Letterbox (December 2018)

America’s founding was secular, not sectarian

Factual, historical and lawful articles on America’s secular founding, secular Constitution and secular government provoke irrational over-reactions from regressive religionists falsely claiming them to be “anti-religion.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Secular refers to matters that are not religious, not “anti-religion.” Sectarian refers to matters that are religious. For example, one of 2,000 vastly different versions of American Christianity or 10,000 distinct world religions.

America’s lawful founding documents and their recorded history clearly establish our nation was created as a secular republic and not a sectarian republic.

The Constitution’s First Amendment that guarantees belief freedom for every American is neither pro-religion nor anti-religion, but religion-neutral. Its historic trinity of religious liberty clauses provides freedom from religion, freedom of religion and freedom for religious speech.

We were the first nation in history to provide individual belief freedom in our founding and governing Constitution. We also provided a genesis for the historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights that declares “. . . everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

American freedom of any religion or no religion freely flourishes. It is a precious liberty for which every patriotic American can be proud. And that is not anti-religion.

John Compere
Texas


Let’s literally put God on the ballot in 2020

Here is an idea to ensure that the Religious Right will go down in defeat in the 2020 presidential election: Put “God” on the ballot as the Republican presidential candidate. Every Republican ballot will be cast for that, and since there is no such thing, the election will be won by the most capable candidate.

Robert Laub

Missouri


Library reopens, as does the eye of reason

The public library in my neighborhood (Belmont Hills) recently reopened after some renovation, which included a new outdoor brick patio on the side of the building. Earlier this year, they gave residents the option to purchase and customize an engraved brick.

Jacqueline and I wanted to choose a thought-provoking “atheistic” quote and decided on one from Ben Franklin. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago at the grand opening, and we were happy to find our brick installed right in front of the book drop-off. Not as eye-catching/impactful as one of your great billboards but, we think it’s kinda cool.

Thank you for all the hard work that you do!

Kevin Castellano

Pennsylvania


Hawaii bishop misusing his power over Catholics

The front page of the Hawaii Catholic Herald has Bishop Clarence Silva’s decree against the Our Care, Our Choice Act (i.e., death with dignity act) which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. He writes, it’s “contravening the law of God. . . . I must put the goal of eternal life with God as my top priority for the people of this state.”

This is sickening that a man can misuse his power over Catholics and thinks he controls “the people of the state.” He’s denying separation of state and church. Poor delusional man. This not a theocracy but a republic with a Bill of Rights and a Constitution!

I’m sooo glad I’m not a Catholic anymore!!!

Carolyn Golojuch

Hawaii


Religion is all around, even in Pennsylvania

I thought Pennsylvania was way above the Bible Belt. But no. There are so many roadway signs proclaiming “Truth” and Jesus’ love. I found this new one particularly upsetting: Jesus with a hole in his hand beckoning us on. Another one I found to be funny was about the denial of evolution. It has a red bar line striking out the symbol for evolution, the one that shows four bodies, from monkey to man. Even in Ohio, there are the Ten Commandments lining I-71 north of Cincinnati. They have taken to using lawyers’ terms now — Beyond reasonable doubt. “Jesus is alive beyond reasonable doubt.” But I doubt, I still doubt. That’s one thing I am sure of is doubt.

The other day, I was having such a nice time shopping, but that all ended when a cashier said, “Have a blessed day.” I replied, “No thanks. I don’t want to be blessed. I don’t want people to feel absolved for not taking on responsibility for wishing me well in the name of their god or religion. ‘Have a great day’ is just fine. Thanks for your custom.”

Let’s be more aware that people’s religion is their own personal business and not to be forced down other people’s throats.

Jonny Benzimra

Ohio


State-church separation fight is a noble cause

I so appreciate all the good work you do to beat back all the ridiculous religious crap going on in our country today.

Your work and your publications all seem relevant and well presented. More than anything, I appreciate the donation of time to this worthy cause. Thank you all!

Bill Cabell

Virginia


Evolution of religion should be on T-shirts

“Polytheism

Monotheism

Atheism

It’s evolution!”

How about printing this on a bumper sticker or T-shirt?

Bob Nilson

New Hampshire


We enjoyed watching ‘Freethought Matters’

My wife and I just watched your new program, “Freethought Matters,” on WPLX-Channel 11 in New York. Annie Laurie and Dan did a great job and guest Larry Decker (executive director of the Secular Coalition for America) did a great job — I think he has a wonderful future. Keep up the good work.

Gary Grub

New Jersey


Library brick

FFRF offers logical, moral support

Thanks to the Ron Reagan ad on MSNBC, I immediately joined FFRF. I read Freethought Today from cover to cover. I find it enlightening and entertaining. I am encouraged by the Black Collar Crime reports and the vindication that it must surely bring to the victims in some small measure. I can recall verbal abuse from the nuns and the attempted indoctrination by the priests. That brainwashing is so damaging to young minds; the guilt still affects me today to some degree.

Richard Heldmann

Connecticut


Convention Accolades


‘It was positively phenomenal’

I don’t often write notes of praise after attending a big event, but this time I just have to. This weekend’s conference wasn’t just good, wasn’t just great, it was positively phenomenal. Not just one or two, but a whole lineup of great speakers, all of whom were terrific. Not just that, but the whole event was so smooth and well organized. I know a thing or two about what goes on behind the scenes to put on a big event like this (I’ve helped to do so, several times), and I know it’s not easy, but FFRF made it happen flawlessly. My wife and I had previously decided just to attend FFRF conferences when they come to the West Coast, but after this weekend, she’s pushing to go to all of them from now on, just because this one really was that good. Please make sure to thank everybody who had anything to do with putting this together, because everybody did a fantastic job!!!

Brian Madsen

California


‘Wonderful’

Thanks so much for all your efforts to host the San Francisco convention. The speakers and entertainment were wonderful. 

Dan Bell

California


‘All inspiring’

My wife Francy and I enjoyed the convention in San Francisco. The speakers were all inspiring, especially John de Lancie, Salman Rushdie and Cecile Richards.

I mentioned to a friend about the “clean money” drawing and he offered to donate a bill for next year’s event. This bill is more than 100 years old and includes a quirky note to counterfeiters on the back side. It is a true piece of numismatic history.

We look forward to attending future conventions.

Patrick McGinnis

California


‘Brings tears to my eyes’

I just attended the convention on Saturday afternoon, and the ex-Muslim speakers from around the world blew me away. And then to have Annie Laurie Gaylor and Cecile Richards in conversation. Thank you so much. It actually brings tears to my eyes, thinking about it.

Joy Hahn

California


‘Community for freethinkers’

I would like to join Debra Deanne Olson in thanking you for producing such a wonderful conference. I agree with Debra that we need to forward the secular revolution.

I think the most important thing FFRF does is provide a community for freethinkers. You give us a home base for like-minded people.

Dr. Craig Wilkinson

Utah


‘Very satisfying’

I just want to thank all of you for a very satisfying experience. My first FFRF convention lived up to all my expectations. Thank you to Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, as well as the many others who made this possible. And special thanks for the terrific speakers. My son David accompanied me, and he also enjoyed the experience. I think before I become immortal, I’ll be able to completely convert him.

Marjorie Holden

California


‘The best ever’

I wanted to praise this year’s convention. They’ve all been wonderful, but I think this year’s was the best ever. You continue to outdo yourselves, and I was especially impressed with the lineup of speakers this time and the impact of their presentations — especially Salman Rushdie and the enormous value of your legal team. They are at the very center of what FFRF does, and they are superb! The hotel was comfortable, beautiful and centrally located for the enjoyment of San Francisco. I came two days early to do just that.

Sherry Chapin

New York


‘Inspired me’

The wonderful convention in San Francisco has inspired me to become a Life Member.

David Tucker

California