At the Center for Inquiry, our vision for a better United States—for a better world—is clear. We are working toward a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. In concrete terms, these are the goals that we think are most important:
• Protecting the rights of free expression and freedom of conscience for everyone.
• Ensuring that nonbelievers everywhere—in the U.S. and around the world—are treated as fully equal members of society, worthy of dignity and respect.
• Keeping religion out of public policy, particularly when it comes to the reproductive freedom of women.
• Maintaining the separation of church and state.
• Basing public policy on sound science over ideology and superstition, whether it’s climate change policy or the regulation of alternative medicine.
These commonsense goals meet incredible resistance, but they are absolutely achievable. But they are achievable only if we work together—only if we can count on your financial support.
A Landmark Victory for Nonreligious Americans
One deeply significant recent development shows just how achievable these goals are. You know that CFI is on the front lines in the ongoing battle to ensure nonbelievers have the same rights as believers. Just this past Monday, July 14, we celebrated a landmark victory for nonreligious Americans, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously ruled that the state of Indiana must allow marriages to be performed by Secular Celebrants, such as those certified by CFI.
In an opinion written by Judge Frank Easterbrook, the court recognized that for groups such as CFI, their beliefs systems are "equivalent to religion except for non-belief in God," and that:
"Those who embrace that secular system want their own views to be expressed by celebrants at marriages, [and] the state must treat them the same way it treats religion."
We at CFI wholeheartedly agree.
This is a major victory for us, and for all secular Americans, because we still suffer from discrimination and the special privileges accorded religion. For the judges of the 7th Circuit to recognize that nonreligious Americans are entitled to the same rights as the religious is enormously encouraging.
Continue the Fight. Continue the Progress.
Though this ruling is a great triumph for us, there have been some recent rulings, such as the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, that have been very disappointing. Because of your support, I remain cautiously optimistic about the future. We are making progress. But success is not ensured. We need to continue the fight.
As long as religious dogma is invoked in the halls of Congress as a basis for public policy, we must continue to fight.
As long as scientific findings are ignored, manipulated, or suppressed and politicians, the media, and the general public accept magical, pseudoscientific thinking, we must continue to fight.
As long as there is any country in the world where someone risks punishment for simply expressing her or his views about religion, we must continue to fight.
We at CFI pledge to continue the fight. But we can only continue to fight with your financial support.
You have the power to help us make our shared goals a reality. If you want to promote science and secularism—if you are committed to humanist values—please give as generously as you can.
With sincere appreciation and best wishes,