‘We are humanists and we vote,’ proclaim Michigan couple in national secular campaign

Secular vote campaign Michigan billboard

“We are humanists and we vote,” declare a Michigan couple in two billboards going up in Lansing.

Emily and Steven Eikenhout are part of a provocative secular voter campaign the Freedom From Religion Foundation has launched, which points out that 75 million adult Americans — nearly one in three — are nonreligious. In a variety of billboards and full-page newspaper ads, nonreligious Americans like the Eikenhouts will announce that they devoutly want to keep religion out of government — and are voting that way. 

The Eikenhouts are featured on billboards at I-496 2,000 feet east of Waverly and on West Saginaw west of Logan, both in Michigan’s capital city. They will also appear in a full-page newspaper ad running on Sunday, Sept. 18, in both the Lansing State Journal and the Detroit newspaper. The ads are timed to observe Constitution Day, Sept. 17, the 235th anniversary of the signing of what FFRF calls the “godless” Constitution.

Steven, 34, is a college student, and has been an atheist/humanist for 11 years. Emily, 32, recently graduated from college and has started a graduate studies program. They are parents of two daughters, host exchange students, and love travel and learning about different cultures.

The couple are participating in round two of FFRF’s national secular values voter awareness campaign taking place in more than half the states around Constitution Day. The campaign visited other states in FFRF’s earlier “independence from religion” campaign over the Fourth of July. View all ads here. 

In the newspaper ad, they say: “The ‘Nones’ (those of us unaffiliated with religion) are now 29 percent of the U.S. population. We are the largest ‘denomination’ by religious identification.”

They call for keeping religion out of government, social policy and public schools. Notably, given the overturning of Roe. v. Wade and increasing attacks on LGBTQ rights, they also demand that religion be kept “out of bedrooms, personal lives and health care decisions — including when or whether to have children, and whom to love or marry.”

Full-page newspaper ads will also run in the Washington Post and 44 other newspapers, including those in many capital cities. 

“We’re putting public candidates and officials on notice that secular voters are here, that WE are the true ‘values voters,’” adds Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president, “and that it’s time that our secular viewpoint be respected and represented.”

The increasingly overt calls for Christian nationalism and the alarming recent tendency of the U.S. Supreme Court to privilege religion and eviscerate individual rights require that secular voices be heard, FFRF maintains.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has more than 38,000 members throughout North America, serves as a membership group for like-minded atheists, freethinkers and humanists, and works diligently as a state/church watchdog to uphold the constitutional principle of separation between state and church.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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