Category Archives: freedom of 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 […]

Free-speech suppression at the University of Wisconsin

Reader Gregory called my attention to this piece in the Washington Post (it may be paywalled for you, but judicious inquiry might yield a copy). Click on screenshot to read: Now the University of Wisconsin campuses are public institutions, and are therefore covered by the First Amendment. But many people are calling for a suppression […]

“Free speech . . . but” is not free speech

Here’s an example of two academic officials saying that they’re in favor of free speech while doing everything they can to oppose free speech. It’s my view, and that of the University of Chicago, that when a speaker is invited to campus, no matter how unpopular their views, the University should shut up about those […]

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 […]

Free speech continues to die at Middlebury College

As I reported recently, Middlebury College in Vermont, scene of an Outrage Brigade protest against Charles Murray in 2017 (the student riots injured one of his hosts on the Middlebury Faculty), just had another free-speech kerfuffle. This time it was over Ryszard Legutko, a right-wing Polish professor scheduled to talk at Middlebury about his recent […]

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. […]