Category Archives: secularissm

Supreme Court blocks challenge to California law limiting attendance at church

This ruling is a surprise to me, but the ruling was narrow. The Supreme Court has actually made a ruling favoring secular over religious interests, saying that restrictions on Church attendance in California were legal.  Click on the screenshot to see the New York Times article: From the Times: The Supreme Court on Friday turned away a […]

Texas man endows first professorship of secular studies at a public university: UT Austin

You may already know that the country’s first—and still, I think, only—college program in Secular Studies is at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, founded by the estimable sociologist Phil Zuckerman. (You can see the curriculum here.) Well, as the Austin Statesman (should they change it to “Statesperson”?) reported yesterday, The University of Texas at Austin […]

National television networks refuse to air First-Amendment commercial featuring JFK

A news release from the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) tells us that while this FFRF commercial featuring John F. Kennedy was played three years ago on the ABC television network, it was rejected by ABC for airing during the Democratic debates in Houston tomorrow.  This was after ABC refused a much more provocative ad, […]

Ex-Muslims of North America mounts a “Awesome without Allah” campaign, but aren’t allowed to put those words on billboards

Here’s the announcement I found on Twitter: BILLBOARDS! FEATURING OPEN EX-MUSLIMS! FIRST CAMPAIGN OF THIS SCALE, ANYWHERE, EVER. #AwesomeWithoutAllah Press release: — Sarah Haider (@SarahTheHaider) September 4, 2019 The Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) just put up billboards in three cities—Atlanta, Chicago, and Houston—basically stating that a substantial proportion of Muslims raised in […]

Another defeat for the First Amendment: Supreme Court rules that the “Bladensburg cross” is not a religious symbol

The strategy of American courts in their desire to continue allowing religious incursion into the government—be it “In God We Trust” on our money or religious symbols on public land—has been to pretend that religious symbols and mottos morph into nonreligious, historical and secular icons over time. This is patently bogus, an offense to anybody […]

Supreme Court rejects suit to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency

A lawsuit involving 29 atheists trying to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency has failed at the Supreme Court level, as reported by The Washington Examiner and other venues. The backstory: this phrase, the official motto of the U.S., was established only in 1956 after President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law. […]

Gregory Paul on the rise of nonbelief in the U.S.: it’s happening faster than you think

This article by Gregory Paul in the new journal Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism (click on screenshot for pdf) argues, based on polling data, that the proportion of Americans who are atheists is rising by 5-10% a decade, leading to the conclusion that within a century America will comprise mainly nonbelievers. (Note that the […]

The New Yorker praises atheism (sort of)

UPDATE: James Wood has responded politely to this piece in a comment below, which you can find here. ************* The article below (click on screenshot), by New Yorker literary critic and Harvard English professor James Wood, is a review of Martin Hägglund’s new book, This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, but also a paean […]

The dramatic increase of secularism in Britain

Just a short but heartening report from Humanists UK, which you can access by clicking on the screenshot below. (The pdf of the report—just an Excel file—can be downloaded here.) The take-home message is that the decline in religiosity in Britain is becoming precipitous, though Muslims, Jews, and Hindus, have increased—but not nearly enough to […]

Strong pushback attends Quebec’s proposed ban on wearing of religious symbols by government employees

According to many sources, including the CBC article below (click on screenshot), Quebec has proposed a bill (“Bill 21,” which I can’t seem to find on the Internet) that, designed enforce secularity, bans all public servants, including teachers, judges, police officers, and other government officials, from wearing religious symbols. These banned symbols include hijabs, turbans, […]