FFRF places full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the theocracy of the Trump administration

December 5, 2019 • 12:30 pm

I don’t have a paper copy of the New York Times (I’m an e-subscriber, and unsure whether I’ll renew), but, according to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), their organization ran a full-page ad in today’s paper attacking the pervasive theocracy of the Trump administration. (They weren’t 100% sure it would run today.) The FFRF also put the ad on their own website, so I’ll reproduce it below along with an excerpt from their description.

I’m not sure what full-page ads cost in the New York Times, but they’re not cheap; you can see some of the rates here, though they’re hard to decipher. Given that this ad is in color, I’d say it cost in the ballpark of $200,000. But the FFRF isn’t poor—it’s one of the best-funded of all secular organizations, and on top of these ads they give out lots of cash awards and scholarships.

Here’s a bit of the FFRF’s explanation of the ad, along with the name of the artist:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is running a dramatic full-page ad this week in The New York Times warning that a theocratic deluge could drown us. The ad will likely appear on Thursday, Dec. 4.

The striking ad has a stark depiction of the Statue of Liberty holding a cross while large waves labeled “Theocracy” surround her and overwhelm buildings. The image is drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Steve Benson. “Help stem the theocratic tidal wave,” FFRF’s ad urges.

. . . “Our constitutional right to a secular government has never before been in danger of being so engulfed,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “We will fight to the utmost to ensure that reason and our secular Constitution endure.”

The ad includes a coupon at the bottom enabling people to become members or supporters of the state/church watchdog organization. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national nontheistic group with more than 30,000 members and several chapters all over the country, has received a four-star rating plus a “perfect score” this year from Charity Navigator as a carefully run nonprofit.

Yes, the organization is run as a tight ship. You should consider joining it (I’m a member as well as on the honorary board of directors); it’s only $40 per year and you get a fat monthly newsletter with all kinds of good stuff in it. And of course you’re helping a secular group that really fights hard to keep the church-state wall in place, and has had numerous legal successes. To join, go here.

27 thoughts on “FFRF places full-page ad in the New York Times attacking the theocracy of the Trump administration

    1. I am concerned that those who need to see this wont. I have a cousin who’s a farmer and she worships Trump. To can’t get her to see anything wrong. Then I. Have a brother-in-law who is a retired laborer who thinks Trump is doing great for the country. Both of these people live far from me but their attitude makes me fearful for the next election. Trumps trumping.

      1. What’s typical is ignorance.

        I have family as well that have total conviction — absolute conviction — in their opinions, yet never watch a speech, a hearing, a debate, or anything. They’re clueless when it comes to details of any sort. (Much like the religious among us.)

        Instead they occasionally listen to news as interpreted by some talking-head who pursues his or her own agenda in a bottomless sea of heightened self-importance.

        And then Trump says a dumb line or two, does so four gazillion times, and the sheep on TV and in the crowds repeat it. If he said President Obama was the greatest president, in a week the flock would come to think the same.

        Just look at the reversal on Russia: Republicans used to abhor Putin: now it’s the “Deep State” whom we really need to fear (and yet with every resignation and corrupt firing, President Barf actually attempts to create a Deep State in his favor: “my generals”, “my judges”, et al.).

        Nevertheless, my 2020 prediction still stands: Impeachment aside, President Stormy loses the popular-vote by millions more than in 2016 while once again securing the unrepresentative Electoral College.

  1. I can’t find it in the digital publication, so presumably they only paid for print.
    I’m glad to see it, only wish that for $200k they had hired a better designer.

  2. Love the message and the sentiment. Not so sure about the execution: an image with at least six different fonts on it comes across to me as a bit undisciplined.

    Anyway, all the best to them, and all power to their collective elbows.

  3. AS THAT WACKY AD SAID IN SOUTH CAROLINA

    “FFRF, WE’RE ON IT”

    I have been a member in FFRF for over ten years, they do great work, and its worth every penny.

    1. Hey! It is SOUTH DAKOTA that’s on it, for crying out loud! I point this out as a “proud” South Dakotan. We can’t even get credit for being doofuses around here.

  4. As a member of FFRF, I am glad to see this. Though there is only one solution to stemming the theocracy; vote the entire GOP out of office. Everything the Trump GOP stands for is antithetical to the Constitution and secularism. If we get another 4 years of this horror, the theocracy will be impossible to reverse; SCOTUS will become our American-Taliban masters. And the damage Trump’s theocratic judges will have may doom our country whether the GOP stays in power or not. I can see myself moving out of the country by retirement age if this shit continues.

    1. I share totally your sentiments. Trump and his Republican Party toadies represent a threat to democracy, national security and secularism in so many ways that it is easy to forget some of them. Even more depressing is that about 40% of the voters stand with Trump no matter how many crimes he has committed.

  5. True, the ad probably won’t reach the audience that “boudiccadylis” has in mind and it probably won’t change many minds; nonetheless it needed to be published. Those aren’t the only type of Trump supporter. Trump may declare his affection for and count on “the poorly educated” to constitute most of his base but plenty of well educated people support Trump; and people from all walks of life who read the NY Times and who need to see this and who will. It needs to be out there. Too bad they couldn’t also run this video of Trump’s personal pastor, the severely deluded proponent of the prosperity gospel, Paula White raving about sacralizing the White House. BTW, he’s given her an official position at the White House to head the Faith and Opportunity Initiative, a division of the Office of Public Liaison.

    https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1191495086581792768
    As with a number of cherished national principles, the principle of separation of church and state has steadily eroded. Under Trump it’s accelerating at an alarming rate.

    1. In the video, she even speaks in tongues. I’d love to see a formal invocation at the White House spoken in tongues.

      1. Could swear that “speaking in tongues” is what Trump does to the press gaggle on the South Lawn of the White House over the roar of the whirlybird blades on his way to Marine One. In forked tongues, at that.

        What a pair of shameless charlatans in that video above. The gullibility of so many of our countrymen is an unceasing source of amazement.

        1. Well, he does speak in tongues, and not just at the impromptu gaggle conferences.

          I’m fascinated by his linguistic eccentricities. He’s a sapper at the Tower of Babel.

  6. I wish they would have created a more pungent design. This makes no sense. The SoL holding a cross seems to suggest theocracy is already in place, yet it is being washed away by theocracy? And the wild mix of fonts. A real eyesore. Sorry, I understand the ads are expensive so you have to save elsewhere but this looks so amateurish it doesn’t do the cause a favor.

    1. That was my first thought also. It looks like they blew all their budget on the ad buy and left none for the graphical design. That headline won’t grab anyone. Perhaps they should have gone with a scare about what life might be like if church and state merge.

    2. Looks like a nutty wing-nut meme. Possibly by some guy named Ivan. Well, those apparently work so maybe they are onto something.

  7. Several comments:

    1. As a member of FFRF for a long time, I’m very appreciative of the excellent work they’ve done for we non-religious sorts, especially in re separation of church and state. The more of us who join, the better. Now, if only FFRF could get something like this on Fox News, it would be seen by a huge number of Always Trumpers.

    2. “‘To say no to President Trump would be saying no to God.’ — Trump’s faith adviser and ‘Righteous Gemstones’ character come to life Paula White is now an official White House employee.” More likely that saying no to Trump would be saying no to Putin. (And, wouldn’t you know that this irreligious person would select a female as Trump’s religious advisor?!)

    3. I hope that we are successful in getting this abomination out of the White House ASAP.
    I am appalled at all the damage he has done and only hope it can be rectified. However, the far right and the evangelicals will be out in force. We must be also.

  8. FFRF is a great 501-3c with a 4 star rating from charity navigator (Highest possible). It’s a modest sized organization that gets a lot done with total funding of only a few million per year. So every donation helps. With Trump, the Republicans and SCOTUS they need all the help they can get to defend separation of church and state. I’m a lifetime member and have them in my will.

      1. Ok, thanks. I am happy to send my Canada dollars to this worthy organization. The creeping theocracy in the States is very scary to watch. Pence, Pompeo, and Barr all believe in The Rapture ffs!

  9. One way to look at tRump and his Christian presidency is as a last gasp of religion as it steadily declines. If not a last gasp, perhaps just a temporary up-tick in visibility that is out of sync with history. Soon they will be fewer in number and on their way to zero influence. It will certainly take attention and effort to make sure it does not linger.

    1. I hope you are right. On the other hand, dictators often lean on religion for extra authority and clout. Probably won’t work in the US but I’ve stopped betting on these things after Trump got elected.

  10. It is scary to think that, on the whole, what happens in the US is eventually headed our way here in the UK. I’m desperately hoping that religiosity is an exception.

  11. Trump’s “religion” is merely another of his snake-oil scams that fortuitously gives him a chance to express his utter contempt for women: opposing abortion is the only pious policy he has.
    I have rarely seen anyone more irreligious.

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