One of our organization’s missions is “to create an environment where casual bigotry against our community is seen as abhorrent and unacceptable.” And we are making progress here.

Through two recent lawsuits, we’re helping raise awareness about anti-atheist discrimination—to fight it. And this is working! We’ve received an outpouring of support from the religious and atheists alike.

Two weeks ago, we launched our lawsuit against the City of Fort Worth for discriminating against and silencing local atheists. City officials had let Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Texas Christian University advertise events. Yet they denied our client, Metroplex Atheists, the same opportunity.

Since then, the media and experts have come to our defense, calling on Fort Worth to stop treating our community unfairly. “The atheists are right on this one. Fort Worth got it wrong,” wrote the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board. “This is clearly a free speech issue,” agreed the Star-Telegram Editorial Board. “We think it would have been better to err on the side of more speech, not less.”

“The government can’t discriminate between religions or among religions and neither can it discriminate between religious and non-religious beliefs,” explained Lawrence Sager, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law, in support of our lawsuit. Even Dale Carpenter, a constitutional law professor at the religious Southern Methodist University, said he wasn’t convinced by Fort Worth’s position.

Local residents are also on our side. Bonnie Canelakes of Dallas called out officials for discriminating against atheists “who don’t choose to join or believe what the city thinks they should.”

Decades ago, many Americans were scared to come out as atheists. How things have changed! Now even non-atheists are defending us.

Our Fort Worth litigation is not the only lawsuit helping people realize that discrimination against atheists is widespread—and that it’s wrong.

In April, we sued the state of West Virginia for forcing a religious substance abuse treatment program on our client, Andrew Miller, as a condition for his parole. Then, two weeks ago, a district court judge issued a preliminary injunction, instructing officials to remove this program from Andrew’s parole eligibility requirements.

This is an important victory for atheists—and all Americans—to be free from forced religion. And once again we received an outpouring of support.

“No one should have to stay in prison or continue a substance abuse problem because they don’t want to have to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior or involve religion or superstition in their recovery in any respect,” wrote Robyn Pennachhia for Wonkette.

With these lawsuits, we are changing people’s hearts and minds toward atheists as we inform more and more Americans about the struggles we face.

We will not rest until the vast majority of Americans view casual bigotry against our community as abhorrent and unacceptable.

Help support these lawsuits—and future ones—that help normalize atheism and bring greater acceptance of our community. Donate $15, $50, or more, and you’ll help make the difference.


Nick Fish

American Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, nonprofit educational organization that relies on the support of members like you. Contributions are tax-deductible. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 74-2466507 and our Combined Federal Campaign number is 52217.

American Atheists
225 Cristiani Street
Cranford, NJ 07016
United States

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