religious issues centering around church/state conflict and secular humanism.

Poverty Is Not A Result Of Absence Of Religious Belief

San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor

I read Dispatches from the Culture Wars regularly. Ed Brayton is a witty and perceptive commentator with an excellent grasp of America’s constitutional foundations–but his greatest appeal (for me) comes from the fact that he monitors behaviors that I wouldn’t have the stomach to follow. He keeps tabs on the kooks of the far, far right (and sometimes the far, far […]

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San Antonio Mayor Calls Atheists “Broken” People

San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor

During a candidate forum earlier this month, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor explained to a crowd of people that poverty in her city was due in large part to people being “broken” because they had no “relationship with their Creator.” Following national outrage over her comments, Taylor doubled down on Facebook proclaiming her comments were edited. After posting the full 90 minute […]

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TN Public School Under Fire For Promotion of Religion

Milan High School

Milan High School in Milan, Tennessee faces criticism and possible legal action over allowing Larry Eddings – a math teacher and coach – to promote religion and potentially “teach” a class next term that would involve proselytizing Christianity to public school students. The teacher’s religious activities came to the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently following complaints from […]

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O’Reilly’s Replacement: A Look at Tucker Carlson

Bill O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson

With news that Bill O’Reilly is official out at Fox News following the loss of substantial advertising dollars, boycotts, and a new accusation of sexual harassment this week, Fox announced who will lead the network’s opinion mantle going forward: Tucker Carlson. We’ve covered Carlson extensively over the years from his promotion of statutory rape of boys to stumping for the tobacco industry. This […]

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WV: Lesbian Couple Suing Over Harassment While Obtaining Marriage License

Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich

When marriage equality became law in their hometown in 2014 following the federal court decision in Bostic v. Schaefer, Samantha Brookover and Amanda Abramovich sought out a marriage license in Gilmer County, West Virginia. They were met with derision, harassment and hatred and refused an application by the county clerk’s office. Sixteen months later (following the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v Hodges […]

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Religious Establishment: He Who Frames the Issue

First Amendment Establishment Clause

As I often tell my students, the most important thing I learned in law school was that “he who frames the issue wins the debate.” In other words, whoever is successful in defining what’s at stake generally prevails. You can see that truism pretty vividly in debates over culture war issues like abortion and LGBTQ rights: if  abortion is the […]

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Another Republican Cites Hitler – This Time Against Lincoln

Following White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s anti-Semitic and historically inaccurate Hitler-Assad comparison earlier this week, some Republicans have strangely been defending the embattled spokesman with one lawmaker going so far as to (inaccurately) claim Spicer’s Hitler propaganda had “some validity.” Now a North Carolina Republican is in the news for carrying that Hitler-centric logic to the next level by comparing Abraham Lincoln to Hitler arguing the former […]

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ND Rep Says Spicer’s Hitler Comments Had “Some Validity”

Congressman Kevin Cramer lies about Hitler and the Holocaust to defend Sean Spicer

Call it the Trump Effect. What should be undisputed fact in an era where history and facts are readily available at the click of a mouse or tap of a screen, misinformation and lies still exist and seem to be proliferating thanks in large part to Donald Trump’s penchant for lying. Following Sean Spicer’s disastrous White House briefing yesterday, one GOP lawmaker decided fact and […]

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Texas GOP Legislation Targets LGBTQ Marriage Licenses

LGBTQ marriage equality in Texas

Legislation making its way through the Texas legislature would offer a legal “religious” loophole for taxpayer-funded public officials to refuse same-sex couples seeking to obtain a marriage license. Senate Bill 522 – written by state Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) – would allow any Texas county clerk to refuse to dispense a marriage license so long as that refusal is based on “a sincerely […]

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Sean Spicer’s Problematic & Unprompted Hitler Analogy

Sean Spicer's Problematic & Unprompted Hitler Holocaust Analogies

During the White House briefing today, Press Secretary Sean Spicer voluntarily and without reason brought up Hitler and the Holocaust while discussing Syrian use of chemical weapons. The tone-deaf analogy not only landed virtually every historical fact about the Holocaust wrong, but after several “clarifications” made the entire anti-Semitic analogy stand out on Passover of all days. Spicer brought up the Godwinian analogy as he […]

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