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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:43 AM

Freedom From Religion group ramps up national fight against religion in government

Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation has been busy of late shoring up the wall between church and state. The group, whose mission to squelch religion in the public sphere was once prone to ridicule, is now a national force to be reckoned with.

"Business is flourishing," says Annie Laurie Gaylor, who co-founded the foundation in 1976 with her mother, Anne Nicol Gaylor. "We're busy all over the country."

Gaylor says the foundation, the nation's largest advocate for the separation of church and state as mandated in the First Amendment, is involved in an unprecedented number of cases of what Gaylor says are unconstitutional encroachments of religion into government. Funded through dues from its 19,000 members and two annual fundraising drives, the foundation has upped its staff attorneys from two to four in the past year to handle the number of complaints coming in. As of June, the foundation had received a record 1,200 complaints on its online reporting system, plus a number of letters and phone calls. The group currently has about 10 active lawsuits. In past years, she says, that number was three or four. The group also has three legal interns who sift through the complaints, prioritizing the ones that need immediate attention.

Gaylor doesn't have a clear answer as to why there has been such an increase in complaints. But she suspects that it stems from a number of factors, including push-back against tea party politics and the increasing secularization of America. But one thing's clear: The foundation is getting far more complaints than it can follow up on.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/crime_and_courts/blog/crime-and-courts-madison-group-ramps-up-national-fight-against/article_795c5fd8-dbec-11e1-b406-001a4bcf887a.html

Their website: http://ffrf.org/

30 replies, 3010 views

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Reply Freedom From Religion group ramps up national fight against religion in government (Original post)
undeterred Aug 2012 OP
zeemike Aug 2012 #1
99Forever Aug 2012 #2
raouldukelives Aug 2012 #4
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #8
99Forever Aug 2012 #9
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #10
eShirl Aug 2012 #11
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #20
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #13
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #21
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #27
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #28
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #29
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #30
99Forever Aug 2012 #15
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #22
99Forever Aug 2012 #26
Ikonoklast Aug 2012 #18
Lacipyt Aug 2012 #24
hifiguy Aug 2012 #16
pscot Aug 2012 #3
ellie_belly Aug 2012 #5
Xyzse Aug 2012 #6
ellie_belly Aug 2012 #7
BeachBaby Aug 2012 #12
undeterred Aug 2012 #25
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #14
DavidDvorkin Aug 2012 #17
undeterred Aug 2012 #19
fascisthunter Aug 2012 #23

Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:25 AM

1. Oh good...maybe we can find some fried chicken tor them to attack.

The right wing fundies need a conformation of their belief that the evil government and the godless communist Obama is conspiring to attack Christians.

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 09:39 AM

2. If yesterday proved nothing else..

... it showed that the American Taliban has no problem showing the world what a bunch of hateful assholes they are.

I will no longer remain silent when religious bigots run their crap in front of me, including my own family. If they don't like it, too bad.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:42 AM

4. +1 nt

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:02 AM

8. That Will Show Them

Try to be as obnoxious and crude as they are! That always has worked in the past to resolve conflicts. Make sure you emphasize that based on what they did for lunch yesterday, they're clearly "hateful assholes."

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:51 AM

9. 10 posts and already a critic.

Enjoy your stay. Do you like pizza? I smell one in the oven with your name on it.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #9)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:07 PM

10. Just Trying To Help

Sometimes a mirror shows imperfections best when slightly skewed.

Thomas Aquinas suggested that to convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them to where you are rather than demand they move from their location.

Just something to think about. No matter how obnoxious the person, you win few converts by descending to their level.

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:11 PM

11. Sounds like advice the religious would do well to follow.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:56 PM

20. You'll Note

I wrote, tongue-in-cheek, "Try to be as obnoxious and crude as they are!"

There are many such persons out there willing to tell you exactly what they believe if and especially when you don't ask them.

Just remember how they sound to you, because that is probably how you will sound to them if you repeat their approach.

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:27 PM

13. Typically speaking folks that believe in magic invisible cloud-daddies are "slightly skewed" already

....and the more rabid they are about their beliefs the more skewed they become...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #13)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 07:04 PM

21. Ah, No Better Way To Talk To People

Via sophomoric name calling and insisting that they believe in "magic invisible cloud-daddies" is bound to fix that.

Maybe you're missing my point: When someone calls me a "socialist" for espousing my thoughts on health care, I don't shrink and deny deny deny, I ask them questions about what they believe and demonstrate how I arrived at my thoughts on the matter.

When someone says I believe in "magic invisible cloud-daddies," I just shake my head and wonder if they realize religion isn't just televangelists and suicide bombers. Just as some Republicans seem bent on believing liberals want to take away their guns and turn their children into queers.

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #21)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 12:16 PM

27. Do you believe in "god"?

Religion is BASED on a fraud whether it has televangelists or suicide bombers they are ALL screwy because they have ABSOLUTE belief in something that does not exist.

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #27)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 10:52 AM

28. Yes, I Do

You might "believe" differently, but I have my beliefs and you have yours.

I don't expect you to go to my church if you don't believe, so I hope you'll understand I have no desire to indulge in your prejudices about what you think others believe.

"Absolute" belief? You need to get out more. Talk to people. Better yet, LISTEN to what they have to say.

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #28)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 11:38 AM

29. So I'm "prejudiced" because I don't "believe" in your magical stories...

...gotcha....

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #29)

Fri Aug 31, 2012, 11:44 AM

30. No

You're prejudiced because you believe, as you stated, that people have "absolute belief," as if no Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc. ever has doubts about their beliefs, or even questions them.

As I advised, go out and LISTEN to people. Better yet, read Kathleen Norris' The Cloister Walk and you'll see that, contrary to what you're created in your mind, religious believers are not of one type and devotion. We're a complex lot.

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:55 PM

15. Read the words of my friends replies above carefully.

Should I require the advice of the largest group of hypocrites ever to infest this planet, I'll ask for it.

I have no interest in trying to "covert" people that believe in magic to rational thought. I don't waste my time on the impossible. If someone is determined to remain in blissful ignorance, it's not my job to coddle them into reality.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:42 PM

22. Keep On Truckin'

"I have no interest in trying to 'covert' people that believe in magic to rational thought."

...because stereotypes are much easier and fun to apply than actually talking to people and asking them about their beliefs.

"I don't waste my time on the impossible. If someone is determined to remain in blissful ignorance, it's not my job to coddle them into reality."

I've found it difficult to understand how and why people believe. My friend, a psychologist, offers the same view. People are strange. I only wish I had the nescience to declare those who don't think exactly like I do to be in "blissful ignorance." Life would be so much easier if I didn't have all these damn experiences with people that cast light on how my prejudices were just that and not "the way it is."

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #22)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:34 PM

26. Can I get ...

... some dressing for that word salad?

Enjoy your stay. Do you like pizza?

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Response to Lacipyt (Reply #10)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:09 PM

18. You cannot convert a true believer who has a god on their side.

They see non-believers as people that must either be converted or destroyed, because they present a threat to their belief system.

Intolerant religious fanatics are all the same, matters not the religion.

Those are the type of people being dealt with here, not those open to discussion.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:45 PM

24. Almost

In agreement. I don't think one needs to be religious to be an intolerant fanatic.

I also don't think anyone beyond rethinking their position. But I've heard crazy defined as trying the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

If one keep insulting and demeaning them, I do doubt that anyone will change their mind.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:01 PM

16. Agreed 100% nt

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:10 AM

3. You can contribute or become a member here:

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:54 AM

5. Thanks. Was about to google it.

This is one of the most important donations I can make.

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 10:59 AM

6. Thanks

I am actually considering joining this one.

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Response to pscot (Reply #3)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:02 AM

7. Joined/donated.

Can't wait to get their news.

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:24 PM

12. I've been a member of this organization, for a couple of years now....

and what really sucks is that it seems like the stronger the organization becomes and the more exposure it gets, it draws more religious whackjobs out of the woodwork.

I'm very pleased to see how FFRF is growing. More people need to know about its existence. We need all the help we can get.

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Response to BeachBaby (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:59 PM

25. I think that as their visibility grows

they will have more and more opportunities to take on good cases. All they are doing is defending the separation of Church and State. Its not only good government, its actually good for religion to stay in that space.

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:30 PM

14. I think I love that Foundation...

...

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 01:03 PM

17. Good

They're a great organization doing very important work.

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 06:53 PM

19. They also have a radio show which you can listen to on the internet.

Its on the Mic 92.1 in the Madison area. Its a smart show with a lot of good guests.

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Response to undeterred (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 08:43 PM

23. how dare they.....????!

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