NEWS BLOG (WSAU) They’re in the news so much, I was curious enough to go to their web site.
You’ve probably heard about the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison. They’re in the news a lot during the holiday season for threatening cities and towns with lawsuits if crèches or crosses are put up on public property for Christmas. Many communities cave without putting up a fight.
If you don’t know about this group, it was founded by Dan Barker. He’s a former evangelical minister, who became a ‘free thinker’ in the 1980s.
Barker and his supporters are free to be atheists and are free to use their voices and money to tell people about it. What rubs so many people the wrong way, aside from the lawsuits, is how strident they are against people who are faithful.
Consider the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s billboards and bus cards:
One says “Heathens Greetings”
Another says “Sleep In On Sundays”
“Every Day is Judgment Day – Use yours, use reason”
And “Yes Virginia, There is no God”
They have every right to share those views. What takes me aback is how strident they are towards people who are religious. There’s no room for reasonable compromise.
I’m opposed to teachers leading prayers in school, but I’d support a few quiet moments before the school day for students to pray on their own. I’m opposed to coaches or PA announcers reading prayers on a loudspeaker before a football game, but see nothing wrong with players taking a knee and giving thanks after a game.
So – here’s a challenge to the Freedom From Religion Foundation: the lawsuits against cities and towns are skirting on the edge of the issue. Sue the federal government. Demand that the image of Moses be removed from above the Speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives chamber, and that the sculpted image of the tablets of the Ten Commandments be removed from the U.S. Supreme Court building.
While we have no official national religion, we’ve always allowed space in our public square for people who are faithful. That’s our nation’s tradition. Even though non-churchgoers are in the majority, we’ve always considered religion to be a virtue. Freedom From Religion Foundation treats it as vice. Their hostility is scary.