The judge ruled against us and using remarkable
logic decided that the city was not advancing one faith nor
proselytizing because it had invited a "vast array of culturally and
heterogeneous Christian organizations"
Acting President and Lead Plaintiff, EllenBeth Wachs, has already instructed our counsel to file the appeal.
AoF President Steps Down to Concentrate
on Upcoming School Board Trial;
Wachs is Acting President
October 17, 2011 To concentrate fully on
his upcoming trial, John Kieffer notified the Board of Directors for
Atheists of Florida that he has transferred all executive authority,
duties and responsibilities as President to the Vice-President, EllenBeth
Trial for Atheist Reset to Jan. 5 & 6, 2012
October 26 , 2011 John Kieffer, who was arrested at the Polk County
School Board facility in February, is scheduled for a trial by jury
January 5 & 6, 2012, at the Polk County courthouse in Bartow. Kieffer,
the president of Atheists of Florida, was arrested prior to the official
start of a school board meeting February 22nd. Wearing a One
Nation Indivisible Atheists of Florida t-shirt, Kieffer did not
participate in a pre-meeting Christian prayer ritual and instead milled
about, took photos and spoke with Atheists of Florida Vice-President
EllenBeth Wachs. Kieffer was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting
arrest without violence and disrupting a lawful assembly. The three
misdemeanors carry a total maximum jail/prison sentence of 1 year and
John has had 2 of his 3 charges outright dismissed. He is still facing one misdemeanor charge at this time.
Dismissed! EllenBeth Celebrates at Benefit Concert
29 August 2011 A benefit concert on Sunday
for EllenBeth Wachs turned into a celebration as she announced to her
audience that the trumped up criminal charges against her had been dismissed.
Prosecutors realized that it was not in their best interest to move
forward to trial and offered a settlement agreement that dismissed the
felonies and averted convictions on all charges. The Lakeland event
was attended by Atheists of Florida members from around the state. It
featured live music and atheist activist speakers from around the country. Read
Donate to EllenBeth's Legal Fund
Atheists of Florida Vice-President
EllenBeth Wachs has courageously acted on several government fronts
in Polk County in behalf of her civil rights and, for that matter,
the rights of all religious minorities in her community who are expected
to quietly accept their status as second class citizens.
To silence her, the sheriff, an outspoken fundamentalist Christian,
and other like-minded operatives in the county's law enforcement
community have coordinated and retaliated forcibly against her. EllenBeth
was arrested and jailed on two bogus felony charges: allegations that
no one in U.S. history has ever been arrested, charged, or, let alone,
convicted for. This is undeniably religious based persecution and
EllenBeth needs your help.
She has hired an experienced legal team and needs financial assistance
to fight back against this abuse of power.
Atheists of Florida, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) organization under
the United States Internal Revenue Code, so your donation is tax-deductible
to the extent permitted by law. A copy of the official registration
and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer
Services by calling toll-free (800) 435-7352 within the state.Registration
does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.
Donation: Stiefel Freethought Foundation assists embattled atheists
August 8, 2011 -- In defense of
the civil rights of atheists, Humanists and Freethinkers in Florida,
the Stiefel Freethought Foundation has donated $10,000 to EllenBeth's Legal
Fund through Atheists of Florida. Todd Stiefel, founder of the North Carolina
based foundation, recognizes that what is occurring in Polk County,
Florida, is an epic confrontation between the political elite who serve
to protect the religious privilege of their majority constituents against
a civil rights minority, atheists, demanding equal protection and adherence
to the U.S. Constitution.
sues Sheriff Grady Judd
24, 2011 To stop a religiously motivated persecution against
her, EllenBeth Wachs filed a lawsuit today against Sheriff Grady Judd
in Federal District Court in Tampa, FL. The complaint asserts that the
Polk County sheriff's actions, which included two arrests and
a search of her home, violated her First Amendment rights and her right
to due process. Copy of the federal complaint and additional information Read
County Sheriff Grady Judd has publicly supported Polk Under Prayer
(PUP), an affiliation of Polk County evangelical churches and government
officials. One affiliate promoted the PUP doctrine on its website: If
they [people in Polk County] will not submit to God's way of living,
then the prayer is to have them incarcerated or removed from the county.