Contributions

Seriously: Can He Do That?
June 2, 2020


That’s a question I’ve been asked a lot over the past three and a half years, and never more often than the last 12 hours or so. And it’s an understandable question—we’re a constitutional republic. There are rules and they are written down. All we need to do is check the rules and see if …

Why Can’t We Have Nice Things? Because of You, That’s Why.
April 29, 2020


I should start by saying I don’t necessarily mean you, the reader. I hope, and the fact you are reading CFI stuff indicates this is likely, you don’t fall into this category. But we all know some, and probably way too many of them. There’s your uncle or cousin who causes embarrassment every year at …

Keeping Churches Open Will Damn Us All
April 2, 2020


The American obsession with giving privilege to religion is rearing its head in these times of global pandemics and mandatory social distancing. As more and more states (39 at the current count) have implemented stay-at-home orders, a dangerous number of them have excluded houses of worship and religious services from their restrictions. Let one thing …

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 …

Burning Books with God’s Wrath
October 25, 2019


Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen. Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings.– Heinrich Heine, Almansor Fire, and its destructive capacity, has a special place in human psychology. It represents both a tool that when harnessed properly played a critical role in the development of civilization, …

What Gorsuch Giveth…
October 10, 2019


…Gorsuch will almost certainly taketh away. This week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a series of cases all focused on one particular issue – does Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibit employment discrimination against the LGBT community? Like many cases that come before the Supreme Court bench, there’s …

Justice Alito Declares War on the Nones
June 26, 2019


Last week, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in the big church-state separation case of this session, American Legion v. American Humanist Association, the Bladensburg Peace Cross case. It’s not my intention to relitigate the case, or even analyze the ruling in too much detail. Suffice it to say we are now living in a …

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Myth of Parental Rights
March 14, 2019


Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Virgil, The Aeneid (II, 49) I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts. Also, in a less literary vein – a crap sandwich on the tastiest bread is still a crap sandwich. When our opponents present us with something, whatever they call it and however they present it, we are …

When is a cross not a cross? How Accommodation and Ceremonial Deism have led us here…
February 26, 2019


This Wednesday, February 27th, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Association et. al. Better known as the Bladensburg Cross case, it deals with a challenge to the constitutionality of a war memorial on public land. The memorial in question isn’t small, and isn’t inconspicuous. It’s a 40’ …

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 …