A photo of Mark Ruffalo with the title secularist of the week and a photo of Ryan Walters with the title theocrat of the week.

Mark Ruffalo condemns Project 2025 while Ryan Walters imposes theocracy in Okla.

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FFRF Action Fund’s “Theocrat of the Week” is a major player in elevating Christian nationalism in Oklahoma. Our “secularist” is a renowned actor who has called out the Christian nationalism driving Project 2025, the blueprint for Donald Trump’s possible return to office. 

Mark Ruffalo is FFRF Action Fund’s “Secularist of the Week” for his powerful response to Project 2025 and the looming threat of Trump on American democracy. Ruffalo reposted a post from the Human Rights Campaign thanking actress Taraji P. Henson for commendably calling out the danger of Project 2025 and recent Supreme Court decisions while onstage at the BET Awards. 

In his post, Ruffalo added his own commentary: “Project 2025 is not a game, it’s white Christian nationalism. It is the Sharia Law of the ‘Christian’ crazy people who aren’t Christian at all but want to control every aspect of your life through their narrow and exclusionary interpretation of Christ’s egalitarian, inclusive and kindly teachings.” 

Ruffalo continued, “Don’t be fooled by Project 2025’s extremist and perverse ideology. Trump is bringing it to all our lives: abortion, LGBTQIA+ rights, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of education, and equality between the races and genders — GONE. Forced birth and forced religion. Trump’s American Taliban.”

Ruffalo proved his staunch support for separation of church and state after Roe was overturned. While retweeting a post from the ACLU, Ruffalo added: “This nation was founded on the separation between church & state. The Supreme Court has now been made illegitimate by destruction of that separation & turned into a political organ of the religious right. We are going to have to fight for the founding [principles] of our nation.” We are immensely thankful to have such a well-known voice denouncing Christian nationalism and Project 2025. 

Meanwhile, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, our repeat “Theocrat of the Week,” is once again making headlines for using his office to force Christianity onto Oklahoma students. In late June, Walters sent Oklahoma school districts a “compulsory” mandate to incorporate the bible “as an instructional support into the curriculum” for grades five through 12 alongside the Ten Commandments. FFRF has pledged to fight Walters’ unconstitutional mandate. 

Defending the mandate, Walters professed that the bible is “one of the most foundational documents used for the Constitution and the birth of our country.” Of course, Walters is emulating the unconstitutional Louisiana law requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public classroom, the first law of its kind. FFRF and a coalition of groups have announced a lawsuit against the state.

Walters has claimed that “a lot of the inspiration” behind his mandate came from Trump and his contributions to the Supreme Court. Walters, it goes without saying, feels secure legally because of the Trump-stacked U.S. Supreme Court and its willingness to side with Christian nationalism. Walters said: “We believe that with the Supreme Court that President Trump has appointed, they will look at this in an originalist’s viewpoint. . . . Without a majority of left-wing activists on the court, we feel very, very good about it, if it makes it that far.” 

Walters underlined how Trump made this possible, saying, “President Trump has absolutely made this the path that can be followed by states … by putting originalists on the Supreme Court. That’s what is allowing us to do this, and upon his reelection this November, it will further empower us to move the ball even further in states across the country to make sure our kids understand the role the bible played in American history.” 

Walters also claimed that the bible “has been under attack from the teachers unions, the radical left, [President] Joe Biden.” He went on to repeat the incessant Christian nationalist lie that “the separation of church and state is a myth.” He furthered this point on X, posting: “Oklahoma kids will learn that the Bible and the Ten Commandments are foundational for Western civilization. The left is upset, but one cannot rewrite history.”

FFRF is committed to combating Walters’ schemes – after years of continually calling out his Christian nationalist ways. Walters has long criticized FFRF for its work to protect the freedom of conscience in public schools, calling it a “radical atheist group” after FFRF successfully stopped prayer broadcasts in an Oklahoma school district. FFRF Action Fund branded Walters as its inaugural “Theocrat of the Year” in 2023 and will continue to call out his unconstitutional shenanigans. It’s heartening to have personalities such as Mark Ruffalo on our side.

FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.