Dr. Ben Carson, who is running for the GOP nomination for President in 2016, stopped in my hometown for a visit on Wednesday. WTOL in Toledo had video and a reporter on the scene and she asked about his recent comments about Muslims. He didn’t back down and in fact according to Ben Carson, Ben Carson can’t be President. Continue reading →
President Obama spoke to the United Nations on September 25th and the topic of the anti-Muslim video that was posted to the Internet came up as well as the strong protests, some violent riots, that happened in Egypt, Libya, and even in Australia. His message was to reinforce the US Constitution protection of speech and the need to meet dissent not with censorship but with more speech. Continue reading →
I saw the TV ads for a new film called ‘Last Ounce Of Courage‘ the other day and noticed Jennifer O’Neill and Fred Williamson were in it so I decided to check out the trailer and information on the film. I was actually shocked. The message of the film seems to be equating military death in war with being able to subvert the 1st Amendment that keeps church and state separate. Continue reading →
January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day. The day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. The Virginia Statute was the basis of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and also can be used to support Jefferson’s idea of the separation of church and state. The Religious Right have of course co-opted the day by mass marketing misleading information about what real religious freedom means in this country. Luckily, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) has some help available to tell the truth. Continue reading →
Supporters of Sharia Law banIn the 2010 general election, voters in Oklahoma passed a ballot measure that attempts to ban Oklahoma courts from considering Islamic laws in the their decisions. The law was blocked when the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and ACLU sued. They claim the law violates the 1st amendment of the US Constitution, the Oklahoma Constitution, and the Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act. This story shows that those who support the ban have a bigoted idea of Sharia law and have little knowledge of what our civil rights actually are. Continue reading →
It would seem that the US Constitution doesn’t allow a religious test to be elected in this country. In fact that prohibition is written in clear language in Article Six. It is why the group, the Secular Coalition for America is taking the time to release a video of the attempts at a religious test during the recently concluded 2008 election campaign and calling for the all secularists to stand up and call for an end to it.
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
Even though it is written in plain language, unlike the religious clause of the first amendment or the right to bear arms of the second, it seems that candidates are put through a religious test. The Secular Coalition for America released a video of clips full of examples from the 2008 election cycle:
The Secular Coalition is also asking secularists to help call attention to this undemocratic anti-American trait. They are sending out a New Year’s Alert:
Pastor Problems, Faith Forums and Godless Gotcha’s on the campaign trail. 2008 was a tough year for atheists, humanists, agnostics and all Americans who are proud of our secular traditions.
I am asking you to join me in signing onto the Secular Coalition for America’s Nine Resolutions for Secular Citizens. I am asking you to make a commitment in your everyday life to help the Secular Coalition and citizens like me change the way our leaders are elected and our country is governed. By signing your name – first, last, or even anonymous – to the resolution, you will help us show that there is a big constituency for the issues the Secular Coalition fights for, and that we intend to be heard in the coming year.
Please go to the New Year’s Resolution sign-on list now and add your name to the hundreds who have already resolved to fight for increased respect and visibility for nontheists and our secular traditions in 2009.
They also have commented and sent a letter to President-elect Obama concerning the inclusion of Rick Warren in the inauguration ceremony on January 20th.
President-elect Obama announced the program for his inauguration this week, and it begins with an invocation from the Rev. Rick Warren, an evangelical mega church pastor. Although Obama and his spokesperson insist his inaugural will be inclusive and offer diverse viewpoints, the choice of two Protestants to open and close the ceremony suggests otherwise.