Swearing on a stack of Bibles: Pennsylvania’s stupid, unconstitutional law

Pennsylvania’s law requiring witnesses to swear on the Christian Bible is blatantly unconstitutional — a clear violation of the First Amendment. But just as importantly, this law is simply stupid. Asking Muslims or Jews or atheists to swear on the Christian Bible undermines the whole intent of such rituals, which is to solemnize the oath by referencing something the witnesses themselves regard with reverence. [Read more…]

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In ‘Mark of the Beast’ case, EEOC defends the religious liberty to belief it thereby proves to be factually untrue

Religious liberty, if it is ever to mean anything at all, must include the freedom to be wrong. It cannot matter, legally, whether or not a religious belief is orthodox, or coherent, or part of a longstanding established tradition. Protecting religious liberty means protecting the right to believe in the implausible, the idiosyncratic, the offensive, the stupid, the factually insupportable, the demonstrably false. The EEOC just proved that Beverly Butcher’s “Bible prophecy” beliefs are wrong — and that he has the right to be wrong. [Read more…]

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You can fight City Hall (but if you take them to court, they get lawyers, too)

Fighting City Hall doesn’t automatically make you the Good Guy. But it doesn’t automatically make you the Bad Guy, either. Which kind of story is this one? Which kind of lawsuit is this one? Is City Hall the Good Guy or the Bad Guy in this case? Well, here’s what happened. [Read more…]

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The case of the missing letter and the poisoning of the well

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry is not pleased with my forthright translation of his column at The Week. That’s understandable. After all, if he had wanted to be forthright, to own his words and his implications, and to make his nasty accusations directly and honestly, he would have done so himself. [Read more…]

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Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry displays some sleazy ethics in his lecture on Christian ethics

Writing for The Week, Gobry’s “Why so many Christians won’t back down on gay marriage” is a steaming pile of passive-aggressive insinuation. His preferred method of argument appears to be to avoid lying by direct assertion, opting instead to lie by passing reference to assumed “facts” that are actually unsupportable fabrications containing nasty accusations. To save time, I’ll only highlight three such lies from the article. [Read more…]

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Religious pluralism is a fact (not a belief system)

“Religious pluralism [is] the idea that all religions are basically the same.” That statement is so precisely wrong that it can provide a kind of service. It is wrong in a way — or, rather, in several ways — that can help us to better understand a great deal of the world around us. The misapprehending and misapprehension distilled in that single statement can give us new insight and understanding into many things. [Read more…]

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‘Card-playing and wine-drinking’ still ‘weigh infinitely more’ for Christians than the weightier matters of the law

The definitive word on the faith and morality of George Washington belongs to someone who knew him more intimately than any of them — and who saw him far more clearly than any contemporary historian: Oney Judge Staines. [Read more…]

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‘You don’t have any Baptist ministers going on jihad’

Santorum’s invocation of “Baptist ministers” above shows that he doesn’t understand that history. And it shows that he doesn’t understand what Baptists are or where they came from. [Read more…]

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