The Same Despised Category as Kings
January 24, 2020


Good morning. How would you like to feel even worse about the Espinoza v. Montana Supreme Court case that was argued on Tuesday? I got you covered. Here’s Monica Kristin Blair at the Post on how the push “school choice” is really about white flight: In addition to breaking down the separation of church and …

Excommunicate Me
January 23, 2020


Ed Powers at The Independent memorializes Terry Jones, here looking at his approach to the film Life of Brian: His target – and it’s hard to imagine the historic Jesus objecting – were the frauds cashing in on the public’s credulity. Hence his enduring bafflement that anyone could consider Life of Brian blasphemous. “The definition …

‘1917,’ War, and The Frailty of Knowledge
January 22, 2020


As advertised, the World War I film 1917 takes place in April 1917, when two British soldiers, William Schofield (George MacKay) and Tom Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman), are rousted from a weary daytime slumber. They’re ordered to cross enemy territory (a no man’s land littered with death and decay) and deliver an urgent message to another …

Watching as the Supreme Court Vandalizes the Wall of Separation
January 22, 2020


The Supreme Court today heard oral arguments in the case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, marking what seems likely to be the next stage in the brick by brick dismantling Thomas Jefferson’s wall of separation between church and state. While waiting for the transcript of the oral arguments (and it seems possible that may …

The Great Foot Has Come Down
January 22, 2020


That bonkers case from Montana, in which religious schools seek to resurrect a dead law so that they can gobble up taxpayer funding, will be argued before the Supreme Court today. Here’s what we said about it when we filed our amicus brief in November: Religious liberty is imperiled in this case. But this case …

An Immense Amount of Ignorant Familiarity
January 21, 2020


Citing the work of CFI and other advocacy groups, Paul Rosenberg at Salon looks at the efforts to push back against Christian nationalist policy being pushed by Trump and in the states: [T]he battle to reclaim the true meaning of religious freedom has inextricably become increasingly central to the 2020 election, and to the political …

Neil Peart, Skeptic
January 17, 2020


Last week Neil Peart, the drummer and main lyricist for the rock band Rush, died. He’d been living in California and privately battled brain cancer for several years. The Canadian trio (Alex Lifeson on guitar, Geddy Lee on vocals, bass, and keyboards, and Neil Peart on drums) announced they’d stopped touring in 2015, after 40 …

Something a Serial Killer Would Say
January 17, 2020


The Trump administration says it’s going to remove Obama-era protections from discrimination for organizations getting federal funding, all in the name of “religious liberty,” and will, in effect, intimidate public schools over whether they are friendly to prayer in school and allowing religious groups to have access to school facilities. It’s a big, stinking, bucket …

Research for the Freethought Trail
January 16, 2020


Lately, I have been doing a considerable amount of research for one of our projects, the Freethought Trail website (https://freethought-trail.org/). The current research has been for the development of further coverage for the centenary of the Nineteenth Amendment enacting woman’s suffrage in 2020. The website will be adding informational pages about each New York State …

The Aura of Edginess
January 16, 2020


Good morning! Let’s feel bad. New Jersey’s legislature gave into anti-vaxxer pressure and scuttled a bill to end religious exemptions. (They say they’ll try again.) Gallup releases dispiriting numbers about the public acceptance of vaccines, as reported by Gizmodo: Only 84 percent of people agreed that childhood vaccination was extremely or very important, the poll …