Early State Constitutions Forbid Clergy from Holding Office

Here's something I did not know in all the study I've done of religion and the Constitution. John Fea, a Christian historian from Messiah College, notes that many of the early state constitutions explicitly forbid ministers from holding public office. … [Read more...]

Trump’s Unreal Claims at Christian Right Conference

Donald Trump gave his talk to the virulently anti-gay, pro-dominionism American Renewal Project conference in Florida and, as expected, made absolutely no sense. Virtually every single thing he said was blatantly false and he drew some truly bizarre connections. … [Read more...]

Fischer Still Contradicting Himself on First Amendment

If there's a less self-aware person in the known universe than Donald Trump, it would have to be Bryan Fischer. He just keeps contradicting himself on the application of the First Amendment and seems totally oblivious to it. Or he simply doesn't care. The latest example. … [Read more...]

Bob Barr Wigs Out About Satanist Clubs

The Satanic Temple is planning to start student clubs in public schools, on the same exact basis that Christian clubs exist, and the Christian right is kind of flipping out over it. Remember Bob Barr, former Republican congressman and 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate? He's quite verkelmpt over it. … [Read more...]

A Very Interesting RLUIPA Case

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) was a law passed after RFRA that applies the same strict scrutiny standard to zoning and prison policy. A Unitarian church in Massachusetts has filed a very interesting RLUIPA case involving solar panels. … [Read more...]

Fischer’s Anti-American Conception of Rights

Bryan Fischer is well-known as a Christian theocrat with very confused views about the Constitution, so it's no surprise that he makes the ridiculous claim that since rights are "God-given," anything that God says not to do in the Bible can't be a right in this country. … [Read more...]

Forced Birthers Convene an ‘Ecclesiastical Court’ in Kansas

Operation Save America, one of the most extreme of all the forced birth groups, convened an "ecclesiastical court" in Wichita, Kansas, where they declared all the Supreme Court rulings they didn't like to be "null and void." Because that totally makes them unenforceable. … [Read more...]

CFI Files Suit Over Secular Celebrants in Illinois

The Center for Inquiry has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Illinois over its refusal to allow humanist secular celebrants to solemnize weddings. And the plaintiff in the case is none other than fellow Patheos Atheist blogger Galen Broaddus. … [Read more...]

Qualified Immunity Overruled in Blatant Establishment Clause Case

Police in this country are given "qualified immunity" from civil suits, which means that in the vast majority of cases they can't be sued in their personal capacity for their actions. But in a Puerto Rico case where they blatantly violated the Establishment Clause, a judge has thrown out that immunity. … [Read more...]

Frank Ravitch Has a Blog

Frank Ravitch, a law professor at Michigan State University who specializes in First Amendment and Separation of Church and State Issues, and who is also a fellow board member of Michigan Citizens for Science with me, has a new blog called Freedom's Edge, which is also part of the title of his upcoming book. … [Read more...]

Ken Ham Sets Himself Up for a Butt Kicking

A few days ago, the FFRF sent a letter to about a thousand school districts in the region telling them that if they hold field trips to go to Ken Ham's Ark Park, they will be violating the First Amendment. Ham responded by making it essentially free for schools to do so. … [Read more...]

A Quick (or Not) Look at the Republican Platform

I've been perusing the 2016 Republican platform and thought I'd point out some of its most terrible ideas. A lot of them come on education, where they call for nothing but abstinence-only sex education and want the Bible taught in public schools. … [Read more...]