packets for new recruits to FFRF

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packets for new recruits to FFRF

Postby hyksos on January 25th, 2019, 2:57 pm 

FFRF is the Freedom From Religion Foundation - a nationally known secular humanist society. It tends to the "high end" clientele such as the son of Ronald Reagan, Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett, and a few select Hollywood comedians. But there are many other secular humanist type societies out there that allow paid membership. In this thread I will brainstorm some ideas about what to put in a "packet" for new recruits who have recently joined. Membership might require that you read the packet's contents out loud and record it on video, audio, or maybe re-write the contents by hand onto paper. (Short of having tests,) this would ensure that all members of the foundation have actually read the material in the packet.

https://ffrf.org/faq


In a broad outline, the New Members Information Packet will contain

1. basic history about where the Bible came from, and mention several of the non-canonical gospels and apocryphal books left out of the "standard" Old Testament. (e.g. Book of Enoch).

2. (with apologies up front to any Brits and aussies on this forum) the packet should contain a section that describes what the United States of America was like in 1959, in regards to how much religion had pervaded public life and laws.

3. A history of the wars fought around the Levantine world, especially the Roman-Jewish wars from 77 AD to 136 AD. (This is where Judea was re-named Syria Palaestina by Roman Emporer, Hadrion). Especially the Arab conquests of the Levant, the capturing of Jerusalem, and the Islamic Dome of the Rock.

So we have a president who wears a MAGA hat, and we recently saw some boys from a catholic school Kentucky sporting them. (all over the news). "Make America Great Again" is the slogan. The first stop on our packet contents will be a description of what America was really like in the year 1959.


  • Many states had co-habitation laws and miscegenation laws on the books. This basically means white women can't live in the same house that a black man lives in. and/or the prohibition of marriage of two people of different racial backgrounds. Couples in Florida were being charged for the crime of co-habitating as late as 1964. (Supreme Court removed all such laws as late as 1967.)
  • Several states had it illegal to teach the theory of evolution by Natural Selection, even in public schools. (This was overridden by the SCOTUS as late as 1968)
  • States had these things called Blue Laws. These laws were unrelated to city planning in dense metropolitan areas to reduce crime and weekend congestion. They existed essentially as an observation of the Sabbath, for all intents. This is where some, or all commercial stores are not allowed to be open on Sunday. After some key court cases, the laws lingered in different forms. For example in Ohio it was forbidden to sell liquor on Sundays (this may have persisted into the 1990s, {expand}).
  • Public schools had Christmas Pageants where children would sing about Jesus being born under a star, or recreate Bible stories on stage. Participation was mandatory , as opting-out only implemented in the late 1980s.

Since I'm the author, I will relate my personal anecdote. I was exactly at the age when the transition away from Christmas Pageants began to crystalize (Late 1980s). My older sister was in a full pageant which I remember being way overdone in terms of decorations and choirs singing. They even darkened the auditorium like a rock concert.

When I entered that grade, opting-out of the pageant was allowed for my class. Myself and three other boys opted out. (I opted out because I hated singing. Although I love to play instruments.) Several "pissed off" teachers treated us like criminals for making this choice. One angry teacher had us sit in a hallway with no chairs against a brick wall, making sure to space us out, and commanded that we not talk to each other. When we signaled to each other, he moved us farther apart. It was like I had been sent to detention, for having made the wrong decision.

The events described above took place in a public middle school. An actual FFRF packet might need to contain for example
http://www.belcherfoundation.org/florey_v_sioux_falls_school_district.htm
and
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abington_School_District_v._Schempp

It is mostly impossible for me to imagine anyone being a card-carrying member of a Secular Humanist society, and to show up at meetings of a local chapter, and yet not know the facts above. These are required knowledge for any humanist , atheist, or agnostic, and especially for those with memberships in organizations.
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