Nothing Fails Like a Freedom From Religion Foundation Lawsuit
The ardently anti-Christian Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues to attack and threaten small towns and average Americans for exercising their constitutional freedoms. Now, they have targeted some of the most powerful and successful college football programs in the country.
We are once again fighting back, preparing a comprehensive legal letter to each of these college football programs outlining exactly how the law and the Constitution actually protect the religious liberty of students and team chaplains. Just as we’ve done for years, we continue to defend the Constitution against FFRF’s unconstitutional attacks.
Just this week, we helped achieve another major victory in a years-long battle with FFRF over the World War II memorial statue of Jesus in Montana memorializing the sacrifice of veterans – heroes in the fight for freedom.
This is just the latest in the string of common sense, constitutional victories against the Freedom from Religion Foundation and the other angry atheists attacking our American heritage and religious liberty.
- WWII Memorial Jesus Statue: On Monday, a federal appeals court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of FFRF’s lawsuit. The statue memorializing the sacrifice of World War II veterans was attacked by the FFRF as a “ruse and a sham.” One veteran responded that removing the display would be “a slap in the face of the men and women who served their country and built this community.” Another local Montana resident asked, “Why don’t they just leave us alone?”
The ACLJ fought back every step of the way, sending legal letters to the National Forest Service and filing amicus briefs in this case on behalf of more than 100,000 Americans and 20 Members of Congress to defend this historic war memorial from being torn down.
- College Football Chaplains: Before they attacked the chaplaincies of dozens of the top college football programs in the nation, accusing college football coaches of turning “playing fields into mission fields,” the FFRF attacked Clemson University. They demanded the dismissal of the chaplain and Clemson refused. The FFRF claimed an improper “commingling of religion and athletics” that raise “serious concerns about how the public university’s football program is entangled with religion.”
- “In God We Trust” on Currency: FFRF sued to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency. Judge Harold Baer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case. But the FFRF continues to target our national motto. We continue to battle these efforts, filing briefs on behalf of Members of Congress, supporting legislation, and doing anything else to fight these efforts. We fought back with a petition supported by more than 100,000 Americans to defend them against these outrageous attacks.
- Targeting the Jewish Faith – Ohio Holocaust Memorial: FFRF sent a demand letter to the State of Ohio to remove the Star of David from a proposed Holocaust memorial. The FFRF claimed that the inclusion of the Star of Davis was “exclusionary” and a “dishonor.” As we previously pointed out, “Six million Jews died in the Holocaust, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation has the unmitigated gall to say that the inclusion of the Star of David in a memorial to them is a ‘dishonor’? This Orwellian attempt to whitewash history is disgraceful.”
- Suing Presidents Bush and Obama for the National Day of Prayer: FFRF challenged the presidential proclamation for the National Day of Prayer, claiming it was offended by the proclamation. We filed a critical amicus brief in that case representing 67 members of Congress. Echoing an argument made in our brief, the appeals court concluded: “Hurt feelings differ from legal injury,” and noted that all that FFRF ultimately alleged was “disagreement with the President’s action.”
- Suing Governor Rick Perry for issuing a Prayer Proclamation in Texas: We filed a friend-of-the-court brief in federal court in Texas defending the Prayer Proclamation in Texas. The federal court agreed with our argument in support of Texas and ruled against FFRF, holding, “Whether in the official proclamation, a statement made available in print or by video on a website, or otherwise, Governor Perry has done nothing more than invite others who are willing to do so to pray. Like President Obama’s proclamation, Governor Perry’s statements are requests, not commands, and no injury flows from a mere request.”
- Cheerleaders’ Spirit Banners with Bible Verses at Pep Rallies & Football Games: While the ACLJ was not legally involved in this case, we closely monitored and reported on FFRF’s intimidation tactics, sending a threatening demand letter to a school targeting cheerleaders who put Bible verses on banners. The school gave in to the demands and the students filed suit.
As we reported, "[t]he banners in question, reportedly selected by each cheerleader in turn, displayed Bible verses such as, 'I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me,' and 'If God is for us, who can be against us.'"
- Targeting Henrico County, Virginia Board of Supervisors’ Prayer Meetings: FFRF co-founder and co-president said, “There’s no need to pray, it’s divisive, embarrassing.” What’s embarrassing is that the FFRF’s unconstitutional threats worked in this case. We were not involved in the case, but we reported on it after the fact.
One of FFRF’s quirky slogans is “Nothing fails like prayer.” The reality is nothing fails like a Freedom From Religion Foundation lawsuit. Yet, their threatening letters cause many localities to cave for fear of being forced to pay for the expense of defending against even a frivolous lawsuit.
Sadly, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is not alone. Other angry atheist groups have made bogus claims in court.
The American Atheists claimed that members experienced “dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.” Why? Because of the Ground Zero Cross at the 9/11 Memorial museum. We filed an amicus brief in that case and the court agreed with us.
In yet another case, the American Humanist Association claimed that its members were “shocked” and “upset” that a cross could be used to honor our nation’s veterans for nearly 90 years.
The attacks continue, but as you see from the not-so-greatest hits above, FFRF and its angry atheist allies only win through fear and intimidation – when no one fights back – not in federal court.
That’s why we continue to fight back. Join us, and sign our legal letter to colleges across the nation to defend religious liberty on campus and protect chaplains as a new school year begins.