December 20, 2019
Dear CFI Michigan Friends,
The countdown to 2020 has begun, but before the year ends we need your help.
This has been a very difficult year for secular individuals as the onslaught of attacks on our constitutionally protected rights has increased over the past year. Our government leaders and elected officials continue to kowtow to the demands of the religious right to infuse their beliefs and prejudices into our country’s laws and judicial system.
The challenges we face in the coming year may very well change the future of our country and threaten the rights of secular individuals for decades to come.
Just a week ago, CFI’s legal director, Nick Little, joined us for the CFI MI Solstice Dinners and shared how important it is for CFI to continue to fight these religiously motivated attacks on our personal and civil liberties. In his presentation at both dinners, he noted that, in the legal world, it had been a busy year.
We’re also entering completely new litigation areas with our groundbreaking consumer protection lawsuits against CVS and Walmart for the deceptive manner in which they sell fake and ineffective homeopathic products right next to real evidence-based medicine.
But he then went on to summarize the difficulties we faced this year and had to reluctantly admit … “In other ways, it’s been a crappy year.”
“We’ve been smacked around by the government and courts, and it looks like it is only going to get worse. Under the current administration nearly 200 judges, including two Supreme Court Justices, fifty Appeals Court Judges and 133 District Court Judges have been nominated and rushed through the Senate approval process at a scary rate. A majority of these judges are extremely hostile to our values in all areas, not to mention many of them are completely unqualified for the lifetime positions they have been appointed to hold.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has shown a willingness and even a desire to revisit and overturn decades of precedent in the church-state arena—a legal bedrock that we have relied on for so many of CFI’s lawsuits and amicus briefs. For example, in the Bladensburg Cross case, that CFI unfortunately lost, the court somehow ruled that a 40′ concrete cross on public property—located in one of the busiest intersections in Maryland—was not a religious symbol!
The concept of “religious freedom” is actively being corrupted from “believe what you will without government interference” to “act as you will without government interference,” and the pressure for religious exemptions from civil rights laws and public health statutes continues to grow, while at the same time numerous outrageous and unscientific abortion bans are being introduced and approved nationwide.
This means that we have largely lost the federal court system for decades to come, and we can no longer rely on established precedent to protect the rights and liberties of secular individuals.”
So, what do we do? As Nick so aptly put it:
“We continue the fight, but we have to get smarter! We have to focus our attention and take action at the state level, and win back control of the states and localities. The religious right doesn’t win school board elections because they have a better argument; they win because they run candidates and turn out to vote.
We have to look to different tactics in our litigation and shift the battle to areas where we have an advantage. We need to get better at telling good stories, focus on sympathetic cases, and target consumer protection and science policies. This is an area that CFI is best positioned to succeed with our unique position of defending both secular values and science!”
The consequences we face are dire, and although the outlook seems bleak, we cannot give up.
That is why we need your support to continue fighting, because our actions at the local and state levels are pivotal in defending the rights of secular individuals and defending freedom of and from religion.
In 2020, CFI Michigan will continue to increase our advocacy efforts at the state level to ensure that public policy is based on scientific evidence, not religious beliefs. We will also be focusing on educating our members and the general public about the importance of basing public policy on evidence and scientifically accurate information, and continue to train our members to be effective citizen activists, so that each of you can fight back against religious encroachments in your local government and schools.
Join us and take action now to help us continue the fight in 2020!
Every little bit helps, whether that’s $20 or $200. Give what you can today or start a monthly donation to make a larger gift more affordable.
To ensure your gift is received by December 31, make your tax-deductible donation quickly and easily through our secure online donation page! Visit cfimichigan.org/donate.
Thank you for your support,
Executive Director, CFI Michigan
PS: Whenever you donate, make sure to use the CFI Michigan donation page or specify “CFI Michigan” on your donation or membership form to ensure that your gifts directly supports our programs in Michigan.