Translation of FFRF ‘Quit the Catholic Church” NY Times Ad
It’s Not Easy Being Free From Religion
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) published a full-page ad in the New York Times on Friday, March 9, 2012. The ad mocks and demonizes the leadership of the Catholic Church, while inviting “liberal” and “nominal” Catholics to join FFRF.
The logic behind spending $52,000 in an attempt to recruit from a group (the Catholic Church) whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to one’s own group’s (radical atheists) is questionable at best. The ad comes across either as an excuse to spew bigoted hate speech and ridicule towards the Catholic Church, or as a sign of desperation and instability in FFRF.
TRANSLATION of the FFRF New York Times ad:
We at FFRF have been laboring for decades (for two generations), trying to wipe out all mention of religion in the United States.
Ours has been a difficult road fraught with obstacles, and progress has been slow.
After all these years, our membership only represents 0.003 of 1% of America’s population.
Even fellow atheists keep their distance from us; only 1 out of 1,000 U.S. atheists have joined us.
Imagine, the other 999 out of 1,000 atheists tolerate Christian America (80% of America), and even join them in the more secular aspects of celebrating their holidays! It makes us sick to our stomachs to watch people buying Christmas trees and buying toys for their children each Christmas.
We valiantly try to spread our creed in any way we can imagine.
We have tried to appeal to people’s intellects, asking them to be “free” thinkers, to question what they are taught and to conclude that we are right; that there is no God.
We have tried to put up golden plaques in State Capitol buildings at Christmas, calling on people to reject gods and to join us in celebrating the pagan Winter Solstice. Unfortunately, no takers. Our Christmas plaques have informed people that their hearts are hardened by religion and that their minds are enslaved by religion. Yet people do not flock to us. They still put up a Christmas tree in the Capitol rotunda that dwarfs our signs by orders of magnitude, and they dare to call it a CHRISTmas tree, as generations of their ancestors have done.
We are working hard to sue Christians who profess their faith publicly, but most of our lawsuits are defeated. People claim that the Constitution guarantees them the freedom to express their religion publicly, not what we claim, the right not to see any religious beliefs expressed anywhere by anybody except us (atheists are classified on most US campuses as religious organizations).
Even the Constitution makes it hard for us; the Founding Fathers used the term freedom OF religion instead of freedom FROM religion. You can’t imagine how hard that makes our battle.
We are a modest outfit, with only 4 employees and a $500,000 per year budget. There is just so much a tiny group can do with that. We are really doing our best. Our staff and budget is smaller than the average Christian Church’s staff and budget in Madison, and we are only one group, contrasted with almost 300 Churches in Madison.
So it’s not easy. We can’t sue everybody. We try to single out small communities with small budgets (like Marshfield, a small WI town that hardly has any cell phone coverage), and we sue them whenever their teenagers try to pray on a sports field or their teachers hang the ten commandments in a hallway. We hope that they will stop expressing their beliefs out of fear of our lawsuit which they cannot afford. That way, we do not have to go to court and risk losing the case, or use up our meager budget. But people have no sympathy for us. They don’t understand our pain. They accuse us of jousting at windmills.
It’s been getting harder and harder. Now more people have noticed what we are up to. Organizations have turned up which help small communities when we try intimidation by litigation. Outfits like the American Center for Law and Justice help the small outfits we try to sue.
Oh, we’ve valiantly tried many things, including suing against the National Day of Prayer. We fought for 3 years, but lost that one. People just seem to insist on praying and praying.
In our desperation, we have turned to ridicule. Last Christmas, we ridiculed the birth of Christ. We put up a fake “Nativity Scene” at theWisconsin State Capitol. It was a modest effort, reminiscent of the shoebox dioramas we make in grammar school. But, heck, we don’t have the budget that some of those Christian groups have. Little attention was paid to our ridicule efforts, and nobody flocked to join our creed, which is based on the negation and the ridicule of the beliefs of others. Quite a few Madison bloggers laughed off our efforts — life is so hard when nobody takes you seriously!
Now, we are at our wits’ end over our lack of success in recruiting more than 0.003 of 1% of America to our membership in all these years. Golly, we can’t even expand our ranks biologically; so many of our members do not have children at all, have children who reject our beliefs, or are members who promote and practice abortion. You have no idea how hard it is for an organization to expand amongst radical abortionists!
The last straw came when the world’s most famous atheist admitted last month that he is not sure whether God exists! What’s an atheist to do? It’s just too depressing.
S0 we had a brainstorm.
We looked for an organization that has it all.
An organization whose creed is followed by the largest number of Americans.
An organization whose membership embraces half the population of Madison.
An organization whose national membership is growing.
An organization which has the best schools in the United States. And the best hospitals. And the best charities.
(Unfortunately, we have no schools or hospitals ourselves. We can’t do everything!)
An organization which encourages having children and is successful in passing on beliefs.
Yes, the Catholic Church!
We will recruit from the Catholic Church!
We will steal members from the Catholic Church!
And what is the best way to do that?
With an ad in the New York Times, of course!
So here’s the ad.
Low budget, of course; remember, we don’t have a big budget.
Like the “Nativity” mocking Christ’s birth, we threw it together ourselves.
Never mind that it’s not very professional.That doesn’t matter.
Never mind that it ridicules a quarter of America.
Never mind that 80% of America is Christian and may not like our tactics.
If we lie enough and ridicule enough, maybe we can steal just 0.025 of 1 % of their membership.
That would double our membership overnight!
Heh, heh, heh, wink, wink, wink, drool, drool, drool, what a great plan!
This will really work!
Our next group to target for ridicule and recruitment will be Islam…
let’s see how that works out…