Category Archives: freedom from religion

South Dakota requires all public schools to PROMINENTLY display “In God We Trust”

We all know that “In God We Trust” is the U.S. national motto, though the unofficial motto—a much better one—is E pluribus unum (“Out of many, one”). The former is divisive, the latter unifying. The change in mottos was made in 1956, during the Cold War, and was largely a response to “godless Communism”: an […]

My talk with Andrew Seidel about his book on America’s secular origins

As I wrote a while back, in June I had a 45-minute public discussion with Andrew Seidel, a constitutional attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation and its Director of Strategic Response. The topic was Andrew’s new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism Is Un-American. It took place at the University of Illinois at […]

Twitter starts censoring speech, beginning with speech about religion:

Diana MacPherson called my attention to this new post by Twitter on conduct that they’re going to block. And they’re starting with religion. Click on the screenshot to read: Here’s what Twitter says: We create our rules to keep people safe on Twitter, and they continuously evolve to reflect the realities of the world we […]

I was wrong about religious proselytizing in National Parks

Yesterday, incensed by the presence of a pair of proselytizing Jehovah’s Witnesses in a lovely little National Park, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, I wrote a post wondering whether this kind of leaflet-mongering was legal, or somehow violated the First Amendment. According to reader Jenny Haniver’s comment on that post, my suspicions that this […]

Is a National Park violating the First Amendment?

Today, after snorkeling at the nearby Honaunu Bay, I visited the Pu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park, a small but historic abode of Hawaiian royalty and a “place of refuge”.  As the Wikipedia entry notes, The historical park preserves the site where, up until the early 19th century, Hawaiians who broke a kapu (one of the ancient laws) could […]

Conversation with attorney Andrew Seidel on June 11 about the secular origins of the United States

If you’re in Chicago, mark your calendars for June 11. For on that evening I’ll be having a conversation in town with Andrew Seidel (sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation [FFRF] and the End of the Line Humanists) about Andrew’s new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. To be released in […]

FFRF loses a slam-dunk case in Federal appellate court

If ever a First Amendment case looked like a winner, it was this one: the U.S. government keeps giving a tax exemption to ministers so that their housing allowances provided by the church—allowances that could be substantial, and include house renovations—remain tax free. No other people save “ministers of the gospel” (I assume that includes […]

British police threatened atheist for posting a nonbeliever sign in his yard

This story is from 2012, but the law still applies in the UK. The Public Order Act of 1986 remains in force, and it specifies this: (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he: (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly […]

Canada repeals its blasphemy law

Thanks to several humanist groups, the Canadian blasphemy law, which hasn’t been much used, has just been repealed. As reported by Humanists UK, the bill passed the Canadian Parliament two days ago and now “awaits royal assent”. (Those ties to the UK still irk me. Why the hell does the Queen have to certify this?) […]

The FFRF victory in Charleston, Illinois

Here’s a very short video featuring the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s staff attorney Ryan Jayne, who wrote the letter to the Charleston, Illinois’s city attorney pointing out that their sponsored trip to the Creation Museum and Ark Park was unconstitutional. They won within 24 hours, with Charleston canceling the trip. So where is my second […]