FFRF’s NY Times ad gifts Trump a lump of coal

1FFRF NYTAd Stockings 600x1091pxThe nation’s largest association of atheists and agnostics is gifting President Trump a lump of coal for his all-out assault on the First Amendment.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is taking out a light-hearted, full-page ad in the New York Times — expected to appear on Thursday, the Winter Solstice — about Trump’s war on secular rights. “President Trump’s great big Christmas present to the Religious Right . . . is a great big war on the separation of church and state,” the ad states.

Pictured under that headline are four fat stockings, labeled “Religious vouchers,” “Cabinet Zealots,” “Church Politicking” and “Stacked Judiciary,” stuffed with cash, crosses and gifts. Underneath them are miniature stockings, each with a piece of coal, with greeting cards addressed to “Women’s rights,” “LGBT,” “Planned Parenthood,” “Muslim Immigrants” and “Civil Liberties.”

The ad is partly a response to Trump’s “Merry Christmas” campaign. “There’s no ‘war on Christmas,'” remarks Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-founder. “That’s Fox News’ phony construct. But there most definitely is a concerted war on the First Amendment’s cherished principle of separation between government and religion.”

FFRF Co-President Dan Barker says, “While we kept the tone of our message light, we don’t minimize the grave harm already inflicted on America’s wall of separation between church and state.” Barker cites as an example Trump’s executive order pertaining to so-called religious freedom, which Attorney General Jeff Sessions has turned into a weapon to use against civil liberties and secular government.

In the coming year, FFRF expects to be battling campaigns to fund vouchers for religiously segregated schools at the expense of secular public schools, resisting further attempts to repeal the Johnson Amendment that bars church politicking and combating additional nominations of right-wing zealots to lifetime appointments on the federal judiciary.

FFRF’s ad asks the reader to “Give a gift to support a secular New Year . . . so that reason, our secular Constitution and the First Amendment will prevail.” The ad is timed to mark the Winter Solstice, the shortest, darkest day of the year heralding the symbolic rebirth of the sun — the natural event that is the real reason for the season.

“We don’t mind sharing the holiday with religionists,” jokes Gaylor, “but we do mind their pretense that this is about the miraculous birth of a savior.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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