The Prodigy: A Skeptical Film Review
February 18, 2019


The new horror film The Prodigy is about an evil child, and therefore follows a fairly predictable formula. The kid starts as a bundle of joy, then bad things happen but no one wants to believe the child did them, then the terror escalates as a parent or caregiver discovers a horrifying secret that leads …

Spontaneous Human Combustion? Coroner Solves London Mystery
February 15, 2019


Under the heading, “Man spontaneously combusts in streets of London,” Fate magazine in late 2018 resurrected the fiery bogeyman of spontaneous human combustion. That is a pseudoscientific term for an unexplained fire injury or death. I have since followed the case to its final resolution at a coroner’s inquest, and have here placed it in …

Kick the Laity into Shape
February 13, 2019


CFI leads a coalition of freethought groups urging House Natural Resources Committee chairman Rep. Raul Grijalva to once again take up the issue of making “so help me God” optional in witnesses’ oaths: Removing the requirement to recite this clause is a long-overdue step that would bring the committee in line with the overwhelming majority of …

Outweighing Humanity
February 12, 2019


The horrified, “you’ve-gotta-be-kidding-me” reactions continue to pour in over the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant a Muslim death row inmate the chance to have an imam present at his execution. Our legal guru Nick Little writes: This basic right to a moment of solace in face of death is one granted by Alabama law, but …

With Alabama Execution Case, Supreme Court Declares that Only Christianity Matters
February 11, 2019


Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U.S. ___ (2014): Local government can start public meetings with sectarian prayers. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, 573 U.S. ___ (2014): For-profit corporations can hold religious beliefs, and use them to gain an exemption from a law requiring them to provide insurance covering contraception to their employees. Trinity Lutheran …

Be Nice to Other People and Eat All Your Vegetables
February 11, 2019


An investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reveals that since 1998, almost 400 Southern Baptist church leaders have been accused of sexual assault, leaving more than 700 victims in their wake. And you won’t be surprised to know that a lot of the offenders were welcomes right back to the pulpit. And …

Co-Opting Black History Month with Conspiracy
February 8, 2019


Several friends of mine recently posted a meme on social media that read, “Did you know the real LONE RANGER was a BLACK MAN name BASS REEVES and yes he did live among the INDIANS, The Lone Ranger ‘could not be cast in that era as a black man, so he was made into a …

Those Who Have Fallen into This Pit
February 8, 2019


This is some unexpected good news: The Supreme Court, with John Roberts joining the liberals, blocks Louisiana’s crazy anti-abortion law (for now) so that the state can have more than one single doctor who is authorized to actually perform abortions. Trump tells the attendees at the National Prayer Breakfast, “I will never let you down.” Nor …

Elaborate on Outcast Beings
February 7, 2019


It’s the day of the abominable National Prayer Breakfast, where the president is probably going to do the same obsequious pandering to the religious right that he usually does. Whatever. Yesterday, we joined with 130 other groups to urge Congress to protect the Johnson Amendment. Former CFI president and CEO Ron Lindsay returns to the …

Being a Burden: Improper Reason for Seeking Assisted Dying?
February 6, 2019


A common argument against legalizing assisted dying for the terminally ill is that most will seek it for the “wrong” reason; specifically, they will hasten their death to avoid becoming a burden to others. For example, a statement issued recently by opponents of a Maryland bill to legalize assisted dying argues that in states where …