The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is an American freethought organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. Its purposes, as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the separation of church and state and to educate the public on matters relating to atheism, agnosticism and nontheism. The FFRF publishes the newspaper Freethought Today.
In the Hein v. Freedom From Religion Foundation case, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the freedom of ordinary citizens, and their organizations, to sue the Executive branch of the government for infractions of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. That clause states that: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Pascagoula, Miss., school district officials have been advised by legal counsel to disregard threats from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
A letter from the atheist organization has demanded that the district prohibit school staff from organizing or participating in private prayer gatherings with other members of the community, such as one that was held on a weekend before the beginning of the school year.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has protested Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s recent declaration about the importance of public school prayer.
“As you are certainly aware, the United States Supreme Court has held that public officials may not seek to advance or promote religion,” charged FFRF Co-President Dan Barker in a letter to Bryant.
Bryant addressed over 300 Mississippi high school students at the American Legion Boys State on June 5. The Associate Press reported that he said he doesn’t think prayer “hurt us at all.” He added that school prayer “built our character” and “it is what we should continue to do.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s signature full-page ad, “It’s Time to Quit the Catholic Church,” is in today’s USA Today (Money Section), which stays on the newsstands all weekend. The ad by FFRF, a state/church watchdog and the nation’s largest atheist/agnostic association with over 18,000 members, urges liberal and nominal Roman Catholics to “quit” their church over its war against contraception.
FFRF warns Catholics that their church is “launching a ruthless political Inquisition in your name.”
Earlier this month, the Freedom from Religion Foundation wrote to Pitman, N.J., Mayor Mike Batten to ask that he remove the city's "Keep Christ in Christmas" banner that hangs over a county road.
In Athens, Texas, the group posted a sign on the courthouse lawn near a nativity display Wednesday afternoon, that read, in part, "There are no gods, no devils, no angles, no heaven, and no hell."
An atheist group is flagging an Alabama high school for excessive praying.
The complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation came after Brooks High School aired the prayers via loudspeaker before its home football games this year.
The prayers, which mention Jesus Christ, were also broadcast at youth football games played on the high school field.
"It is coercive and inappropriate to ask students to listen while a prayer is delivered at athletic events," said foundation attorney Stephanie Schmitt. "This is especially disturbing given the young age of these students."
In Hein, the high court ruled that unless a legislative body has directly authorized such funding, citizens do not have the right as taxpayers to bring a suit in federal court alleging that the funding violates the Establishment Clause. Although the Hein decision was limited to the narrow issue of when taxpayers have legal standing to pursue Establishment Clause challenges, the ruling has much broader policy implications because it permits executive agencies to fund religious organizations and activities without fear of constitutional litigation.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation will be filing a complaint with [Rhode Island] after several local florists refused flower orders for delivery to Jessica Ahlquist, the 16-year-old Cranston High School West student who recently won a lawsuit ordering the school district to remove a prayer banner in her school's auditorium.
The purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., as stated in its bylaws, are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.
Incorporated in 1978 in Wisconsin, the Foundation is a national membership association of more than 17,000 freethinkers: atheists, agnostics and skeptics of any pedigree. The Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). All dues and contributions are deductible for income tax purposes.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation currently reports a membership of fourteen thousand, which would make it the largest organization in the country advocating for atheists and agnostics. It initiated lawsuits against the Bush administration's faith-based initiatives, and scored a major victory in 2010 when it won a lawsuit that declared the National Day of Prayer, a fixture since the Truman administration, to be a violation of the First Amendment. The law had called on the president to sign an annual proclamation in observance of the National Day of Prayer, but the judge ruled that constituted establishment of religion.