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Famous Freethinkers

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Famous Freethinkers

Coming soon! We expect to start populating this space no later than November, 2017.

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FFRF STAFF PICKS

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FFRF Staff Picks

Unabashed atheist

Unabashed agnostic

unabashed atheist

Not afraid of burning in hell

Unabashed freethinker

Not afraid of burning in hell

Unabashed atheist

Unabashed Freethinker

Unabashed atheist

Unabashed Atheist

Not afraid of burning in hell

Not afraid of burning in hell

Unabashed atheist.

Unabashed atheist.

Not afraid of burning in hell.

Unabashed Atheist

Unabashed Atheist

Unabashed Freethinker

No afraid of burning in hell

Not afraid of burning in hell: Unabashed atheist.

Not Afraid of Burning in Hell

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1JorgeNavarro

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Not Afraid of Burning in Hell Campaign

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Tell the world with a digital billboard

& You may win 'Unabashed Atheist' tee

Not afraid of burning in hell?

In an irreverent TV commercial for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Ron Reagan quips that he is "an unabashed atheist, not afraid of burning in hell." Today "nones" (the nonreligious) are 24 percent of the U.S. population and the third-largest group worldwide. Join FFRF in declaring your independence from religion (and its empty threats), using FFRF's brand-new social media app.

It's fun, it's easy and takes less than a minute to complete! Once your cyberboard is approved by FFRF, you may post and tweet it or use it as your Facebook or Twitter image. We even size it for use as your Facebook or Twitter image or banner.

If your billboard is chosen as a staff “pick of the week,” FFRF will feature your billboard on Facebook and Twitter, and mail your prize — FFRF’s popular “Unabashed Atheist - Not Afraid of Burning in Hell” T-shirt! (Only U.S. residents eligible.)

 

1NonbeliefReligionLogo

Click to donate to Nonbelief Relief

Designate Nonbelief Relief in the dropdown: “How would you like your donation to be used?

 

NonBelief Relief, Inc., is a humanitarian agency for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers and their supporters to improve this world, our only world. Nonbelief Relief seeks to remediate conditions of human suffering and injustice on a global scale, whether the result of natural disasters, human actions or adherence to religious dogma. Such relief is not limited to but includes assistance for individuals targeted for nonbelief, secular activism or blasphemy. At all times Nonbelief Relief shall operate consistent with the requirements of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

"The only afterlife that ought to concern us is leaving our descendants a secure and pleasant future," says Nonbelief Relief Administrator Annie Laurie Gaylor. The slogan, "Atheists work to make this life heavenly," was originally coined by former priest Stephen Uhl.

Nonbelief Relief is concerned with improving the human condition, not the condition of humankind's "souls." "Charity is not true charity that comes with evangelical strings attached," maintains Nonbelief Relief Vice President Dan Barker, a former missionary who has "seen the light."

Nonbelief Relief rejects the concept of original sin, believing the true "sin" of religion is valuing dogma over people. We know humankind can be "good without God."

We do not have an ulterior motive of "conversion" in giving aid in cases of natural disasters and other mass suffering. Nevertheless, we think it is important that it be known that secularists are just as charitable, if not more charitable than the religious, but have simply lacked the infrastructure to give as a united group under the banner of freethought.

Nonbelief Relief seeks also in part to fill a void by offering help to nonbelievers who find themselves imperiled or threatened because of their nonreligious views, writings or activism. There are many charities for believers, but nothing adequately meeting the needs of nonbelievers increasingly targeted for their atheism, apostasy or "blasphemy."

Our giving is not inspired by a bible or so-called holy book, or by the desire that we will get a heavenly reward. Our giving is inspired by wishing to "Make the world better," the last words of 19th century American feminist Lucy Stone.

Nonbelief Relief was incorporated in 2015, with the Freedom From Religion Foundation as its sole member, and creating a board to carry out the donations. Nonbelief Relief's presidency is reserved for FFRF's president; when there are co-presidents one services as vice-president. Other Board members include Jim Zerwick, also serving on FFRF's board, and Lisa Strand, FFRF's Director of Operations.

Nonbelief Relief will additionally seek to challenge the the Internal Revenue Code's discrimination in favor of church-related charities, which, unlike secular charities, are not required to seek tax exemption, file papers, fees or the onerous Form 990 reports to the IRS and public.

Donations may be made via FFRF by designating the donation for Nonbelief Relief.

NONBELIEF RELIEF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

PRESS RELEASES

2017

2016

2015

CUMULATIVE GRANTS TO DATE (2015-PRESENT)

  • Americares $10,000
  • Atheists Fight Hunger $3,000
  • Boys and Girls Club - Grand Rapids Minn. $1,000
  • Camp Quest, Inc. $10,000
  • Direct Relief $5,000
  • Doctors Without Borders $54,410
  • Endangered Atheist & Secular Activists $76,500 cumulative
  • Foundation Beyond Belief $10,000
  • Foundation for Puerto Rico $10,000
  • Greater Houston Community Foundation $10,000
  • International African American Museum $5,000
  • Livingston Parish Public Schools $10,000
  • National Center for Victims of Crime $10,000
  • Neighborhood Health Clinic $2,500
  • Occupy Madison, Inc. $12,000
  • Open Doors for Refugees $10,000
  • PSI Population Services International $10,000
  • Remote Area Medical $10,000
  • Second Harvest Foodbank of Central FL $2,500
  • Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern WI $5,000
  • Team Rubicon $10,000
  • Unicef United States Fund $20,000
  • Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade $2,500
  • Women’s Medical Fund $50,000
  • World Food Program USA $70,000 (earmarked for various hunger hotspots)

NONBELIEF RELIEF BOARD

The FFRF President is automatically president of Nonbelief Relief. In this case, FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor is direct, Co-President Dan Barker is vice-president, FFRF Director of Operations Lisa Strand is Secretary/Treasurer, FFRF Chair Professor Stephen Hirtle is a director and FFRF Board Member Jim Zerwick is NBR board member.

SECULAR "INSPIRATION"

We do take inspiration in the convictions of many freethinking authors and activists:

"Good works instead of long prayers." — motto of Anne Royall, our country's first secular lobbyist in the early 1800s.

"The hands that help are better far than lips that pray." — "The Great Agnostic" Robert G. Ingersoll

"I do not know the needs of a god or of another world. . . . I do know that women make shirts for seventy cents a dozen in this one. I do know that the needs of humanity and this world are infinite, unending, constant, and immediate. They will take all our time, our strength, our love, and our thoughts; and our work here will be only then begun."—Freethinking suffragist Helen H. Gardener

"Our life is short, and we cannot spare an hour from the human race, even for all the gods in creation."— Early feminist, atheist Ernestine L. Rose

"Deeds, not creeds."— Diane Uhl, a retired teacher

"Let us use our energy and our initiative to solve our problems without relying on prayers and wishful thinking. When we have faith in ourselves, we will find we do not need to have faith in gods."— Ruth Hurmence Green, author of "Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible."

Additional Info

  • Headline Override "Good Without God"
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Out of the Closet Campaign

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Calling All Nonbelievers . . . Come Out of the Closet!

AND YOU MAY WIN 'OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST' CAP

Join FFRF's Out of the Closet
Virtual Billboard Campaign

Declare and share your nonbelief! The nonreligious — including at least one in four U.S. citizens — is a significant segment of the world population. But many Americans have never knowingly met a nonbeliever. Dispel myths, educate and promote reason by adding your voice, face and message to FFRF's "friendly neighborhood freethinker" campaign. Proclaim you're a freethinker and why. It's working for the gay rights movement. Now it's time for atheists and agnostics to come out of our closet. Many faces make Enlightenment work.

It's fun, it's easy and takes less than a minute to complete! Once your cyberboard is approved by FFRF, you may post and tweet it. Our app lets you use it as your Facebook or Twitter image or even as your Facebook and Twitter banners.  If your billboard is chosen as a staff “pick of the week,” FFRF will feature your billboard on Facebook and Twitter, and mail your prize — FFRF’s popular “Out of the Closet Atheist” cap (available in washed black denim or maroon)! (Only U.S. residents eligible.)

Until your cyberboard is approved by FFRF, any use of these images or the design used for these billboards is prohibited. You will receive express permission if and when your submission is approved.

 

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Expansion Attractions

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EXPANSION ATTRACTIONS

Fourth-floor Addition  (5 stories including lower level). Our cramped, crowded office will quadruple in space. (And, “hallejulah,” more than triple washrooms!). The mostly brick 4-story addition includes generous windows and:

• Auditorium (entire 4th floor) for freethought functions. Meeting space for about 150, including stage, AV accoutrements, high ceiling and chandelier, catering kitchenette and balconies. 

• Roomy Studio for radio and TV recordings, broadcasts plus offices for future growth (3rd floor).

• Second-floor legal wing for our marvelously productive, growing legal department. The legal wing will provide offices, ample overflow, law library/boardroom and legal archives.

• An elegant 2-story lobby with security features will lead to additional administrative offices in the addition’s 1st floor. A portrait of Anne Gaylor, 86, will hang in the lobby. 

• Busy clerical staff will enjoy a large, convenient mailing/shipping area in a well-lit, exposed lower level. We’ll more than double storage space (one of FFRF’s most intractable problems). 

PHASE II: A third story beautiful library atop our original 2-story building, crowned with a charming cupola with windows on three sides — a historic nod, restoring an original feature to our 1855 building, one of the oldest in the city. The graceful 3rd floor library will have room for our 2,700 books plus new acquisitions.  A spiral staircase will lead visitors to the cupola, providing a unique view of the Capitol (that’s a big deal here in Madison), large enough for 5-6 to meet or lunch in.  We can’t wait  — after nearly three years of stumbling blocks and delays — to move in!

Special Sponsoring Opportunities

Top Building Fund donors will be recognized in the lobby on a magnificent 14-foot floor-to-ceiling “silver” wall. Other major donors ($5,000+) will be inscribed prominently on an impressive lobby plaque. Small personalized handcrafted tiles in the vestibule and paving stones for the patio may be additionally acquired for a donation. (Please see enclosed brochure for visuals and details, while spaces last.) 

Top donors may choose “Naming rights” for the Auditorium, Library, Legal Wing, Courtyard/

Garden Patio, Cupola and Studio. (Shows will “broadcast from the ‘Your Name Here’ Studio.”) Should a “secular angel” so “bless” FFRF with a baby grand piano for the auditorium stage, there will be a plaque affixed to it, among other sponsoring opportunities. Please phone us if you have any questions or for more details on “naming rights.”  All donations will be recorded in a keepsake book. Let us know if you give permission to publish your name in our running tally in Freethought Today by checking the box on the donation slip or online:

Freedom Depends on Freethinkers!

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Invest in FFRF Building Fund Expansion Campaign

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Help Freethought Hall Be “Born Again”!

FFRF’s building project will preserve Freethought Hall, FFRF’s home since 1990, and one of the oldest buildings in Madison, Wisconsin, while adding a handsome multi-leveled addition.

The expansion will:

• Quadruple space
• Give Freethought Hall a true Hall — a top-floor elegant Auditorium
• Accommodate current staff members, while creating work stations for many new staffers into the future
• Create an entire second story legal wing for our attorneys and legal work
• Add a sumptuous 900-square foot library
• Restore a charming "Above Us Only Sky" cupola
• Create a TV-radio recording studio
• Provide a large “No Hell Below Us” mailing/shipping area with easy outdoor access in exposed lower level
• Give us more storage — desperately needed!
• Ramp up security features

More Than Bricks & Mortar

This expansion will enhance the Freedom From Religion Foundation's capacity, work, visibility, prestige, outreach and future growth. This project will move FFRF — the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists & agnostics) — FORWARD! 

Freethought-Hall-names

Sponsorship Opportunities

Top Building Fund donors will also be recognized in the main lobby with name in 5-inch-high letters etched on magnificent 14-foot floor-to-ceiling “silver” wall of acknowledgment.

$5,000 and Up — Names of other major donors ($5,000+) also inscribed prominently for posterity in the lobby.

Other Sponsorship Opportunities

Name on Vestibule Tile (Tasteful handcrafted ceramic wall tile in entryway) $2,500 per tile. While space lasts! Order now! (Limit to name only.)

Name (or Message) on Paving Stone (in Courtyard/Garden Patio) $2,000 — While space lasts! Order now!

Name or Message on 12x12 Paving Stone. $1,000 — While space lasts! Order now! Name or Message on 6x12 Paving Stone.

Won’t You Make a Gift to FFRF’s “Ground Breaking” Expansion?

 

Freedom Depends on Freethinkers!

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Individual Activism

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14 Ways to Get Active, Right Now!

Freethought contingent of FFRF members
  1. Monitor local state/church abuses

    Work with the Foundation to protest clear-cut violations of the separation between church and state, such as prayers or religious instruction in public schools. Contact the Foundation office promptly with pertinent facts, names and addresses. You may mail or fax materials to FFRF's staff attorney:

    FFRF, Inc.
    PO Box 750 
    Madison WI 53701
    Fax: (608) 204-0422
    Online: State/Church Violation Form

    If it's an emergency violation (taking place soon at a school, for example), phone our office at:
    (608) 256-8900

    It it not easy to end violations where there is no established law or Supreme Court precedent to invoke. But a prompt complaint by a local citizen at the very least helps to educate about the importance of state/church separation, and may prevent a future or worse abuse.

  2. Write a letter to the editor

    This remains one of the cheapest and most effective ways to affect public opinion. Succinct letters (typed if sent by regular mail) with a clear focus, responding to timely issues, have the best chance of publication. Most newspapers prefer to print letters written directly to their editorial page editor (rather than photocopies or open letters addressed at large). Many Foundation members have been successful in having letters published which also publicize the Foundation‘s name, or even website or address. 

    Not to be overlooked: letters or emails praising newspapers, TV or radio shows for featuring secular viewpoints or guests. It takes courage to publish or include controversial opinions, to provide equal time for freethought. Positive feedback is always appreciated, and shows newspapers or talkshows such views have an audience.

  3. Join the campaign to pressure Boy Scouts of America

    The Boy Scouts of America has expelled or refused admittance to nonreligious boys, while relying on public handouts and support. In 2000, the Boy Scouts won a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled it a private group that is free to discriminate. The case in question involved gays, but the ruling leaves nonreligious Boy Scouts with little chance of legal redress. Local troops in the past have traditionally met for free at public schools and relied on public school teachers to recruit. If this is happening in your area, you can help combat BSA bigotry by contacting your local school board and neighborhood schools, asking them to stop supporting or giving preferential aid to an openly discriminatory group. You can also contact your local United Way, which is not supposed to fund groups which discriminate on the basis of religion. If they grant BSA troops financial assistance, ask them to stop. If you have been a regular United Way contributor, be sure to let them know. Nationally, United Way has traditionally provided at least a quarter of BSA‘s financial assistance. Write:

    United Way
    President Brian Gallagher
    United Way of America
    701 N Fairfax St.
    Alexandria VA 22314

    For the record, you may wish to complain to the Boys Scouts of America directly:

    Robert J. Mazzuca
    National Scout Executive
    Boy Scouts of America
    1325 Walnut Hill Lane
    Irving TX 75015

    For more information, see Boy Scouts of America Practices Discrimination.

  4. Don't vote in a church!

    In many places, one-third to one-half of all polling places are churches. Citizens should not have to fulfill their most civil function of all--voting--in a church or religious school. These days the cross is increasingly used as a symbol of political intimidation and many churches are not neutral on election issues. If you have to vote in a church, complain! Usually your city or county representative has the authority to suggest changes to polling places. A local rep is more apt than a bureaucrat to respond to a citizen complaint. Suggest secular alternatives (particularly those with handicapped access): libraries, public schools (it‘s so educational for students to witness Election Day), fire stations, malls, etc. Even if this abuse does not affect you personally, you may still wish to complain to your city clerk or registrar if this is a growing trend in your area. Polling sites are published in newspapers prior to local elections. In some states, polling sites receive public compensation, making this a more serious entanglement.

  5. Suggest the Foundation for talkshows

    There may be radio talkshows in your area that regularly feature out-of-town guests by long distance. Foundation staff can field questions from the Foundation office in Madison, Wisconsin. This is a good way to educate the public and reach other freethinkers. Talkshow hosts and producers are usually appreciative of guest suggestions—especially from their regular listeners—and if they have recently featured a religionist or religious topic, they may be open to a suggestion for balance.

  6. Make sure your local library carries freethought books

    Request your favorite freethought books for your library. Fill out a request card for Foundation-published books, including:

        • Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher To Atheist by Dan Barker
        • One Woman‘s Fight by Vashti McCollum
        • The Born Again Skeptic‘s Guide to the Bible by Ruth Green
        • Women Without Superstition: ‘No Gods - No Masters‘ by Annie Laurie Gaylor
        • Woe To The Women: The Bible Tells Me So by Annie Laurie Gaylor
        • American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll by Orvin Larson
        • Just Pretend: A Freethought Book for Children by Dan Barker

    If you are kind enough to donate books to libraries, please note that all libraries do not necessarily accept such donations, so it is wise to check with them first, then follow up to make sure they make it on the shelf!

    Freethought Books

  7. Request that your local library carry Freethought Today

    At least 5% - 10% of the people where you live are freethinkers, according to almost all polls, and as many as one third of them may be freethinkers if you live in the West. More than 15% of American adults are "nonreligious." There is every reason for your public library to carry a periodical catering to freethinkers.

  8. Offer Foundation CDs to local alternative radio stations

    Can you have a proper social movement without music? It‘s out there. Suggest your favorite freethought songs or bands, or try to interest your local alternative radio station or listener-sponsored radio station to play selections from the Foundation‘s two music CDs featuring Dan Barker: "Friendly Neighborhood Atheist," a double CD with 34 traditional, contemporary and original freethought songs, and "Beware of Dogma," with 15 timely and timeless songs.

    Freethought Music

  9. Complain about TV evangelism

    Complain to your local cable TV provider about excessive religious programming. If your "cable package" includes a lot of religious programming, complain to your local cable provider each time you pay a bill!

  10. Sponsor a debate or public appearance

    College kids love debates and media often cover them! Staff member Dan Barker, a former fundamentalist minister who is ideal for debating religionists, would do a debate a month if he had the chance. If you have a connection with your local university, try to get a student group or department to sponsor a debate. Dan gives many freethought concerts at local UU and Ethical Culture congregations, colleges, etc., as well as speeches about the Foundation, freethought and the separation of church and state.

  11. Advertise freethought!

    Don‘t let religionists win by default! The Foundation often receives mail from a lone freethinker claiming to be the "only freethinker in Montana," the "only atheist in Utah, " or the "only agnostic in my hometown." Many freethinkers feel isolated because other freethinkers don‘t speak up. Let sympathetic friends and family know there is a group representing freethought and working for state/church separation. If you enjoy really advertising your views, the Foundation has produced bumperstickers, "nontracts," buttons, solstice cards, T-shirts, and sweatshirts with educational freethought messages. The best source for finding new members of the Foundation is you—the existing member.

    FFRF Shop

  12. Promote the Foundation‘s annual student essay contests

    One of the most important services provided by the Foundation is outreach to freethinking young people. Since 1979, the Foundation has sponsored an annual essay competition, awarding cash scholarships to freethinking youths. Today, the Foundation sponsors two essay competitions, one for currently enrolled college students and one for high school seniors who will be college-bound. The essays are announced in Freethought Today and online every February. Tell the students in your life, or the public schools or universities in your area, about this unique opportunity.

    Student Essay Contests

  13. Challenge friends and family to take the FFRF quizzes

    A fun way to learn about the harm of using the bible in government functions or invoking it in our laws is by taking the Foundation‘s online bible quiz. (Even believers may learn to look at the bible more critically by taking our quiz.) What Do You Really Know About The Bible? Even more important, every citizen should understand the secular nature of the U.S. Constitution and What Do You Know About State/Church Separation? is an entertaining way to learn more about the First Amendment.

  14. Sign up for "FFRF News" and "Action Alerts"

    If you are a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, you are eligible to be placed on the Foundation‘s FFRF News/Action Alerts email list. To sign up, check your email preferences after clicking 'My Membership' at the top of ffrf.org.

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