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 To Run TV Ad With Ron Reagan!
Coming off the heals of two recent disappointing Supreme Court decisions giving preferential treatment to religion by our government, Ron Reagan, atheist and Honorary Board member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is now featured in a 30-second TV endorsement produced by FFRF. In the spot, Mr. Reagan speaks to the importance of state/church separation, and putting a halt to religious intrusion in matters of public policy.
To view a sneak preview of this new ad, please click here
FFRF hopes to expand placement of the spot to regional advertising on national shows, with the goal of having it air on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” In order to accomplish this however, they will need to raise funds. To make a tax-deductible donation to help FFRF with this important objective, please click here to make your contribution.
And Thank You Ron Reagan!
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Corporate Citizenship AND Religious Exceptionalism in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
On June 20th, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that closely held for-profit corporations have a “religious conscience” and can actually claim exemption from a law they feel violates their religious beliefs. The law in question involves the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act, which plaintiffs Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties argued it forced them to provide insurance coverage to their employees for certain forms of birth control, such as IUDs, which they (falsely) believe to be abortifacients.
The ruling was based on a 1994 statute adopted by Congress called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, designed to provide what many feel are unconstitutionally extreme protections of religious liberty.
While the deciding and concurring Justices deemed this to be a “narrowly defined” decision, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered an honest, rational, yet scathing 35 page dissent that perfectly describes a floodgate that is now open for religious faith to be placed above governing law in the U.S.
To read the full decision including Justice Ginsburg’s dissenting opinion, please click here
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of
Sectarian Prayers in Government Meetings
In a 5-4 decision divided between conservative and liberal justices, the U.S Supreme Court ruled in the case of the Town of Greece, NY vs. Galloway that content is not an issue regarding government-sponsored prayer invocations in public meetings. The content in question was the pervasiveness of Christian language being used to deliver invocations during the opening of the Greece, NY city council meetings. The two plaintiffs in the case were a person of non-religion and one of Jewish faith.
In Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, he states:
“Not only is there no historical support for the proposition that only generic prayer is allowed, but as our country has become more diverse, composing a prayer that is acceptable to all members of the community who hold religious beliefs has become harder and harder. It was one thing to compose a prayer that is acceptable to both Christians and Jews; it is much harder to compose a prayer that is also acceptable to followers of Eastern religions that are now well represented in this country. Many local clergy may find the project daunting, if not impossible, and some may feel that they cannot in good faith deliver such a vague prayer.”
Without realizing it, Justice Alito hit the nail right on the head as to exactly why prayer should not be allowed in government meetings, which are designed to be a platform to give representation to everyone, especially those in the minority.
But once again, the Supreme Court has it all wrong. This ruling only serves to provide the majority with the say on which religion should be most represented in government meetings. When in fact, none should be represented at all.
To read the entire transcript of the Court’s opinions, please click here
Parsonage Exemption Ruling Now Under Appeal
In one of three FFRF lawsuits against the IRS challenging religious preferential treatment by the federal government, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on November 22nd, 2013 that the 1954 housing credit allowance given to “ministers of the gospel” is 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.
This ruling in favor of FFRF is now under appeal by numerous religious groups in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, with oral arguments being made in Chicago on September 9th, 2014.
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 about the Barbara Crabb decision, please click here