Title Excerpt Author Date Total Comments Recent Comment
Goodbye (For Now) Dear Readers, Some of you may have heard the news already: later this month I will leave the Center for Inquiry’s employment.  As news has begun to spread, I thought I should take this opportunity to announce my departure formally, and to thank my friends and colleagues at CFI for… Derek C. Araujo 06/08/11 4 06/15/11
Ballot Initiative, Motivated by CSH Lawsuit, Would Gut FL Constitution’s Church-State Separation Last week the Florida Senate cleared the way for voters to approve a state constitutional amendment that would repeal the state constitution’s “No Aid” clause. The “No Aid” clause expressly mandates that no revenue of the state can be provided “directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or… Derek C. Araujo 05/09/11 1 05/13/11
Supreme Court Thwarts Challenge of Religious School Subsidies; Taxpayer Standing Demolished This morning the Supreme Court issued a controversial 5-to-4 ruling that imperils the ability of taxpayers to challenge potential Establishment Clause violations involving government subsidies to religious institutions. Justice Kennedy, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts, dismissed a challenge to an Arizona tax aid scheme that… Derek C. Araujo 04/04/11 0
UN Human Rights Council Abandons “Defamation of Religions” Concept For years, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a group of 56 Islamic states promoting Muslim solidarity and values, has pushed successfully for United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions urging member states to combat the so-called “defamation of religions.”  CFI, which holds special consultative status with the UN’s Economic… Derek C. Araujo 03/26/11 3 03/30/11
Sign Your Name to CFI’s Wal-Mart Homeopathy Statement Two months ago, my colleague Ron Lindsay wrote a Free Thinking   blog entry about a statement CFI issued with its sister organization, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, against Wal-Mart’s sale and marketing of the homeopathic flu “remedy” Boiron Oscillococcinum.    CFI supporters and the public are now invited to… Derek C. Araujo 03/24/11 1 03/24/11
CFI, IHEU Collaborate to Oppose Blasphemy Laws at UN This week the Center for Inquiry joined the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in opposing blasphemy laws at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. CFI holds special consultative status as a non-governmental organization, or NGO, under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Both… Derek C. Araujo 03/16/11 12 03/30/11
Join CFI in Demanding the Release of Malawi’s Jailed “Witches” Today in Malawi   dozens of people have been jailed for up to six years, with hard labor, under accusations of practicing “witchcraft.”  Most are elderly women accused by children. As incredible as it may seem, convictions for practicing “witchcraft” are common in the African country, where belief in witches… Derek C. Araujo 02/24/11 5 03/02/11
NM Legislature Introduces Anti-Evolution Bill Earlier this month the New Mexico House of Representatives introduced   House Bill 302 , the fifth piece of anti-evolution legislation to be considered in a state legislature in 2011.  HB 302 would shield teachers who inform students about “scientific information” regarding the “scientific strengths or scientific weaknesses” of “controversial”… Derek C. Araujo 02/15/11 0
Tell Congress to Reject DC Vouchers As you may have heard, House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Joe Lieberman have introduced legislation to revive a controversial school voucher program that funnels tax dollars to private and religious schools in the District of Columbia, nearly two years after Congress began phasing it out.  The DC Voucher program… Derek C. Araujo 02/02/11 0
Tell Congress to Reject DC Vouchers As you may have heard, House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Joe Lieberman have introduced legislation to revive a controversial school voucher program that funnels tax dollars to private and religious schools in the District of Columbia, nearly two years after Congress began phasing it out.  The DC Voucher program… Derek C. Araujo 02/02/11 2 06/16/11
CFI-San Francisco to Participate in Homeopathy “Overdose” Event, Saturday, Feb. 5 On Saturday, February 5, CFI-San Francisco will join international protesters from more than 10 countries and 23 cities to take part in the weekend’s 10:23 Campaign, a protest against “homeopathy”—a bogus but popular form of alternative medicine on which misinformed consumers waste billions of dollars per year.  The 10:23 Campaign… Derek C. Araujo 02/02/11 15 02/07/11
Tell Congress to Reject Unjust Bans on Abortion Coverage Anti-choice extremists in the new Congress are targeting abortion again. A new bill introduced in the House (H.R. 3) would go even farther than the Stupak Amendment Congress rejected last year in eliminating insurance coverage for abortion and allowing public hospitals to refuse medically necessary abortions for women facing life-threatening… Derek C. Araujo 01/28/11 0
Tell Congress to Reject Unjust Bans on Abortion Coverage Anti-choice extremists in the new Congress are targeting abortion again.  A new bill introduced in the House (H.R. 3) would go even farther than the Stupak Amendment Congress rejected last year in eliminating insurance coverage for abortion and allowing public hospitals to refuse medically necessary abortions for women facing life-threatening… Derek C. Araujo 01/28/11 0
Rep. Boehner, Sen. Lieberman to Resurrect DC Religious School Vouchers House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Joe Lieberman have announced plans to introduce legislation to revive a controversial school voucher program that funnels tax dollars to private and religious schools in the District of Columbia, nearly two years after Congress began phasing it out.  On Tuesday night, Boehner   invited… Derek C. Araujo 01/28/11 0
UK to Consider Reform of Science-Stifling Libel Laws This March the UK’s Ministry of Justice will publish a draft bill to reform the UK’s draconian libel laws.  The UK’s current libel laws, among the strictest in the world, have been criticized for stifling free speech, scientific research and evidence-based public debate. The UK’s libel laws differ significantly from… Derek C. Araujo 01/26/11 1 01/31/11
What’s Your Sign Now? Horoscope aficionados awoke to disturbing news in the morning papers.  Due to wobbles of Earth’s axis of rotation (an effect known to astronomers as “precession”), the calendar dates corresponding to the various Zodiac signs have shifted by about a month since they were set by the ancient Babylonians. The answer… Derek C. Araujo 01/14/11 11 01/22/11
House GOP to Prevent EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Having taken control of the House of Representatives only days ago, the new Republican majority has threatened to gut funding of the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to prevent federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions that drive potentially catastrophic climate change.  Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the Interior,… Derek C. Araujo 01/11/11 0
House GOP to Prevent EPA Regulation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Having taken control of the House of Representatives only days ago, the new Republican majority has threatened to gut funding of the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to prevent federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions that drive potentially catastrophic climate change.  Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the Interior,… Derek C. Araujo 01/11/11 2 01/17/11
House Republicans Appoint Climate Change Deniers to Committee Chairs When the new Congress convenes tomorrow, climate change deniers will ascend to the chairmanships of several important House committees.  The new Republican majority has named Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) vice chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology under incoming chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX).  Sensenbrenner, who denies the evidence… Derek C. Araujo 01/04/11 0
House Republicans Appoint Climate Change Deniers to Committee Chairs When the new Congress convenes tomorrow, climate change deniers will ascend to the chairmanships of several important House committees.  The new Republican majority has named Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) vice chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology under incoming chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX).  Sensenbrenner, who denies the evidence… Derek C. Araujo 01/04/11 2 01/04/11
Critic of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law Shot Dead   Pakistani authorities say that Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s most populous province and an outspoken critic of Pakistan’s blasphemy law, was murdered by one of his police guards in Islamabad. Governor Taseer had advocated for the repeal of Pakistan’s brutal and controversial blasphemy law, which imposes a mandatory… Derek C. Araujo 01/04/11 2 01/06/11
Obama Administration Releases Scientific Integrity Guidelines The Obama administration   yesterday released long-awaited guidelines to prevent political meddling with scientific research.  The guidelines allow government scientists general freedom to speak to journalists and the public about their work, while also prohibiting government agencies from editing or suppressing reports by independent advisory committees.  The agencies are further… Derek C. Araujo 12/18/10 0
Obama Administration Releases Scientific Integrity Guidelines The Obama administration   yesterday released long-awaited guidelines to prevent political meddling with scientific research.  The guidelines allow government scientists general freedom to speak to journalists and the public about their work, while also prohibiting government agencies from editing or suppressing reports by independent advisory committees.  The agencies are further… Derek C. Araujo 12/18/10 2 12/20/10
Republican Leadership Subjects Funding of National Science Foundation Projects to Text Message Votes Anyone concerned about the fate of scientific research funding in the new Congress has yet more reason to worry.  Scientists are already anxious about the impact of the Republicans’ plans to slash the nation’s investment in research and development, which led National Institutes of Health director       Francis… Derek C. Araujo 12/08/10 0
Republican Leadership Subjects Funding of National Science Foundation Projects to Text Message Votes Anyone concerned about the fate of scientific research funding in the new Congress has yet more reason to worry.  Scientists are already anxious about the impact of the Republicans’ plans to slash the nation’s investment in research and development, which led National Institutes of Health director       Francis… Derek C. Araujo 12/08/10 26 12/11/10
Republicans to Kill Climate Change Committee   In blog entries last month I mentioned the new House majority leadership’s dismissal of climate science on the basis of scripture and their campaign to hassle scientists with Congressional investigations.  Now it appears that Republicans will kill a House committee devoted to addressing issues of climate change and energy… Derek C. Araujo 12/02/10 0
Republicans to Kill Climate Change Committee   In blog entries last month I mentioned the new House majority leadership’s dismissal of climate science on the basis of scripture and their campaign to hassle scientists with Congressional investigations.  Now it appears that Republicans will kill a House committee devoted to addressing issues of climate change and energy… Derek C. Araujo 12/02/10 7 12/10/10
Indiana Father Says Court Stripped Him of Child Custody Because of His Agnosticism Craig Scarberry of Anderson, Indiana says that a state court judge has stripped him of joint custody of his three children because he dropped his Christian beliefs in favor of agnosticism.  According to an article in Anderson’s     The Herald Online   , an order written by Madison County… Derek C. Araujo 11/30/10 1 11/30/10
UN to Take Up Measure Suppressing Religious Criticism; Votes Against Sexual Orientation Protection As in previous years, the United Nations General Assembly is preparing to vote yet again on a resolution combating the so-called “defamation of religions.”  The resolution is backed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), an association of some five-dozen states promoting Islamic values and interests.  This year’s resolution… Derek C. Araujo 11/19/10 8 12/11/10
Obama Executive Order Leaves In Place Many Bush-Era Policies on Faith-Based Initiatives   The White House today issued an executive order implementing some of the reforms suggested by the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  Unfortunately, the executive order ignores the concerns of church-state separation advocates who urged the President to put an end to federal funding of faith-based charities… Derek C. Araujo 11/17/10 0
Obama Executive Order Leaves In Place Many Bush-Era Policies on Faith-Based Initiatives   The White House today issued an executive order implementing some of the reforms suggested by the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  Unfortunately, the executive order ignores the concerns of church-state separation advocates who urged the President to put an end to federal funding of faith-based charities… Derek C. Araujo 11/17/10 2 11/20/10
New Republican Leadership Promises Inaction, Obstruction on Climate Change The 2010 midterm elections may mark a new low in government’s attempt to grapple with climate change.       My blog entry last week addressed the candidacy of John Shimkus (R-IL) for the chairmanship of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.  Shimkus famously believes that climate change can… Derek C. Araujo 11/16/10 0
Energy Committee Chairman Says Bible Shows No Catastrophic Climate Change Can Occur Many have wondered what the newly elected Congress will hold for scientific research and the intersection of science and public policy. Unfortunately, prospects look dim. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship, stated in a committee hearing in March that the world need not worry… Derek C. Araujo 11/10/10 0
Energy Committee Chairman Candidate Says Bible Shows No Catastrophic Climate Change Can Occur Many have wondered what the newly elected Congress will hold for scientific research and the intersection of science and public policy. Unfortunately, prospects look dim. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who will seek the Energy and Commerce Committee chairmanship, stated in a committee hearing in March that the world need not worry… Derek C. Araujo 11/10/10 4 12/05/10
The Overlooked Casualties of the 2010 Elections: State Court Judges Pundits will spend much of the coming days assigning blame or credit for the Republican party’s capture of the House of Representatives and its erosion of the Democrats’ majority in the Senate.  Few, however, have mentioned a category of overlooked casualties in the 2010 election: state court judges. Last night,… Derek C. Araujo 11/03/10 3 11/09/10
Urge Congress to Pass Legislation Safeguarding Stem Cell Research This Year The Center for Inquiry-Office of Public Policy is urging supporters to tell Congress to pass legislation safeguarding stem cell research during the lame duck session scheduled for mid-November. A recent federal court ruling threatens to cancel scores of experiments in diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s.  A legislative solution is… Derek C. Araujo 11/03/10 0
Urge Congress to Pass Legislation Safeguarding Stem Cell Research This Year The Center for Inquiry-Office of Public Policy is urging supporters to tell Congress to pass legislation safeguarding stem cell research during the lame duck session scheduled for mid-November. A recent federal court ruling threatens to cancel scores of experiments in diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s.  A legislative solution is… Derek C. Araujo 11/03/10 0
Junk Medicine and Health Care Reform: Where Was the Scientific Community? When Congress decided to tackle health care reform in 2009 and early 2010, many hoped that government would take the opportunity to ensure that the resources we devote to medicine are spent more intelligently - say, by promoting and funding only medical therapies that are shown to improve health, or… Derek C. Araujo 10/26/10 7 11/03/10
CFI Submits Testimony on DC Marriage Officiant Act Yesterday, CFI-DC Executive Director Melody Hensley presented testimony on behalf of the Center for Inquiry in favor of the Marriage Officiant Act of 2010, a city council act that would allow secular wedding officiants to perform marriages in Washington, DC as public notaries.  Friend-of-the-Center and CFI-DC/Office of Public Policy volunteer… Derek C. Araujo 10/15/10 0
CFI Submits Testimony on DC Marriage Officiant Act Yesterday, CFI-DC Executive Director Melody Hensley presented testimony on behalf of the Center for Inquiry in favor of the Marriage Officiant Act of 2010, a city council act that would allow secular wedding officiants to perform marriages in Washington, DC as public notaries.  Friend-of-the-Center and CFI-DC/Office of Public Policy volunteer… Derek C. Araujo 10/15/10 1 10/15/10
Federal Court Issues Worldwide Injunction Against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” As reported by the   Associated Press , a federal court today issued a worldwide injunction against the enforcement of the U.S. military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy against openly gay service members.  A move to end the ban through legislation failed earlier this year due to a Republican filibuster… Derek C. Araujo 10/12/10 4 10/23/10
CFI Urges Federal Appellate Court to Strike Down Government-Mandated Day of Prayer Yesterday, the Center for Inquiry submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the case of   Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama .  CFI urged the court to affirm a district court decision holding that the federal statute mandating a National Day… Derek C. Araujo 10/08/10 0
Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama In October 2010, the Center for Inquiry submitted a friend-of-the-court brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in the case of Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama.  CFI urged the court to affirm a district court decision holding that the federal statute mandating a National Day… Derek C. Araujo 10/08/10 0
Catholic Archbishop Lectures Supreme Court Justices on Church and State This past Sunday,   according to CNN , the Catholic Church’s controversial “Red Mass” was held at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC. Among those present at the invitation-only event were Vice President Joe Biden, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia,… Derek C. Araujo 10/05/10 3 10/06/10
Atheists, Agnostics Trump Believers in Religious Knowledge Test Are atheists, agnostics and nonbelievers in America ignorant about religion?  According to a study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, they know more about faith than most of their religious counterparts. As reported by the   New York Times , researchers from the Pew Forum telephoned more… Derek C. Araujo 09/28/10 8 10/06/10
CFI, Council for Secular Humanism Join Amicus Brief on Religious School Subsidies On September 22, 2010, the Center for Inquiry, the   Council for Secular Humanism and nine additional organizations filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case   Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn .  CFI, the Council and other amici argued that an Arizona program that… Derek C. Araujo 09/23/10 2 09/27/10
Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn On September 22, 2010, the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism and nine additional organizations filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn.  CFI, the Council and other amici argued that an Arizona program that provides state tax… Derek C. Araujo 09/23/10 0
Scalia: Constitution Does Not Protect Women, Gays from Discrimination During a 90-minute question-and-answer session at UC Hastings School of Law, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia   announced his view that the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law does not apply to women or gays and lesbians.  Scalia explained his views as follows:   If the current… Derek C. Araujo 09/20/10 3 09/21/10
Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Weigh In on Intelligent Design, Curriculum Standards The   San Angelo Standard Times yesterday published the Texas gubernatorial candidates’ responses to questions about K-12 education.  Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his Democratic challenger, Mayor Bill White of Houston, answered a wide range questions, some of which probed their views on evolution versus “intelligent design” creationism and the… Derek C. Araujo 09/13/10 5 10/12/10
Help Prevent Political Interference with Curriculum Standards The Center for Inquiry needs your help supporting a House Resolution to end political meddling with public school curriculum standards. Earlier this year, Texas’ Christian fundamentalist-dominated State Board of Education mandated a bizarrely warped US history curriculum for Texas school children.  Because of Texas’ enormous influence on the nation’s textbook… Derek C. Araujo 08/24/10 0
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