The atheist organization called Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is known for filing lawsuits against things like the National Day of Prayer or Christmas crèches in public squares, and they are usually polite in arguing that such things violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. CitizenLink has reported on their lawsuits in the past, and interviewed FFRF’s spokespeople several times over the years. We have some major disagreements with them over constitutional interpretation of the First Amendment, but we’ve always found them to be unfailingly civil about their position and the lawsuits they file.
Until now, that is.
This week, FFRF filed a lawsuit against Texas Governor Rick Perry alleging Establishment Clause violations over his involvement in calling for a day of prayer and fasting for our country on August 6, and in particular his involvement with a public event to be held the same day at Reliant Stadium in Houston. In that respect, this is a typical subject of an FFRF lawsuit.
However, the August 6 event is being organized and promoted by the American Family Association (AFA), a ministry friend of Focus on the Family and CitizenLink. FFRF’s lawsuit against Rick Perry contains some very unkind statements about AFA. And I mean VERY unkind. What’s more, they’re completely gratuitous and irrelevant to the legal issues in the case. Here’s a sample:
“FFRF is a non-profit organization that competes ideologically with churches and religious organizations, such as the American Family Association, an organization that advocates and promotes a rabid evangelical Christian agenda that is hostile to non-believers, non- Christians, and other protected groups, including gays and lesbians.”
A “rabid” evangelical Christian agenda? Hostile? And why specifically mention gays and lesbians? There’s more:
“…the American Family Association, a virulent, discriminatory and evangelical Christian organization known for its intolerance.”
“…outspokenly hostile and disdainful of non-Christian believers, non-believers, atheists, and other protected groups, including gays and lesbians.”
“Virulent?” Do you mean like a deadly virus or something? “Discriminatory?” “Intolerant?” “Disdainful?” Please….
The name-calling by FFRF is completely unnecessary for its Establishment Clause argument, and seems to be totally out of character for that organization.
To FFRF: Please take a hard look at your tactics in this case and make a swift change. This is really beneath you.