The Freedom From Religion Foundation is proud to announce the conferral of a scholarship to a freethinking Harvard student dedicating a biweekly column in The Harvard Crimson to the “existential threat” of Christian nationalism.
Aidan Scully is the recipient of the annual $2,000 Freedom From Religion Student Activist Award (endowed by an FFRF couple in Oregon who prefer to be anonymous). “This column, ‘The Free Exercise Thereof,’ will examine this rising wave of Christian nationalism and what it means for non-Christians like myself,” he writes.
Aidan is a sophomore at Harvard studying Classics and Comparative Religion and a student journalist covering politics and religion. His column for The Harvard Crimson seeks to provide a snapshot of the nonreligious experience in an America where religion and politics are increasingly intertwined through the lenses of important Supreme Court rulings. He has also written about religion and nonreligion for Working Classicists and OnlySky Media, and currently serves as an editor for the Harvard Political Review covering local and state politics.
Aidan is making his hard-hitting presence felt in the campus newspaper in just a few columns. “If we are to make legislative invocations a genuinely inclusive civic practice, we must ensure that all of the many religious and nonreligious communities that make up our country can be and are welcomed,” he writes in his most recent Crimson piece critiquing religious invocations. “A small, reactionary subset of hardline Christians see the loss of absolute supremacy for Christianity in America’s religious landscape and view it as discrimination,” he states in a previous column about a deleterious Supreme Court ruling that hit too close to home for him (it greenlighted the raising of a Christian flag at Boston City Hall).
Aidan was inspired to start the column due to a variety of reasons.
“As this past summer’s Supreme Court rulings have proven, our secular government and pluralistic society are being undermined on multiple fronts, each with deep legal histories of their own,” he explains, also crediting a summer internship with the Secular Coalition for America. “This column is my way of raising comprehensive awareness of these issues, and emphasizing just how important the separation of church and state is in upholding our civil liberties.”
FFRF is always appreciative of student activism — and more than happy to recognize it.
“Aidan Scully represents a new generation of freethinkers,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “He’s giving voice in perhaps the most prominent campus newspaper in the country to the increasing number of young people who are rejecting organized religion and are working to uphold the secular principles that undergird our democracy.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 38,000 members across the country. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.