Billionaire Brothers Want a Theocracy

Peter Montgomery has a story about Farris and Dan Wilks, a sort of theocratic version of the Koch brothers (who aren't all that interested in religious matters), who made their fortune in fracking and are using it to support a broadly dominionist agenda. … [Read more...]

Michael Egnor Doesn’t Understand Analogy

This is a few months old but I just happened across it. It comes from Michael Egnor, the creationist neurosurgeon prone to saying monumentally stupid things. And it appears that he has no idea what irony means or how analogies work as he attempts to respond to a post I wrote about Poland prosecuting a singer for offending religious sensibilities. He begins: … [Read more...]

Consent Decree Approved in Appalling Church/State Case

You may remember a few months ago the story of a young student in the Sabine Parish School District in Louisiana who was ridiculed by a teacher for being a Buddhist. The family filed suit with the help of the ACLU and they have now reached a consent decree to settle the case that forbids the school from allowing such obvious violations. … [Read more...]

WTF, Atlanta Public Schools?

The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a disturbing article about a science teacher at Grady High School in Atlanta using that infamous "creationism vs evolution" cartoon from the Institute for Creation Research museum, the one that ascribes evolution to Satan, during a classroom lecture. This one: … [Read more...]

RFRA Should Be Declared Unconstitutional

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in 1993 by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. The Supreme Court then struck down part of it, the part that applied to state and local actions, but upheld its application in federal law. In that case, City of Boerne v Flores, Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a concurrence that said this: … [Read more...]

Teacher Loses Suit Over Religious Items in Class

A teacher from Cheektowaga, New York has lost a lawsuit she filed after her school told her she could not have Christian posters on her classroom wall and other religious items. Nearly all of the claims in the lawsuit will be dismissed. … [Read more...]

Huntsville, AL City Council Cancels Wiccan Invocation

The Supreme Court's recent ruling on opening local council meetings with prayer was a bad one, but it did say firmly that the prayers could not be limited only to Christian ones. The city council in Huntsville, Alabama seem to have missed that memo. … [Read more...]

Big Win for Secularism in Australia

The United States is not the only country that has controversies over separation of church and state. Australia has had many of them lately and the highest court in that country last week overturned a law that provided national funding for chaplaincies in public schools. … [Read more...]

AHA Warns School on Mission Trips

The American Humanist Association's Apignini Humanist Legal Center has sent a letter to a school in Colorado warning them that they may face a lawsuit if they do not stop promoting and sponsoring religious mission trips abroad. The press release from the group says: … [Read more...]

Law Prof Hammers Scalia’s Terrible Analogy

Geoffrey Stone is a law professor at the University of Chicago and a highly respected legal scholar. And he found Justice Scalia's analogy between official government support for religion and hearing rock music in public to be as ridiculous as I did. … [Read more...]

AR Town Bans Pagan Temple

In a move that is almost certain to be unconstitutional, the town of Beebe, Arkansas has refused to allow a man to open a pagan temple -- after allegedly telling him that it was okay when they thought it was going to be a church. This is only one side of the story, but if what is alleged is true the city is in for legal trouble: … [Read more...]

SCOTUS Denies Cert in Graduation in Church Case

The Supreme Court has denied cert in a case where the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, in an en banc hearing, ruled 7-3 that a public school violated the Establishment Clause by holding graduation ceremonies in a church. But Justice Scalia, joined by Justice Thomas, wrote a rare dissent from the decision to hear the case (usually cert is denied without comment from the court). … [Read more...]