Theocracy Watch VI: Thoughts in Captivity

life-principles

There have been many pieces of good news for atheists in November, and I'm happy to be able to report another one. As reported in the November issue of Freethought Today, the Freedom from Religion Foundation has done it again, winning a major victory against the creeping theocracy that is infiltrating our government due to the unconstitutional actions of the Bush administration.Specifically, an FFRF legal challenge has persuaded the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to cancel its plans for five … [Read more...]

Religious Bigotry Caught Red-Handed

November has been quite the month for feeling schadenfreude. Between Kent Hovind's conviction, Ted Haggard's spectacular fall from grace, and the Republicans' crushing loss in the midterm elections, atheists have had much to rejoice over, and our political adversaries much occasion to mourn. And now, there is another encouraging piece of news where the good guys win.According to the Lippard Blog, which came to my attention via Pharyngula, a religious bigot who is a high-school teacher has been … [Read more...]

The Keys to Heaven

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.—Matthew 16:18-19 (RSV)Temptation's strong (Salvation's gone) I'm on my way To Hell's half acre How will I ever (How will I ever) Get to Heaven now...—The Dixie Chicks, "Lubbock or Leave … [Read more...]

Tax the Churches

In the United States of America today, churches and religious groups are treated with enormous sensitivity and deference by politicians and the media, a deference they have not earned. Far too often, the government and society in general bends over backwards to accommodate and encourage religious beliefs even when there is no rational reason why they should do so. The most egregious example of this is the sweeping tax exemptions granted to religion.It is not just one tax that religious … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch V: Court-Stripping

In a worrying development for every citizen concerned about protecting state-church separation, the so-called "Public Expression of Religion Act" passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week on a largely party-line vote of 244 to 173. Sponsored by Republican representative John Hostettler, this bill's purpose is to make it too expensive for private citizens and public interest groups to sue the government to compel it to cease actions which violate the Constitution.With the law … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Division

"Like most pastors who lead thriving evangelical megachurches, the Rev. Gregory A. Boyd was asked frequently to give his blessing — and the church's — to conservative political candidates and causes...After refusing each time, Mr. Boyd finally became fed up, he said. Before the last presidential election, he preached six sermons called 'The Cross and the Sword' in which he said the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a ' … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch IV: Liberty Defiled

The Fourth of July occurs during this week, the United States of America's Independence Day. On this day we remember the ideals America was born to uphold, the ideals that generations of patriots have fought and died for: liberty of speech, liberty of belief, and eternal freedom from every form of tyranny over the mind of man.Sadly, there are still some ungrateful people who reject these wonderful blessings, and live in this land and take advantage of the freedom it offers while plotting how … [Read more...]

Why Michael Newdow Loves America

Allow me to be the first person to offer Michael Newdow a oneway ticket (coach, please) out of the United States and leave him with the words of Southern outlaw music group Lynyrd Skynyrd: "I hope Mr. Newdow will remember, a Southern man don't need him around anyhow". —http://www.herald-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060204/OPINION/602040306/1034In 2002, the "notorious atheist" Michael Newdow won a major court victory. The federal Ninth Circuit court ruled that the 1954 … [Read more...]

It's Your First Amendment Too

An important fact that the modern-day religious right does not grasp is that the principle of church-state separation, which they revile so bitterly, was enacted for their benefit. It is probably not a coincidence that in Europe, where many nations still have established churches that are a legacy of earlier ages, church attendance is dropping precipitously, whereas in the United States, which has always had a vigorous tradition of separation, churches and sects of all kinds flourish and … [Read more...]

Physician, Heal Thyself

I mentioned in an earlier post that I recently came across Freethought Radio, the Freedom from Religion Foundation's new weekly radio show, which I highly recommend.The very first episode, which I was listening to the other day, made me aware of a shocking violation of the separation of church and state. This latest outrage, not surprisingly, arises from George W. Bush's constitutionally repugnant "faith-based initiatives" plan, a political euphemism for forced taxation in support of … [Read more...]


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