Why the Confederate States Seceded

I've written previously about the Confederate States of America and how that short-lived country was a Christian theocracy which invoked religion to justify slavery. But even today, there are still religious conservatives who try to whitewash these historical facts and erase the memory of what really led the South to try to break away from the Union. This post is for them.South Carolina was the first state to secede, and in December 1860, its government issued a document explaining why. This … [Read more...]

Rolling Back Religious Privilege

Last week, I came across this story from the Telegraph. In the U.K., a coalition of liberal churches, educational and secular groups including the British Humanist Association are calling on the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, to scrap a law which forces British schools to hold mandatory religious services for all their pupils.The 1944 Education Act and its amendments require British secondary schools to hold a daily assembly of all students for Christian worship. A student's parents can … [Read more...]

Nice Job Breaking It, Democrats

The 2010 midterms are over and done with, and the results speak for themselves. I wanted to say a few words about how we came to this.Over the past two years, the Democrats had historic majorities, and they utterly squandered them. Except for health care, all the major progressive policy initiatives that should have been addressed - workers' right to organize, immigration reform, climate change, GLBT equality, repairing the nation's crumbling infrastructure - were ignored, while the Democrats … [Read more...]

The Ingratitude of American Theocrats

When America's founders ratified the Constitution, they created something that arguably had never existed in the world before: a republic where freedom of religion was explicitly enshrined in the charter, where toleration wasn't just the whim of a benevolent ruler but the immutable law of the land. As George Washington wrote in his famous letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport:It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that … [Read more...]

Words Worth Reading

Editor's Note: Considering the date, I can't think of anything more appropriate to post today. I don't agree with the religious language added as window dressing, just as most people today would disavow the archaic sexist terminology or the unthinking racism against Native Americans. Still, it remains one of the finest pieces of political rhetoric ever written - a stirring defense of the right of free human beings to choose their own system of government, and the ends which that government must … [Read more...]

No Payment For Prayer: Christian Science and Health Care Reform

With the historic passage of sweeping health insurance reform, Americans have reason to rejoice this week. For the first time, and despite hysterical opposition from the party of conspiracy nuts and theocrats, our government has enshrined in law the idea that every citizen has a right to affordable health care. Even if the law is far from perfect, it's still a huge advance over the alternative of doing nothing - and history shows that most major pieces of progressive social legislation, … [Read more...]

Blood Transfusion Foe Defies Party on Health Care Bill

By Sarah BraaschThe following is a parody of a recent New York Times interview with Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, which may be read here:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/07/us/politics/07stupak.htmlThis parody constitutes a 'fair use' of this copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law, 17 U.S.C. § 107Representative Sarah Braasch often endures things others find unbearable. She crisscrosses a Congressional district so vast that some … [Read more...]

Representative Theocracy

By Sarah BraaschRepresentative Bart Stupak from Michigan was paraphrased in a recent New York Times interview as saying that his resolve to defeat the healthcare reform bill, unless the bill includes his anti-abortion amendment language, is a straightforward matter of Roman Catholic faith. The article states that Representative Stupak said that he actually urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to toughen its stance on the legislation. Representative Stupak is also quoted as … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

A couple of noteworthy articles from this week that I didn't have time to write more about:• To begin with, there's this excellent and in-depth profile of the FFRF's Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, from a local alternative paper in Madison.• Archaeologists have discovered a genuine burial shroud from the first century CE. Unlike the Shroud of Turin, its radiocarbon date fixes it to the correct time period; it also has a very different weave than the more famous Turin … [Read more...]

Flat Earth Follies: The Religious Right's Egg Crusade

By Sikivu HutchinsonTaking its "life begins at conception" charade from State Legislature to State Legislature, one of the most dangerous political forces in the U.S. is stepping up its crusade for the "rights" of the unborn. Backed by an organization called Personhood USA, the latest offensive from the Religious Right involves a renewed movement to amend state constitutions to establish human rights and personhood status for fertilized eggs. Ever immune to morality, reason, church-state … [Read more...]