Weekly Link Roundup

• It’s about time! The SEC has charged a psychic with securities fraud for claiming to be able to supernaturally foretell the direction of the market.

• The staff of IslamOnline, a Cairo-based journalism website that offers a platform for liberal and reformist views, have gone on strike over plans by the Qatari owners to impose stricter editorial controls and force a more conservative viewpoint.

• I’m very glad to report that Ireland’s government is now backtracking on the ludicrous blasphemy law it passed several months ago. The government plans to hold a referendum later this year on whether the law should be repealed. Now it’s just up to the people of Ireland to do the right thing.

• Less positively, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld religious language in the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling against a new lawsuit brought by Michael Newdow, and reaching the ridiculous conclusion that “one nation under God” is not religious language. One of the judges who took part in the original decision (which Newdow won before his first case was thrown out by the Supreme Court for lack of standing) wrote a scathing dissent. Newdow plans to ask for an en banc rehearing.

• Also, there’s a truly outstanding article by Johann Hari interviewing the Ethiopian women fighting back against bride abduction, the brutal practice of men finding wives by kidnapping and raping them (at which point, in agreement with biblical law, they’re expected to marry their rapist – since they’ve been “ruined” and no other man will have them). In the shadow of a vicious dictatorship, there are heroic women, and men, fighting to change a culture where this is accepted and common.

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About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, City of Light, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Zietlos

    That Johann Hari report is very enlightening. I must say it makes me glad I live in a freer nation. We should never relent our progress, lest we regress to something like that once more. Good to see Ireland is seeing how stupid that prior law was, too.

    Thanks for posting these, it provides fascinating stories to look over.

  • Katie M

    How on earth is “one nation under God” NOT religious language?

    Love the dissent.

  • Richard P.

    I always thought the American God was money.

    Maybe, it is not so religious after all….LOL

  • ArtyB

    If “one nation under God” is not a religious language then why did those who added the “under God” phrase to

    the pledge of allegiance not choose “one nation under Zeus” instead? Obviously they believed in God not Zeus

    so they chose it. God, as far as everyone knows, is associated with Christianity and Christianity is a religion.

    Therefore “under God” is a religious language that calls on this god.