The Freedom From Religion Foundation is running a full-page ad in both the Tallahassee Democrat and the Miami Herald this Sunday with a surprising headline: “Yes, Governor DeSantis — You’re Right.” Concurs the national state/church watchdog: “Our schools are for education, not indoctrination.”
But there the agreement ends.
It is DeSantis, FFRF charges, who wants to use public schools to indoctrinate Florida students. He is censoring books, free inquiry and classroom debate over gender, sexual orientation, race and Black American history. He’s allowing a minority of extremists to impose their views on other parents with his so-called “Parents Bill of Rights.” For good measure, FFRF mentions proposals to hobble freedom of speech and the press.
DeSantis notably has decreed several times that “our rights come from God, not government.” Au contraire, FFRF says. “Gov. DeSantis, our rights come from ‘We the People,’ not your god.” While FFRF concurs with DeSantis that “The Founders rejected the divine rights of kings,” FFRF’s ad reminds him that “they threw out divine rights altogether” by adopting an entirely godless Constitution.
While Desantis has oft-repeated that “Florida is the place where woke goes to die,” FFRF urges Floridians to “wake up.” Exhorts FFRF: “Don’t let Florida become the state where the First Amendment goes to die.” As DeSantis promotes his book, “The Courage to Be Free,” FFRF urges Florida citizens to “Embrace the courage to be free . . . from inquisitional intrusion into free inquiry and debate, what students may read, learn and how they grow into themselves in our public schools and universities.”
DeSantis won’t “say gay,” the ad charges, but he does say “God” altogether too much in his official capacity, thereby entangling religion with government and public schools, says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president.
FFRF urges Floridians to “Help FFRF keep our government and public schools free from religious control, indoctrination and censorship.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) working to keep religion out of government. FFRF has almost 40,000 members and more than 1,900 in Florida.