L. Frank Baum, Freethought Firebrand?

May 16, 2012

Tomorrow (May 17) is the 112th anniversary of the publication of that subversive freethought children's book, THE WIZARD OF OZ. You didn't know it was a freethought book? Have I got a tale for you ...

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What We’ve Gained—and What We’ve Lost

May 10, 2012

If anyone didn't already know that the legalization of same-sex marriage is inevitable, President Obama's dramatic announcement that he supports it should settle the matter. That makes this a good time to appreciate what those of us who favor the expansion of rights as a general principle have gained -- and what we've lost.

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Mojave Cross Case Shows Nonbelievers Are Still Second Class Citizens

April 25, 2012

The Mojave cross case has ended, and it's official: nonreligious Americans are still second class citizens!

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Why Seculars Still Don’t Sing: response to James Croft

April 06, 2012

James Croft (http://harvardhumanist.org/2012/04/06/why-seculars-sing-a-response-to-tom-flynn/) offers a thoughtful and provocative critique of my Free Inquiry op-ed on humanist ritual (“Why Seculars Don’t Sing,” April/May 2012, http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=flynn_32_3). As frequently happens when religious and secular humanists engage in debate, the ground on which the disputants – to say nothing of the spectators – stand quickly becomes mushy. Herewith, my unconscionably lengthy response.

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In Praise of Falling Birth Rates

March 26, 2012

A recent column by Froma Harrop makes a point I've repeatedly alluded to in FREE INQUIRY -- the demographic contraction that comes from years of falling birthrates is not only survivable, but could portend a more pleasant and sustainable future.

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Zelig Was a Woman: Meet Freethought Campaigner Lucy N. Colman

March 08, 2012

As we observe International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, it’s worth remembering one of nineteenth-century America’s most active – and best-connected – freethinkers. Lucy N. Colman (1818-1906) was the Zelig of the Golden Age of Freethought. She contributed to every reform cause of the day and touched the lives of the time’s most noteworthy freethought activists.

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A Clarion Call—and a Bombshell?—on Obama and Church-State?

February 09, 2012

A February 9th essay on Salon.com by ACLU Legislative Counsel Dena Sher casts down the gauntlet, presenting the case for Barack Obama positioning himself as a more secular president, perhaps picking up support from mainstream believers uncomfortable with religious-right posturing. Take, for example, those tens of millions of U. S. Catholics who, unlike their 271 bishops, apparently think contraception is just fine. Ms. Sher also included what may be a bombshell.

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More on Hosanna-Tabor

January 13, 2012

The U. S. Supreme Court's curious decision in Hosanna-Tabor endorsing an amorphous ministerial exemption against Federal employment law leaves me conflicted. As a secularist, I regret any court finding or legislation that broadens religion's power vis-a-vis a secular polity. Still, as I understand the First Amendment and its unique religion clauses, the Supremes probably did the right thing -- though I wish the Justices had found a way to do it that seems less certain to catalyze a tsunami of new employment litigation.

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What are your helladay plans?

December 05, 2011

Well, the Some People's Favorite Holiday Season is upon us again. How to you plan to observe -- or not observe -- the "helladays"?

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7 Billion? Yikes!

November 04, 2011

A less sanguine view of the arrival of Baby #7 Billion.

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