The Freedom From Religion Foundation: Attacking Those Who Help

Whenever I read articles about religious discrimination or bigotry, I get majorly dismayed at human behavior.

For instance, this news: Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) demands sheriff badges “for God and country” be removed as “unconstitutional.” Wow. Why is this group or its members so hellbent on trying to denigrate and remove a reference to God or religion?

A picture of the article
An image from the Christian News article on the FFRF’s recent demand.

I have researched and followed the doings of this group and they were a topic of mine in a previous post. In that post, I was defending the right of a school in Texas to run a religious flag up the pole, when the FFRF said it was unconstitutional to do so. It was, of course, not unconstitutional and the exact reasons why were given in my post, with actual original sources.

But now the FFRF is at it again. In their letter to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office they state: “FFRF is a national nonprofit organization with more than 32,000 members across the country, including more than 800 members and a chapter in Ohio. Our purposes are to protect the constitutional principle of separation between state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.”

Why would the FFRF see this as a threat to their organization? To humanity? Are these badges saying “for God and country” actually a threat to anything at all?

“Nontheism” has a variety of definitions, depending on where one looks, but the crux of the thing is that there is no belief in a God or gods, and these do not have to be believed in to have a spiritual devotion. This is perfectly fine if it’s your personal choice.

All right. So, let us take a look at who we are and where we live. We are the species “homo sapiens,” on a rock, position #3 from our sun, inhabited by life which starts out microscopic and gets bigger into plants, animals and finally: us. And, many of us believe in some form of higher power in the universe—some altruistic force that occupies “the heavens.”

And then there are those who believe otherwise. They have different ideas or consider there is nothing beyond what can be seen or touched. But whatever the beliefs of individuals or groups, each comes into contact with, or learns about, the other beliefs that help make up the fabric of our civilization.

But let’s take food instead of faith. Would you look at a menu in a restaurant, see something on it you don’t like to eat and because you don’t like it, go yell at the chef? Next go into the dining area and scream about how bad that dish is? How no one should be eating at that restaurant? Then call the media and get national coverage about the fact that this restaurant serves food you don’t like? Of course not. You simply order the food that you do like.

I am sure that the sheriffs from Shelby County do not run door to door and sell bibles. They don’t proselytize while out on their duties either, I’ll bet. The badge on their uniform is a comforting reminder to those in need that these officers consider themselves to have pledged their allegiance to an even higher authority, doing everything in their power to protect and serve.

Why attack or defame that level of commitment? Why would the FFRF see this as a threat to their organization? To humanity? Are these badges saying “for God and country” actually a threat to anything at all?

No, they are not. They are also not unconstitutional. Quite the opposite, in fact.

And what’s next for the FFRF in their escapades? Maybe they will complain about our money and whine to have “In God We Trust” removed from bills and coins. OOPS, they already tried that one in 2011 and the court rejected the challenge. Then they tried again in a 116-page, 2013 filing. And again in January of 2016. (All these attempts are proudly displayed on the FFRF website, for those who care to look.)

The dollar bill

Maybe next they will try to get “In God We Trust” removed as the official motto of the United States of America, which, in 2011, the House of Representatives passed a resolution reaffirming in a 396–9 vote. (See that ratio? The message is very clear.)

It’s time the FFRF realized it is treading on the hallowed ground of our forefathers, who are supported by ironclad documents, philosophies and laws made (or at least agreed upon) by the majority of the people. In a democracy this is the prevailing method of determining things.

My message to the FFRF is this: Do your own thing and do it well, but do it in a fashion that does not destroy or harm others or their beliefs.

And to you, reader, I invite you to join me in the crusade to create and protect a better world for each other and all—where we can freely practice our beliefs, whatever they may be. One in which we help each other, not ridicule, defame or kill each other.

We can count on no one else to defend our individual rights. It is up to us.

Joel Anderson
Dubbed by friends and colleagues: “the Answer Man.”