Category: History

October 2, 2014
photo of Justice Antonin Scalia
Justice Antonin Scalia

Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the members of the conservative block on the United States Supreme Court, gave a speech Wednesday where he seemed to be supporting the separation of church and state. Which is odd because he has been one of the justices who wants to limit the scope of the 1st amendment so narrowly that it really means nothing. Is Justice Scalia warming to separation of church and state?

September 11, 2014
created image that says Don't Say The Pledge

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is starting a new project that I can get behind. Called ‘Don’t Say The Pledge’, the project highlights the original pre-1954 Pledge of Allegiance and argues for the removal of the words ‘Under God’. The AHA is asking people to not say the pledge until it is restored to the original version and I will not be saying the pledge.

January 16, 2014
created image of a wall between words Church and State

Today is Religious Freedom Day and President Obama issued a Proclamation to honor the day. The text included atheists as part of the religious diversity and cultural fabric of the United States. He also mentioned the important thing isn’t someone’s faith but that we all should support freedom, equality, justice, and separation of church and state.

Religious Freedom Day marks the day in 1786 when the first religious freedom law – Statute for Religious Freedom – was passed in Virginia.

June 17, 2013
photo of Ellery Schempp in 2012
Ellery Schempp – His protest of required Bible reading in his High School lead to the case Abington School District v. Schempp being decided in 1963

On June 17th 1963, the US Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision that supported the separation of church and state in public schools – Abington School District v. Schempp. Even 50 years after the decision, we seem to have to fight the same battle over and over again. That is what happens in the struggle for civil rights. You have to be vigilant or they can be taken away. We need to celebrate dissenters like Schempp and we all need to try and emulate his activism.

June 7, 2013
the logo for Camp Quest

The recent media dust up about the Internal Revenue Service doing their job when considering group tax exemptions under the 501(c)4 rules focused on conservative groups being ‘targeted’ for political reasons. What hasn’t been reported as much is that non-conservative groups, including Camp Quest, were also targeted for extra scrutiny. This just shows that the conservative group’s claim of victimhood is more hysterical than the facts support.

June 6, 2013
cartoon showing hypocrisy of those who want unity but exclude Muslims

Two recent church and state stories once again prove that some Christians in this country only believe religious freedom counts if you’re a Christian. Debate over a Defense Department budget bill in Congress and Hecklers at a Muslim Group’s Event In Tennessee shows there are still people on the wrong side of history. This is why we have to remain vigilant against attempts by bigots to violate the separation of church and state.

On Wednesday while Congress was debating a large defense authorization bill, an amendment was offered to allow non-theists to join the armed forces chaplaincy. The reaction from the Christian bigots was intense: