Category Archives: freedom of religion

Victory! Charleston, Illinois cancels city-sponsored trip to creationist sites

I’ve just heard from the FFRF that the City Attorney for Charleston, Illinois, to whom the FFRF wrote to about the unconstitutionality of their city-sponsored trip to the Ark Park and Creation Museum, has sent the following email. The city has bailed. Thank you for your email below and letter attached dated December 3, 2018. […]

Critic of Israel denied chance to study in that country

Several readers, perhaps assuming I’d be taking Israel’s side, sent me article about an incident that happened about a week ago. As CNN reports, Lara Alqasem, a 22-year-old American student of Palestinian descent, flew to Israel with a visa, intending to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She never made it out of the airport, […]

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 […]

NY Times publisher criticizes Trump’s freedom of speech while extolling free speech

I’m quite puzzled, but not all that surprised, by this unusual published statement by New York Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger. The publisher was invited to the White House for an “off the record” meeting with President Trump. Because Trump tweeted about it, though, Sulzberger rightly considered it now “on the record”, and issued the […]

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, […]

“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 […]

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 […]

British Humanists come out against “hate speech”

Two years ago I gave the Darwin Day talk in London for the British Humanist Association, which has now changed its name to Humanists UK.  I much admired the group—and still do—because they actually engage in real action to promote humanism and secularism, and I like the people who run it. But they’re not perfect, I […]

Steve Paikin discusses freedom of speech with five Canadian professors

Wilfred Laurier’s attempt to stifle/punish Lindsay Shepherd for playing a bit of Jordan Peterson video in her class has ignited a big debate in Canada, none of which would have happened had Shepherd not been savvy enough to tape the meeting in which she was admonished, and then to release the tape to the press. […]