September 29, 2016
Friday, September 30 is International Blasphemy Rights Day, a day to stand in support of the right to question, criticize, and challenge ideas, at a time when blasphemy laws strip that right from millions around the world. The victims are often atheists, but also members of minority faiths, or those in the majority who dare to dissent from prevailing beliefs.
But sometimes it is not the force of law that silences free expression, but the swing of a blade.
Last year, the Center for Inquiry started the Freethought Emergency Fund to rescue secularist writers and activists in Bangladesh whose lives were threatened by militant Islamists, raising more than $50,000 and allowing CFI to relocate more than a dozen activists and their families.
And now we’re ready to do much more.
Today CFI formally establishes this critical program as Secular Rescue: Saving freedom, saving lives — and we’re re-launching it with a special, urgent matching donation offer.
You can see the urgency of this situation, and how much good we can do.
And today only, through the generosity of two CFI supporters, Douglas Kinney and another donor who wishes to remain anonymous, we are able to match your donation two-to-one, up to $15,000.
That means your $20 donation will be worth $60 to threatened secularists in the world.
Your $100 donation will be worth $300 to writers in exile.
And a $1,000 donation will be tripled to a remarkable $3,000 to help a family in fear of violence and death from extremist forces. And every penny goes directly to helping those in danger.
We have never had such a remarkable challenge gift for this program. But there’s a catch.
We only receive the matching gifts if you make your donation before midnight Pacific Time tonight.
So if friends like you don’t step up to the plate, the $15,000 goes away, unavailable to save people in danger. Get an early start – do your part right now by going to centerforinquiry.net/SecularRescue, and see your gift tripled.
Please lead by example, and let your friends know what kind of a difference they can make. No matter the size of the gift, it will be tripled. But this offer is only on the table until midnight PST Friday, so make the most of this generous opportunity!
Too many brilliant writers, teachers, students, and activists have been lost to violent extremists.
Together, we can ensure that as many of them as possible can continue to shine the light of reason, even in the darkest of times.
* * *
Ideas don’t need rights.
Beliefs don’t need protection.
But people do.
* * *
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and will soon be home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at https://centerforinquiry.org.