Category Archives: secularissm

New Bavarian law mandates crosses in all state offices

Bavaria is of course a pretty Catholic area of Germany, but I’m not sure how many Bavarians really believe in God (Bavarians out there should weigh in). Nevertheless, this new law, described in the BBC article below (click on screenshot) seems to violate all canons of secularity. An excerpt (my emphasis): The German state of […]

FFRF celebrates 40th anniversary with a full-page ad in the NYT

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding by putting a full-page ad in today’s New York Times commemorating “40 years of activism.” Ceiling Cat bless the FFRF, my favorite secular/atheist organization, and if you want to join for a year (and receive the FFRF’s great monthly newspaper), it’s only $40. There are […]

The definitive refutation of those who say atheists are bigoted and alt-right

I wish I’d known of this article when I wrote my critique of faitheist Chris Stedman’s VICE article calling out the atheist “movement” for converging with the alt-right. As I noted at the time, Stedman was long on accusation, anecdote, and generality, and notably short on actual data. Are atheists really as bigoted, misogynistic, and […]

2018 data: Across countries, the happiest ones are the least religious

The other day I showed some data from the World Happiness Index, and guessed that, as in 2016, the 2018 data would show a significant negative correlation between the religiosity of a country and its happiness index: that the more religious the country, on average the less happy its inhabitants. Now two readers have plotted the 2018 […]

My visit to the Freedom From Religion Foundation

I’ve long been a supporter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), whose headquarters are in Madison, Wisconsin. I’d never visited that town before, so when they invited me up to do some events, I jumped at the chance, taking the three-hour Amtrak train from Chicago to nearby Columbus, Wisconsin.  Plus I wanted to visit […]

NYT: Quebec’s new ban on the face veil is Islamophobic

The New York Times continues its move toward the Regressive Left (really, Lindy West as a columnist?) with the op-ed below (click to go to the piece). The author, Martin Patriquin, is a journalist from Montreal who writes for iPolitics. The story is that in mid-October Quebec passed a law banning face coverings (not hijabs […]

The FFRF wins a big one: federal court rules that ministers’ tax-free housing allowances violate the Constitution

You may know that American ministers have some tax advantages under the law: they often get a housing allowance from their church, and that allowance, in contrast to non-ministers who get such perks, is free from taxes.  Here’s the stipulation from the Internal Revenue Service code: A licensed, commissioned, or ordained minister may be able […]

Britain becomes even more secularized: now 53% are “not at all religious”

Although I predicted the increasing secularization of the West a few years ago, that wasn’t hard to do, as the trends were clear. Some readers said I was wrong, but I doubt I was. But what I didn’t predict was how fast this secularization would occur, though I did claim, and still do, that the […]

The New Yorker admits atheism

I’ve been critical before about the New Yorker‘s implicit dissing of science as well as its softness toward religion (see here, here and here, for instance).  After all, the clientele of the magazine is liberal, wealthy, and though they’re probably not religious, they like a gentlemanly, well-fed detente between science and religion. The magazine also has […]

BBC discusses historic court case on church-state separation

In 1956, a 16 year old Pennsylvania high school student named Ellery Schempp finally had enough of his school’s practice—shared by schools in other states (see below)—of reading ten verses from the Bible each morning, followed by a mandatory recitation of the Lord’s Prayer. Schempp, who became a physicist as well as a mountaineer (he was part of the first […]