The Freedom From Religion Foundation May Be the Worst Joke in America

When it comes to the notoriously clownish organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, two things are abundantly clear. One, they don’t understand the First Amendment. And two, if they did understand it, they would absolutely loathe it.

Legal minds have long surmised that when it comes to court challenges regarding public entanglements between church and state, the American Civil Liberties Union will likely become involved only if they feel confident they have a good shot at winning, while the FFRF will sue anything simply for the attention.

A peripheral survey of some of the hilariously absurd cases filed by the FFRF certainly indicates the truth of that analysis. But even if we’re tempted to snicker at the group’s embarrassing reputation amongst serious First Amendment legal scholars, or at their buffoonish courtroom antics, their crusade is anything but a laughing matter. It is an affront to the civil liberties enshrined in the Constitution and ultimately a threat to our way of life.

Take the letter the group recently sent to the chancellor of the University of Mississippi where they request the school to ban their football coach from talking about God or Christianity on his Twitter account. Again, it’s tough to comprehend how one looks forward to going to the office everyday when their life’s work involves pedantic nonsense like this:

FFRF attorney Sam Grover argued in the letter that it is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution for a public entity to promote religion.


Grover said that since Freeze is the head football coach of a public university who uses his Twitter account in his official capacity, he is not allowed to use his @CoachHughFreeze Twitter account to promote his faith or religion.


…Although Freeze has the right as a private citizens to write whatever he wants on social media, Grover argued in the letter that “he may not promote his personal religious beliefs while acting in his capacity as a university employee.”

If you want to truly appreciate the overwhelming stupidity of the FFRF’s position, simply recognize the statement of personal religious belief made by sitting president George Washington, also a framer of the First Amendment itself, in his capacity as the head of the federal government’s executive branch:

“[I]t is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”

Now, I suppose it is possible that Sam Grover and his bosses, the husband/wife dynamic duo of Dan Barker and Annie Gaylor, know the meaning and interpretation of the First Amendment to the Constitution better than the father of the nation, but let’s go out on a limb and say just maybe Washington’s actions indicate the FFRF hasn’t exactly zeroed in on what is constitutionally permissible and what isn’t.

After all, if a key author of the First Amendment felt that he could call on all American citizens to “acknowledge and obey” God from his seat as president, surely a university football coach at Ole Miss is within his rights to tweet, “Life is precious and short and today is a gift from God, who never changes” to his followers.

That’s what is so backwards about the antics of the Freedom From Religion crew. Their anti-Christian hatred is tired but their anti-intellectualism is scandalous. Suggesting that the private and protected First Amendment free expression of a football coach is somehow the constitutional equivalent of Congress establishing a national religion that it compels all citizens to follow and financially support is offensively ignorant.

The best course of action for all schools and public entities like the University of Mississippi would be to ignore the FFRF, and then when they file a lawsuit, countersue for court costs and damages. Financially destroying these anti-First Amendment fools would be a service to mankind.

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Peter Heck

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