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Posted inReligion

The evolution of religion and the rise of the nones

Reading Time: 4 minutes The decline of Christianity in the United States does not mean that “religion” is dead or dying. News of the death of religion may excite humanists, but it is unlikely to go extinct. Religion is an adaptable social phenomenon. Religious beliefs and behaviors have always evolved. In a free country, this evolution will continue. Secularism […]

Posted inPolitics

Resisting the new F-word

Reading Time: 4 minutes There is a South Park episode in which the kids use an “f-word” to mock a bunch of obnoxious bikers. The word is obviously offensive, which is why the kids use it. A violent struggle erupts. In the end, the bikers embrace the epithet and admit that they are f@gs. But at that point, the […]

Posted inPhilosophy

Forgiveness as a secular value: What can we learn from the debate about student loans?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Resentment and anger fuel much of our public discourse. There is not much room for values like compassion and forgiveness. So, President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan comes as a surprise. To some, it is even an insult. Senator Mitch McConnel said “Democrats’ student loan socialism is a slap in the face to working Americans who […]

Posted inEducation

Religious liberty and critical religious education: What Justice Alito got right and wrong

Reading Time: 4 minutes Religious liberty is important, but so too is critical education about religion. I’ve spent much of my career making this point, including in a comment on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling about religious liberty. So, I was curious to read what Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggested about religious liberty when he spoke at an […]

Posted inDeep Dive

Who or what is a person? Elephants, A.I., abortion, and personhood

Reading Time: 4 minutes The question of personhood is central to a variety of current controversies. American courts recently considered the question of whether elephants are persons. Google fired an engineer for suggesting that a machine is sentient. And the U.S. Supreme Court argued that Roe v. Wade failed to adequately consider fetal personhood. These disputes involve a conflict […]

Posted inThe Secular

Why the Kennedy v. Bremerton SCOTUS ruling empowers secular defenders of religious liberty

Reading Time: 3 minutes As the recent Supreme Court ruling Kennedy v. Bremerton allows football coaches to kneel with students in prayer on the fifty-yard line, it also opens the door for more teachers, coaches, and other public officials to practice their religion in public. This seems like an unhappy entanglement between religion and the state, but could secular […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

Against perfectionism

Reading Time: 6 minutes To be human is to be a work in progress. Human beings grow, change, and fail. That’s why we need compassion and forgiveness. We ought to give people a break, show some patience, and stop scolding one another. No one is perfect. This goes for other people and ourselves. But we remain strangely wedded to […]

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