Category Archives: law

Texas judge orders man who fought with his girlfriend to marry her and write out Bible verses—or face jail

I have no idea whether a sentence like this is legal or Constitutionally kosher, although judges seem to have wide latitude in imposing sentences. In places like Texas, the sentences can be bizarre. And in this case, the sentence is doubly ridiculous for it’s an unwarranted violation of both private relationship and the Constitutionally mandated separation of church from state. […]

Brother Tayler’s Sunday Sermon: Conservatives’ reaction to the gay marriage ruling

The 5-4 Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage was too close for my taste: I predicted 6-3. Too many decisions are being decided by that 5-4 vote—a serious sign of political polarization in the highest court of the U.S. And the problem is that the conservative justices show no sign of retiring, while many […]

The majority ruling

This is the ringing final paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s ruling in yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. Rarely have I see legalese so lyrical.

U. S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right

At last, though I predicted the vote would be 6-3 instead of the actual 5-4. Gay marriage is, by that close vote, the law of the land, and it’s about damn time! From the New York Times live feed (lots more information at that site): Supreme Court Rules on Gay Marriage – Live Coverage . . […]

Brother Tayler’s Sunday Secular Sermon: Scalia must go

Brother Jeffrey Tayler has once again undermined Salon’s reputation for osculating faith: his latest piece of anti-theism is about Antonin Scalia’s irrational and extreme Catholicism, which has always surprised me (I still get astounded when someone with a lot of brains is deeply religious): “Justice Scalia is unfit to serve: A justice who rejects science for […]

U.S. Supreme Court rules that Muslim employee can wear headscarf

You might remember this story: in 2008 Samantha Elauf, a Muslim, applied for a job at the clothing store Abercrombie & Fitch. She was wearing a headscarf. The company claimed it didn’t know that the headscarf was a religious symbol (right!), and denied her employment because the scarf, or hijab, clashed with the company’s dress code. The […]

A British judge rules that mother can’t indoctrinate son with religion

Perhaps the statement from a New Atheist that most angers believers (or faitheists) is Richard Dawkins’s characterization of religious indoctrination of children as “child abuse.”  Yes, them’s strong words, but there’s something to be said for their truth. Of course it depends on the religion, but nearly all forms of parental teaching about religion abuse the […]

Equal justice?

Reader Phil called my attention to a swell new editorial cartoon by that maverick at the Chattanooga (Tennessee!) Times Free Press, Clay Bennett. Today’s cartoon, called “The Supreme Court,” speaks for itself:  

Canada bans prayers at all city council meetings

Several readers, most of them proud Canadians, sent me links to articles about the new ruling of Canada’s Supreme Court: there will be no prayers uttered in city council meetings—anywhere in that big and diverse country. Although I’m sure that practice is nowhere near as pervasive there as it is in the U.S., it’s still […]

My New Republic piece on faith-healing laws

I guess I’ve developed a side hobby of writing about laws that exempt parents from prosecution after they’ve hurt or killed their kids by rejecting scientific medicine in favor of faith healing. But it really angers me, for it’s a tangible case of harm that’s not only caused by religious faith (or faith in woo), but […]


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