Reading Time: 3 minutes The phrase “In God We Trust” was first included on US coins in the 1860s in order to “relieve [the U.S.] from the ignominy of heathenism,” according to Treasury Department records. As such, it is a phrase that rankles with many nonreligious people, and is often a subject of contention for those interested in maintaining […]
Should Christmas trees be banned in tax-funded public spaces?
Reading Time: 3 minutes Although I’m a committed nontheist and ardent church-state separationist, I’m not inflexible about it. Which is to say I see no good reason to oppose Christmas trees, for example, in public, tax-supported spaces. It’s been a centuries-long American civic tradition to erect Christmas trees all over creation, so to speak—in public and private spaces—and these […]
Nancy Pelosi’s swan song implies America is a Christian nation
Reading Time: 3 minutes US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s epoch-ending, gavel-passing speech Thursday on the floor of the House demonstrated—the Founding Fathers’ vision of secular governance notwithstanding—how casually and normatively embedded Christianity remains at the summit of American government. Speaker Pelosi’s “swan song” as the revered, two-decade leader of Congressional Democrats and final arbiter of House public-policy priorities was […]
E Pluribus Unum: It’s time to bring back our motto
Reading Time: 5 minutes Our national motto is “In God We Trust.” Not only does it disenfranchise non-Christians, it steps on the Constitution. When pressed, Christian supporters admit the problem. We must return to E Pluribus Unum.
Rationality: A book recommendation for National Day of Reason
Reading Time: 2 minutes The first Thursday in May every year is a tad significant in the U.S. With roots in the early Republic, a 1952 Congress established this day as the ‘National Day of Prayer,’ one in which the President is required to instruct citizens to pray. How odd a notion while wielding a Constitution that forbids the […]
Police-led Christian prayer vigil blurs separation of church and state
Reading Time: 3 minutes On April 28th, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Rojas, et al. v. City of Ocala, Fl, an important separation of church and state case brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) that requires all our attention. In 2014, the Ocala City Police Department (OPD) planned and facilitated an hour-long, Christian-revival-style […]
The Students’ Religious Belief Protection Act protects no one
Reading Time: 4 minutes Columnist’s note: My Monday essay titled “Hearing loss, failing eyesight, and the struggles we try to hide“ did not properly display temporarily but that glitch is now fixed. The correctly displayed article is accessible via the linked headline in this note. The so-called Students’ Religious Belief Protection Act, introduced Feb. 8 in the Oklahoma state […]
When My Rules Trump Yours
Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve had a little experience with nonprofits that fund projects in the developing world. Here are a couple of the culture clashes we’ve had and how they parallel clashes between the Christian church and both society and reality.
A Call for Civil Disobedience: Remove “God”
Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s a rare good cause that encourages civil disobedience. If you object to “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency, here’s what you can do about it.
What Do Churches Have to Hide? The Solution Is Simple.
Reading Time: 15 minutes Nonprofit organizations in the U.S. make a contract with society: you give us tax-exempt status, and we’ll open our books to show that we’ve spent our money wisely. The one exception is churches. Do churches have something to hide? Or does this exception unfairly make churches look like they do? Here are 8 arguments against opening books (refuted) and 11 arguments for.