The best way to celebrate the 231st anniversary of ratification of the Bill of Rights today is to work even harder to preserve it, says the feisty Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Last year, FFRF took out a full-page ad in the New York Times warning:
“The scales of justice have been alarmingly tipped in favor of a privileged status for religion in our country. The capture of the Supreme Court by Christian nationalist forces is complete. A third of our high court and almost a third of our federal judiciary were appointed by Trump, and their influence and decisions are imperiling the precious American principle of separation between religion and government. All personal and civil rights — including the right to abortion — are in jeopardy.”
FFRF is saddened by how prescient its ad was. In barely six months, the ultraextremist majority on the high court overturned Roe v. Wade, and now other individual liberties are in jeopardy.
As FFRF’s principal founder Anne Nicol Gaylor wrote in the 1970s: “In working for women’s rights, I fought in a battle that would never end, because the root cause of the denial of those rights was religion and its control over government. Unless religion is kept in its place, all personal rights will be in jeopardy. This is the battle that needs to be fought.”
She added, “To be free from religion is an advantage for individuals; it is a necessity for government.”
The very First Amendment in the Bill of Rights reads:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Those are words worth celebrating — and working even harder to preserve.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 38,000 members and several chapters all over 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.