Archive for November, 2012
The Freedom From Religion Foundation Metropolitan Chicago Chapter (FFRFMCC) is the Chicago chapter of the national Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), based in Madison, Wisconsin.
The purpose of the FFRFMCC is to:
- Protect the constitutional principle of separation of state and church
- Educate the public on matters relating to non-theism
- Act as a social organization for freethinkers to meet, gather and converse with other like-minded individuals
- Coordinate community service and charity work and create partnerships with secular-based charitable organizations/foundations
- Work to encourage atheists, agnostics and skeptics to be open about their non-belief
If you have any comments or suggestions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your interest.
Keep Current with FFRF
and FFRFMCC News
FFRF Receives Favorable Ruling on Parsonage Exemption Lawsuit!
In one of three FFRF lawsuits against the IRS challenging religious preferential treatment by the federal government, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled the 1954 housing credit allowance given to “ministers of the gospel” to be unconstitutional. Under the current provision, ministers of religious faith may use an untaxed portion of their income toward housing rent or the purchase of a home.
Between 2002 – 2007 alone, clergy in the United States had saved an estimated $2.3 billion in taxes. This decision will have huge ramifications regarding religious privilege given by our government in this country.
To read more regarding this court decision, please click here
FFRF and the FFRFMCC Unveil New Non-Theist Display at Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza in 2013!
First came the holiday tree, then the life-sized nativity, then the colossal menorah. Now we non-believers have our say!
The Daley Center Plaza’s Christkindl Market has a new addition to its annual holiday display. On Tuesday, November 26th, 2013, FFRF staff and local members erected two separate displays to counter the religious symbols that have become December fixtures at the Plaza. FFRF Co-Presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker were on hand to help setup the display which includes a 9 foot tall lighted scarlet letter “A” as designed by the Richard Dawkins Foundation. The intent of this symbol is to unite atheists and agnostics in the call for openness regarding their non-belief, and to strive for rationalism by eradicating superstition in our natural world. Next to the “A” sign is an 8 foot long banner celebrating the Winter Solstice and honoring the birth of our Bill of Rights, which was ratified on December 15th, 1791. We consider these TRUE reasons to celebrate the season!
The display can be found along the Dearborn Street sidewalk of the Plaza and will be up through December 28th.
To see pictures and learn more about the FFRF Daley Center Plaza display, please click here
The FFRFMCC Hosts its First Debate! – “Does the God of the Abrahamic Religions Exist?”
A debate between Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Dan Barker and theology professor Dr. Bryan O’Neal from the Moody Bible Institute took place on December 3rd, 2013 at Loyola University in Chicago, IL. The debate was organized by the FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter and the Loyola University Secular Student Alliance.
The topic, “Does the God of the Abrahamic Religions Exist?” was moderated by Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn. Approximately 200 people were in attendance, and audience members were provided with an exit survey in order to gauge the impact of the debate on each of them.
A total of 121 surveys were returned, revealing the following audience profile by religious identification:
- Religious, affiliated with a specific religious tradition – 31%
- Religious/Spiritual unaffiliated – 3%
- Non-Religious – 62%
- Undecided – 4%
To view the complete audience survey, click here
FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN GREECE, NY SUPREME COURT PRAYER CASE
Putting together a compelling argument for overturning the 1983 Marsh v. Chambers Supreme Court decision allowing for legislative prayer under certain circumstances, FFRF staff attorneys Andrew Seidel, Rebecca Markert, Patrick Elliott and Liz Cavell have submitted an Amicus (Friend of the Court) Brief in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway. The ruling in this current Supreme Court case could either put a halt to legislative prayer, or open the doors for more wide-spread use of sectarian prayer in government.
FFRF and North Carolina Chapter given “green light” from federal judge to proceed with IRS Form 990 lawsuit
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, along with fellow plaintiff The Triangle Freethought Society of North Carolina, were awarded standing on Aug. 22, 2013 by a U.S. District Judge from Wisconsin to pursue another of their three lawsuits against the IRS. FFRF is challenging an IRS rule preempting religious nonprofits from having to file the financial accountability Form 990, one that is required by all other nonprofits to submit annually. A ruling in favor of FFRF’s complaint would make the financial information of U.S. religious nonprofits available to the public.
In Hobby Lobby We Don’t Trust!
During the July 4th holiday, the Christian retail chain Hobby Lobby purchased full page ads in newspapers across the country featuring “In God We Trust” in large, bold letters surrounded by “quotes” from our founding fathers aimed at giving the false impression our country is a Christian nation. Many of these were wildly inaccurate while others were taken out of context to alter their meaning. FFRF breaks down the misinformation conveyed in the Hobby Lobby ads by providing a side-by-side comparison of the quotes used in their ads with the original quotes from the founding fathers.