Category Archives: freedom from religion

BBC discusses historic court case on church-state separation

In 1956, a 16 year old Pennsylvania high school student named Ellery Schempp finally had enough of his school’s practice—shared by schools in other states (see below)—of reading ten verses from the Bible each morning, followed by a mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Schempp, who became a physicist as well as a mountaineer (he was part of the first […]

SPLC: talk our kind of talk, or we will smear you as a bigot

by Grania Spingies Ahnaf Kalam has posted an update to his petition at  Change.org [JAC: it now has almost 9,000 signatures]: “Today, I was informed that the Southern Poverty Law Center has no intention of removing Maajid Nawaz from their list. ” You can read the full statement here. This is the bit that makes […]

To uniquely protect Islam against mockery, Sydney newspaper suggests that Muslims be considered members of a race rather than a religion

I don’t know how popular or respected the Sydney Morning Herald is (Aussies weigh in), but it’s just published an editorial that’s as intellectually misguided as it is poorly written. Have a look at the short online op-ed, “Jedi knights don’t need protection from free speech“, published five days ago. Now the title is provocative, […]

What’s up with the NASA grant to study theology?

This post is to bring you up to date on the the battle over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) giving over $1 million dollars to a theological organization to study the implications of extraterrestrial life for theology. The Freedom from Religion Foundation is trying to get NASA to rescind the grant on First Amendment grounds, but NASA […]

Shenanigans in Illinois: 1. Unique panel set up to give Muslims a voice in state government

Unless I don’t know the U.S. Constitution, what my own state of Illinois is poised to do is a palpable violation of the First Amendment, designed to avoid, among other things, excessive government entanglement with religion. According to both The Humanist and The Chicago Tribune, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is poised to sign a bill, passed by both state […]

Update: On NASA, theology, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation

On June 6 I reported that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) gave a $1 million grant to the Center for Theological Inquiry to study the societal (read “theological”) implications of looking for extraterrestrial life. In other words, U.S. taxpayer money was going to finance people to figure out how Jesus would save aliens.  To me, […]

The Freedom From Religion Foundation goes after NASA for giving a grant to study theology

On Monday I described how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a U.S. government agency, gave a grant of $1.1 million to the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) for studying the religious implications of finding extraterrestrial life. The other partner who contributed money for this initiative is, of course, the John Templeton Foundation. The theology […]

NASA gives $1 million grant to a theological organization to study the religious implications of extraterrestrial life

Well if this don’t beat all! According to the webpage of the Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), NASA (the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, a part of the U.S. government), has given a huge grant to the CTI to study the implications of extraterrestrial life for religion. The money will fund a team of scholars, including theologians. I quote the […]

Freedom from Religion Foundation sues Congress for forbidding a secular invocation

On May 5, the unconstitutional National Day of Prayer, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed suit against the U.S. Congress, the office of the Chaplain of the House of Representatives, and the entire United States of America, arguing that FFRF co-President Dan Barker had illegally been denied his right to offer a secular invocation to […]

Turkey jails two journalists for republishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey is becoming increasingly Islamist, increasingly oppressive, and increasingly regressive (are those all synonyms)? This once vibrant and largely secular country is now an oligarchy, and it’s forbidden to criticize both Islam and Erdogan. According to the Associated Press, there are nearly 2,000 court cases open in which people have […]