Religious Privilege and Grievance-Based Catholic Identity Politics on Full Display

In a column last week, Melinda Henneberger criticized the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt the Catholic Church from requirements it provide for its employees health insurance which would cover birth control at organizations it runs which have secular functions. The column is an extraordinary exemplification of religious entitlement, identity politics, and anti-secular, anti-democratic demands for [Read More...]

"What Are The Limits of Church Authority In the Public Sphere?"

This is part 2 of a debate with Roman Catholic theology graduate student named Mary. In part 1, we introduced and began to debate the topic of whether or not universities, hospitals, and social agencies run by the Catholic Church should be exempted from laws requiring employers to provide their employees health insurance that covers [Read More...]

"Should Catholic Employers Be Exempted From Paying For Health Insurance Covering Contraception?"

If you were reading Camels With Hammers regularly before we made the move to Freethought Blogs, you would have frequently been treated to the long, insightful, and vigorously argued comments of my friend Mary. Mary is a Roman Catholic and is politically liberal in many (but not all) respects. We met when I was a [Read More...]

The Author of The Cranston High School Prayer Outraged

This week, Jessica Ahlquist and the ACLU won their court case against Cranston High School West in Rhode Island. The school was ordered to immediately remove a banner containing an official school prayer addressed to “Our Heavenly Father” and ending in “Amen”, which hung over the school gymnasium as an unambiguous endorsement of the Christian [Read More...]

Supreme Court Gives Churches Special Rights To Discriminate Against Sick Employees

Frederick Sparks explains the details of a bizarre ruling, according to which a church was allowed to invoke a ministerial exception to wrongful termination lawsuits in a case where they refused to give back a job to an employee who suffered narcolepsy and needed to take a leave of absence. One can understand, in theory, churches [Read More...]

Openly Bisexual and Non-theist Woman (Who Rejected Parents’ Mormonism) Runs For U.S. Congress

Kyrsten Sinema is a Democrat from Phoenix who has resigned her seat in the Arizona state senate to run for the state’s new 9th Congressional District. She is a bisexual with a history of advocacy for gay rights. She is also a non-theist of some variety who openly participated in a 2010 event marking the creation [Read More...]

On Not-Pologies, Forgiveness, and Gelato

Kinds of Forgiveness Let’s start with the theoretical. How should we characterize forgiveness, and when and why should we forgive people? Full forgiveness involves three things: 1. Waiving all just moral and/or legal penalties, including all forms of restitution and compensation, that we would normally demand for wrongdoing. 2. Restoring amicable emotional, social, and/or professional [Read More...]

Full Video of Republican Theocratathon

Last weekend the Republican candidates met for the “Thanksgiving Family Forum” where, except for Ron Paul, they each tried to prove they were the holiest Christian and, therefore, the most deserving candidate for president of our theocracy democracy. The actual discussions with the candidates do not start until 36 minutes in. And, as Jerry Coyne [Read More...]

Maryam Namazie Attacks Shari'a And Defends Muslim Immigrants Against The Far Right

A great lecture and Q&A my estimable Freethought Blogs colleague Maryam Namazie: . An important excerpt from the Q&A: Look, George Bush says he attacked Iraq for women’s rights and I’m a women’s rights campaigner, but I don’t believe him. It’s possible that a politician will say something, that they’ve done something for a reason and, [Read More...]

Emma Goldman's "The Victims of Morality"

In reply to my dialogue which I posted this morning examining what I perceive to be immoralism’s important contributions to moral thinking and its inevitable limits, a reader sent me to investigate Max Stirner and Emma Goldman. I may have something to say about Stirner in the future if time permits. But for now I [Read More...]