The Freedom From Religion Foundation is sending well wishes (but no prayers!) to U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Raskin revealed yesterday his recent diagnosis of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, which he described as a serious but curable form of cancer. He will be starting outpatient chemotherapy, and has reported that the prognosis is “excellent” after four months of treatment. Although optimistic, Raskin has been urged to take caution, as treatment can lower natural antibodies. Raskin added a jocular note in his official announcement that the treatment can also cause weight gain and hair loss, joking that he hopes for the opposite.
“My love and solidarity go out to other families managing cancer or any other health condition in this holiday season—and all the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who provide us comfort and hope,” Raskin said.
FFRF has worked with Raskin as co-chair of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Raskin sponsored House Bill 6720, which was introduced this year on behalf of the Thomas Paine Memorial Association that FFRF is a part of, which authorizes a memorial to Thomas Paine, America’s “Forgotten Founder,” in Washington, D.C. In a wonderful end to the year, Raskin inserted the bill into the omnibus package that was passed by Congress on Friday. Raskin accepted FFRF’s Clarence Darrow award in 2019, giving a stout acceptance speech promoting the separation between religion and government. He has been interviewed on Freethought Matters, most recently in a 2022 program in which he acknowledged that Christian nationalism played a role in the January 6 insurrection.
In his announcement, Raskin pledged “to get through this and, in the meantime, to keep making progress every day in Congress for American democracy.”
“As a constitutional scholar working ardently to uphold America’s secular democracy, Rep. Raskin is like a latter-day Thomas Paine. Our nation needs his leadership,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “The 39,000 members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation send our warmest wishes to Rep. Raskin for a swift recovery, and look forward to Rep. Raskin unveiling the monument to Thomas Paine.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with more than 39,000 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.