The Supreme Court Also Said Today It Would Not (Yet) Decide if the Mount Soledad Cross Is Unconstitutional

Lost in the shuffle of today’s Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court issued another decision today that should make church/state separation advocates smile. At least a little bit.

A quick recap: The Mount Soledad controversy, which began nearly 25 years ago, is the longest-running Establishment Clause case in American history.

It involves the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego — a huge cross on public land erected in 1954. After the now-deceased Philip Paulson challenged the cross’ constitutionality more than two decades ago and after atheist Steve Trunk took up the case a few years ago, atheists have generally prevailed in the court system. In 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear any more challenges from Christian groups, putting the future of the cross back in the hands of lower courts.

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Supreme Court Rules on Hobby Lobby Case: Corporations (Somehow) Have Religion Beliefs

The Supreme Court just ruled 5-4 that Hobby Lobby and other closely-held (family-owned) corporations have the right to deny contraception in their insurance packages.

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Why Are These Wilkes-Barre (PA) City Officials Placing Banners About Religion Where Few People Can See Them?

Earlier this year, in anticipation of both the National Day of Prayer and National Day of Reason, atheist Justin Vacula of the NEPA Freethought Society went to the Wilkes-Barre (Pennsylvania) City Hall, gave them a check for $50, and handed them a banner reading “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” to put up in the public square. That banner was supposed to go up on April 28. For whatever reason, city officials didn’t put it up until three days later… but at least it went up, right?

There’s the banner for Mental Health Month, and the banner for the National Day of Prayer, and… hey, wait, where did Justin’s banner go?

Well, to see it, you’d have to walk around the other side. The side that no one in the Square could see.

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Academic Journal Seeking Submissions About Atheism and Science

The journal Science, Religion & Culture will soon release a special issue focusing on atheism, secularity, and science. If you’re a researcher who cares about those issues, you may want to consider submitting your work. All the details are right here.

The deadline for submissions is December 31.

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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Speaks at the Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day Event

At the Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was one of the featured speakers and video of his talk is now online:

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