Category Archives: freedom from religion

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 […]

German fined for blaspheming Christianity via car slogans

Come on, Europeans and Canadians—get rid of your stupid blaphemy laws! Yes, they’re almost never enforced, but they’re unworthy of an enlightened society. Among the “Western” countries who have them on the books are Denmark, Canada, Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, the Netherlands, […]

Chino Valley town council vows to continue prayer

Two days ago I reported that Mayor Chris Marley, mayor of Chino Valley, Arizona (and a “part-time Baptist minister”, whatever that is), has repeatedly begun the town council meetings with a Christian prayer. After promising that he’d stop the process pending a discussion of the prayer issue, Marley reneged on his promise (i.e. lied) and again praised […]

Rabbi thrown out of Arizona city council meeting after objecting to Jesus prayer

Religious hijinks are rife in Arizona, as the state repeatedly tries to flout the First Amendment by holding prayers before meetings of the state and city legislatures. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) reports two recent instances (my emphasis): First, the Phoenix City Council laudably opted for a moment of silence, as FFRF has advocated for years […]

The “In God We Trust” police-car poll is now secular!

Yesterday I wrote about a sheriff in Virginia who had spent nearly $1500 of his personal money to outfit his unit’s police cars with “In God We Trust” decals. Sheriff J. D. “Danny” Diggs said this, among other things: “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.” Diggs said.  “It honors God.  God has […]

Antonin Scalia tries to tear down that wall (the one between church and state)

On Saturday, Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice, conservative, Catholic, and “originalist” (one who thinks that law must ultimately rest on the original and unchangeable meaning conveyed by the authors of the US Constitution) gave a short speech at Archbishop Rummel High School, a Catholic school in Metairie, Louisiana. In that talk, as reported by two sources (the Associated Press and […]

Hitch on Christmas

As you might expect, the curmudgeonly Christopher Hitchens was none too fond of Christmas and its religious connotations.  The Independent has reprinted his essay “The true spirit of Christmas,” first published on Christmas Eve, 2011, in the Wall Street Journal. Hitchens had died nine days before that. It behooves us heathens to not only read […]

Yale students sign petition to repeal First Amendment

Yes, this is from Fox News, but are you going to reject it because of that? Comedian Ami Horowitz went onto the Yale Campus with a petition asking for the repeal of the First Amendment (you can see how he sells that: it allows people to be insulted, to experience microagressions, and so on), and […]

High Court rules that British schools must include humanism in religious studies

Just a quick note about what appears to be a landmark decision. The British Humanist Association (BHA) reports that the High Court has ruled that non-religious “philosophical” views such as humanism must be included in the Religious Studies curriculum. As you may already know, religious education is mandatory in government secondary schools in England and Wales (see details […]

Dawkins has no objection to Church of England’s ad in movie theaters; I disagree

Yesterday I wrote about a one-minute ad, “Prayer is for everyone,” that the Church of England wanted to show in British cinemas. The commercial agency that handles ads for UK movies refused, saying that their policy banned the showing of religious or political ads in theaters. I agreed, for reversing that policy would turn theaters into venues for religious […]

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