Tag Archives: Religious freedom

Defining a Place for the New Atheism

I’m moving to Brooklyn! With no internet. Hence delays.  Andrew Sullivan, with Bryan Appleyard, together question the value of the “new atheism,” which they define as a belief system devoted to the absolute eradication of both religion, and its influence on mankind. Appleyard: By “neo-atheism”, I mean a tripartite belief system founded on the conviction […]

Inferring from Aberration: How the Culture War Magnifies

Several point to an absurd incident out of Pennsylvania, where Judge Mark Martin recently acquitted a criminal defendant of assault because his victim, Ernie Perce, was dressed as a “zombie Mohammed,” thereby (apparently) provoking the assault. An excerpt from the trial transcript, as reported by another blog: Whenever it is very common, their language, when […]

Obama and Antiochus: the Modern Persecution Complex

Michael Stokes Paulsen, reported in Ben Domenech’s Transom, attempts to draw a shaky parallel between a campaign of oppression carried out by the Hellenistic king Antiochus IV Ephiphanes on his Jewish subject, and the Obama administration’s mandate that church-affiliated organizations cover contraceptives as part of their employees’ health plans: The story does not have an especially […]

The Populist Case for Tradition

At RedState, that wretched hive of scum and villainy, one poster manages to, between an incomprehensibly wrong argument against the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision on Proposition 8, say something interesting. I recommend you skip over everything but the last two paragraphs, reproduced below: As I’ve written before, democracy, free markets, tradition and the rule of written […]

A Chance to Split Religious Leaders from their Voters?

A glimpse at mainstream conservative news sites would convince anyone that the Obama administration’s proposed contraception rule — which purports to require church-affiliated institutions and hospitals, but not places of worship themselves, to provide free contraception through their employee health plans — means the President stands to reap a whirlwind of fundamentalist backlash as the […]

Can Legislators Properly Consider God in the Decisionmaking Process?

I’ll preview the conclusion: if it’s outcome determinative… no. Disgraced former Senator Rick Santorum grabbed headlines yesterday by saying he was “frankly appalled” by President Kennedy’s “radical” statements during the 1960 campaign, which amounted to the following, now sadly somewhat controversial but succinct statement of a basic, foundational principle: “I believe in an America where […]

The Sad Familiarity of the Shar’ia Fable

With Rick Santorum’s… inexplicable comments in New Hampshire, it seems clear that congressional Republicans, and presumptive Republican presidential candidates, intend to drag the Shar’ia law “issue” — the odd fear that American Muslims intend to import Shar’ia law into the U.S. as the first step towards a global caliphate — into the 2012 campaign. Why? […]

Glenn Beck’s Christmas Paean to the Constitution

WordPress won’t let me embed the video, and thank God; I’d rather not profane our pages, anyways. But please don’t miss this video of his, describing, four days before Christmas, the “birth of the Constitution.” The timing and phrasing of it all suggests a not-so-subtle dog whistle to devotees of obscure quasi-historian Cleon Skousen, Beck’s […]

Inexplicit Commands: Separation of Church and State

As conservative pundits double down to defend Christine O’Donnell’s latest, non-typo related gaffe — misremembering the content of the First Amendment, which other conservatives admit was a mistake — let’s take the time to remember just how silly it is to say that separation of church and state is “not in the Constitution.” That’s technically […]

Our Sharia

Although the protections afforded Jews and Christians by Islamic law were, in many ways, ahead of their time, this grace, such as it was, had its limits. According to the Pact of Umar, which defined the relationship between the Peoples of the Book, [Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians] shall not build, in our cities or in […]