Americans United: Despite the Supreme Court’s Ruling, There Are Still Limits on Religious Invocations

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has launched a project they’re calling Operation Inclusion which will educate elected officials about the limits of the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing religious invocations, investigate all violations of the decision, and fight back when necessary.

[Read more...]

After Losing the Massachusetts Pledge Case, Would the Atheist Side Have Done Anything Differently?

David Niose (below) represented the plaintiffs in the recent case to stop the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled against him, unfortunately, and yesterday, Niose reflected on whether he would have done anything differently:

[Read more...]

Sex-Crazed, Decadent Ruler of Brunei Imposes Sharia Law… But (Surprise!) Shows No Signs of Obeying It Himself

Last month, Brunei became the first Southeast Asian country to embrace Sharia law, courtesy of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the country’s oil-rich Dear Leader.

That means that Brunei’s 415,000 citizens can now be fined, jailed, flogged, or disfigured for any of the following crimes (and then some):

[Read more...]

Citizenship Ceremony Forced to Change Venues After Carteret (New Jersey) Mayor Insists on Including Prayer

About 30 people were set to become naturalized U.S. citizens over the weekend in Carteret, New Jersey, but the ceremony had to be moved after Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman (below) insisted that the event had to include a religious prayer:

Reiman said yesterday that although he assured officials from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that the prayer would be nondenominational, the agency declined to allow the prayer.

“They refused to budge on that,” Reiman said this evening.

“I told them (employees of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) they’re no longer allowed to use city hall,” he said.

A spokesperson for the CIS told the Associated Press that the ceremonies are designed to be as inclusive as possible which is why they don’t include prayers.

[Read more...]

Christopher Hitchens Never Said That Memorable Line About Islamophobia

When I posted Sam Harris‘ interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali last week, one of the most memorable parts involved a line attributed to the late Christopher Hitchens:

A few weeks ago, Ayaan and I had a long conversation about her critics and about the increasingly pernicious meme of “Islamophobia” — which our inimitable friend Christopher Hitchens once dubbed “a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”

It didn’t even cross my mind to double-check that quotation at the time, because it sounds very Hitchens-esque.

[Read more...]