Category Archives: freedom from religion

Tennessee schools required to display “In God We Trust” motto

You may have heard that, back in March, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill (vote 81-8!) requiring the U.S. National Motto, which happens to be “In God We Trust”, to be displayed on the walls of all public schools. (The legislature is Republican, but not 91% Republican.) As WATE in Knoxville reports, this blatantly unconstitutional […]

FFRF once again fights government over unconstitutional housing allowance for ministers

For years the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) has been fighting a no-brainer legal battle against the U.S. government, which by law makes all ministers’ housing allowances completely tax-exempt. This means that if a minister is given, say, $10,000 per year by his church to subsidize housing, that money is completely tax free. It is, […]

My Jesus and Mo posts blocked in Pakistan for “hurting the sentiments of many Muslims”

I suppose it was only a matter of time before my weekly postings of Jesus and Mo, which I’ve been putting up for years, were flagged as offensive. Someone in Pakistan filed a complaint (in bold below) that they were BLASPHEMOUS, and so WordPress contacted me with the following message (I’ve put the complaint in […]

“In God We Trust” signs become mandatory in Louisiana schools

The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) has its work cut out for it, as there is never an end to the Christian, conservative, and Republican efforts to push God, Jesus, and faith into the public schools, despite its violation of the First Amendment. When they lose a case, they simply grow a new head, like […]

Movie: McCollum v. Board of Education

Heather Hastie called my attention to the existence of a movie, McCollum v. Board of Education, that exists in its entirety on YouTube. This case, which was argued before the Supreme Court in late 1947 and decided in 1948, decided the issue of whether public schools could support religious education by setting aside class time […]

Guardian columnist calls for banning “hate speech”

The UK is well on its way to legalizing censorship of offensive views, either by deplatforming those whose speech is politically inconvenient, by constructing proscribed lists of speakers (Britain’s National Union of Students), or by the government simply not allowing rabble-rousers into the country to give talks. Pushing the censorship along, Nesrine Malik, a Guardian columnist of […]

4 in 10 American Millennials, and half of Europeans, think that government should be able to ban “hate speech”

This 2015 Pew poll was mentioned by Lionel Shriver in her piece about the policing of literature tthat I discussed the other day. It shows a surprising degree of censoriousness in various Western countries.  Pew asked people in the U.S. and Europe the following question: We asked whether people believe that citizens should be able […]

The FFRF wins a big one: federal court rules that ministers’ tax-free housing allowances violate the Constitution

You may know that American ministers have some tax advantages under the law: they often get a housing allowance from their church, and that allowance, in contrast to non-ministers who get such perks, is free from taxes.  Here’s the stipulation from the Internal Revenue Service code: A licensed, commissioned, or ordained minister may be able […]

The U. S. moves toward theocracy: Congress aims to repeal the Johnson Amendment barring nonprofits (like churches) from endorsing candidates

The Johnson Amendment, in effect since 1954, is in fact named after Lyndon Johnson, who introduced it as a congressman. It’s part of the U.S. Tax Code, and specifies behavior prohibited for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations (the amendment itself is the part in bold below): 26 U.S. Tax Code §501 Section C (3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or […]

The saga of NASA’s grant to theologians continues, with NASA violating the Constitution and its employees apparently behaving illegally

If this doesn’t get me another Discovery Institute “Censor of the Year” award, I don’t know what will, for, as far as I remember, I discovered this bit of information. But the Freedom from Religion Foundation should be the real recipient, as it’s done every bit of the legwork and heavy lifting. The issue involves […]