Over the weekend, a federal court struck down a Florida county’s practice of denying atheists, humanists and other non-theists the opportunity to offer invocations at the start of the county commission’s meetings.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida ruled the policy of Brevard County’s Board of County Commissioners to allow only monotheistic, overwhelmingly Christian invocations violated both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions – namely by the government showing favoritism for certain faiths.
Politicians like to lament the supposed lack of prayer in schools and blame society’s ills on this purported void.
A few days ago, as Puerto Rico and other American territories were reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, President Donald J. Trump had other things on his mind – primarily professional football players who chose to “take a knee” during the playing of the National Anthem.
As usual, Trump kicked things off with an obligatory string of tweets. He then ramped up the rhetoric in other forums.
Sunday marked the start of Banned Books Week 2017. This annual event, sponsored by the American Library Association and an array of other groups, is designed to increase awareness about attempts to restrict access to books (and, by extension, ideas) in America.
Imagine if the local community shelter you support sent you a newsletter telling you who to vote for in an upcoming election. It would be divisive and threaten the organization’s very mission.
Twenty-five years ago today, Sept. 22, 1992, the governing body of Americans United voted to hire a fellow named Barry W. Lynn to be the new executive director of Americans United.
A lawyer and United Church of Christ minister, Barry hit the ground running. One of the things he did best was irritate the Religious Right groups that hate church-state separation – a proud legacy he continues to this day. Leaders of these groups were flummoxed. How is it that a Christian minister had emerged as their most articulate opponent?