Humanism on the Move


Sept. 16, 2009

Several weekSs ago, American Atheists won a legal suit challenging a law requiring the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to acknowledge "the dependence on Almighty God as being vital to the security of the Commonwealth." A Kentucky Circuit Court ruled that the law violated the separation of church and state.

The Kentucky Attorney General's office announced last week that it would appeal the decision, arguing that the plaque was "about God, not religion."

American Atheists criticized the decision. Said Edwin Kagin, the national legal director of the group, "If this isn't a violation of state-church separation, what is?" The group vowed to take the fight to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary.

Last week, American Atheists also objected to NASA carrying a piece of debris from the 1956 Aviation Missionary Fellowship crash into space on the shuttle Discovery. "This is an inappropriate and unconstitutional use of resources," said Dr. Ed Buckner, president of American Atheists.

The American Humanist Association puts up a new billboard in Moscow, Idaho this week. The billboard reads "Millions are Good Without God," and is the third billboard to run in Moscow this year. The previous billboard slogans read, "Don't believe in God? You are not Alone" and "Want a better world? Prayer not required."

Said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, "Too many think that morality is the exclusive domain of the religious, and we're here to prove that assumption wrong."

The billboard will run through January of 2010.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Chippewa County Board calling for the removal of the Jason Zunker Memorial. Zunker, a sheriff's deputy, was killed in the line of duty last year and a memorial went up in his honor on the grounds of the county courthouse in July. The memorial contains a plaque with the inscription "You must ask Jesus into your heart, believe he died for you, and believe he rose again."

In August, the county Buildings and Grounds Committee voted for the removal of the plaque. They then reversed course, due to what some asserted was pressure from the religious right. FFRF did not threaten a lawsuit but did ask "that the monument be returned to them so that it may be placed prominently on private land."

In other news, FFRF also recently rolled out a large ad campaign on busses in the San Francisco area. The 75 ads feature quotes from Clarence Darrow ("I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose"), Mark Twain ("Faith is believing what you know ain't so"), John Lennon ("Imagine No Religion"), and more.