How far does the Religious Right intend to go with its argument that “religious freedom” shields Christians who refuse to serve entire groups of people? The recent case of a Maryland disc jockey who declined to provide his services for a gay man’s birthday party may offer some insight. Read more
Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.
These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days. Read more
A new VICE documentary reveals that publicly funded, religiously motivated crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) represent a growing national problem. Hosted by Fazeelat Aslam, Misconception tackles the misleading advertising tactics used by many, if not most, CPCs to disguise their true intentions: To dissuade women from accessing legal abortion, and to proselytize anyone who comes through the door. Read more
I just got back from a visit to Southern California, where I spoke in three cities about my book Taking Liberties Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do.
I always take questions at these events. At the event in Irvine, a member of the audience asked me about blue laws. I thought it was an interesting question because it’s an issue that doesn’t come up that much these days. Read more
Travel back in time with me for a moment. It’s 1956, and we’re in the Deep South. An interracial couple approaches the county clerk to apply for a marriage license. The clerk says, “Oh, no! Don’t you know that the Bible mandates separation of the races? I refuse to give you a license because it violates my religious beliefs.” Read more
Voters in four states will cast ballots on marriage equality next month, among them my adopted home of Maryland. Polls show that the Maryland measure, which allows same-sex couples to wed, just might pass.
Religious Right groups, of course, are doing all they can to ensure that doesn’t happen. They’re mustering all of the arguments we’ve heard before: Same-sex marriage will somehow harm families, it’s condemned by the Bible, it will lead to people marrying bicycles, etc. Read more
A few miles from where I live is a highway called New Hampshire Avenue. As you drive north on this road, you pass Christian churches of just about every denomination, Jewish synagogues, a Muslim mosque, a Hindu temple and a Buddhist center. This stretch of road has been dubbed “the highway to Heaven.” Read more