Times ad saying he “trusts in reason, science and America’s secular Constitution.”
“The ‘Nones’ (those of us unaffiliated with religion) are now 29 percent of the U.S. population. We are the largest ‘denomination’ by religious identification,” he adds.
Davids lists compelling secular voter demands, such as keeping religion out of government and social policy, out of public schools, and out of bedrooms, personal lives and health care decisions — including when or whether to have children, and whom to love or marry.
“Use my tax dollars only for evidence-based, not faith-based, purposes,” he urges.
“It’s appropriate that our national campaign be represented by a Native American,” comments Dan Barker, FFRF co-president and himself a member of the Lenni Lenape/Delaware Tribe. “Christian invaders usurped the continent under Manifest Destiny and today we are facing grave inroads by Christian nationalists wanting once again to install a theocracy.”
The ad campaign is particularly timely given that the U.S. Supreme Court, at the behest of religiously motivated court challenges, has overturned Roe v. Wade, which is already shuttering clinics in about a dozen states and endangering access in many more. Gaylor notes that 98.8 percent of FFRF’s membership supports Roe, which is consistent with a YouGov analysis showing that atheists, at 91 percent overall, are the most likely to identify as pro-choice.
Gaylor called alarming the Supreme Court trend to privilege religion and eviscerate individual rights. “That’s why our secular voices must be heard.”
To learn more, visit: ffrf.org.