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Banned In Boston (And Elsewhere): The American Tragedy Of Censorship

When I was kid, the phrase “Banned in Boston” confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn’t censor things there.

They don’t anymore, but they sure used to. About 100 years ago, Boston was in the grip of dour “vice” crusaders who used their religious beliefs to decide what books and magazines people could read and what performances they could see on stage. And it wasn’t alone. Read more

Warped Weekend: Extreme Comments From The Values Voter Summit

The “Values Voter Summit” (VVS), an annual Religious Right gathering in Washington, D.C., took place over the weekend. The rhetoric at the confab, which is now in its 10th year, is pretty consistent: speakers preach Christian “persecution,” Islamophobia, homophobia, dissatisfaction with the federal government and religious revivalism to whip about 3,000 attendees into a frenzy. Read more

A Decade Of Disgrace: Marking Ten Years Of The ‘Values Voter Summit’

The annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), the nation’s largest gathering of the Religious Right, begins today. The event, sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC), the American Family Association (AFA) and other far-right groups, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In light of that, I thought it might be interesting to look back at some of the highlights (or lowlights, if you will) of this event.

Here we go: Read more

Pope Problems: Papal Visit Incurs Significant Taxpayer Expense

Pope Francis has landed and American taxpayers are footing the bill.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the World Meeting of Families agreed on Friday to shoulder Philadelphia’s costs for hosting the pope. The Meeting is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and is held every three years in a different world city. This year, it’s located in Philadelphia. Read more

Making 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue An Islam-Free Zone: Ben Carson Says No Muslim Should Be President

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for president, apparently believes Americans should not elect a Muslim to the presidency because, he says, Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said during a “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday. “I absolutely would not agree with that.” Read more

To EACH Their Own (Religious Exemption)

We have lately become all too familiar with demands for religious exemptions from the contraception coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, H.R. 2061, would carve out from the ACA a religious exemption of a different nature. The EACH Act would provide an exemption from the ACA’s individual insurance mandate for individuals with a religious objection to using certain medical care services. Read more

Barton Bounces Back: Religious Right Purveyor Of Ersatz History Still Going Strong

Three years ago, Religious Right phony historian David Barton published a ridiculous book called The Jefferson Lies that argued, in part, that Thomas Jefferson was a fundamentalist Christian who wanted Christianity to form the basis of the U.S. government.

The tome marked a turning point for Barton. His previous books had been self-produced, but The Jefferson Lies was issued by Thomas Nelson, a respectable publisher of evangelical works. Read more

Godly Raiment Sought: Ala. City Official Says The Almighty Would Support Proposed Ban On Saggy Pants

An Alabama city lawmaker wants to ban his constituents from wearing saggy pants and short skirts because such fashion choices are supposedly outside the divine dress code.  

Perhaps quoting from the Book of Vogue, Dadeville City Council Member Frank Goodman told The Daily Beast website, “I prayed and asked God to show me what I should do, and the way I should go about it. What would God do? Did God go around doing this?” Read more