Just days after winning their Supreme Court case, Hobby Lobby sponsored an ad in multiple newspapers across the US. Titled “In God We Trust,” it’s a collection of quotes from the “Founding Fathers” and others that purports to show that the United States was founded as a Christian nation with a Christian government. None of this is new or surprising. But one of the quotes caught my attention. More about that in a minute.
If you follow the link above, you’ll see many of the usual quotes from the usual suspects. But my purpose here isn’t to show how Hobby Lobby is guilty of quote-mining, or to show that an honest assessment of the Founders would lead to different conclusions. (If you’re interested in that, see the Treaty of Tripoli, for instance; also see the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s comments on the ad here.) Continue reading →
“I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. Continue reading →
I’ll give you a hint: I don’t think it’s a lack of video games or a surplus of religiosity.
As with the health care debate, what’s so frustrating about the US gun control debate is this country’s stubborn refusal to learn from the rest of the world, as if the US is so special that what works for everyone else won’t work for us. Continue reading →
It’s rare that you can actually watch the president of the United States commit a sin live and on national television.
But that’s what happened yesterday when President Obama told the nation that he is compelled to take more money from the rich.
This is a direct, public and disgraceful violation of the 10th Commandment.
The 10th Commandment, of course, flatly prohibits the sin of lust for another man’s wife or for his possessions. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Continue reading →
In audio obtained from a Family Council fundraiser in Anchorage, Alaska, Truthout has learned that a number of right-wing religious groups, including Focus on the Family, have been working with the Koch brothers to target voters across the country using their multimillion-dollar voter database known as Themis. Continue reading →
By now we’re all thoroughly sick of the most expensive campaign in U.S. history. Regardless of your ideological affiliation, I assume that I don’t have to convince you that if you know who a candidate’s key donors are, you pretty well know whose agenda will be a priority, and who will be shielded from unfavorable policies. Here’s a reminder of just how difficult it is to follow the money: Continue reading →
“There is only one way to encourage morality, and that is to re-establish religion. Society cannot exist without some being richer than others, and this inequality cannot exist without religion. When one man is dying of hunger next door to another who is stuffing himself with food, the poor man simply cannot accept the disparity unless some authority tells him, ‘God wishes it so…in heaven things will be different.’”
—Napoleon Bonaparte, quoted in John Merriman, A History of Modern Europe from the French Revolution to the Present, Second Edition (2004), p. 522.
Is it an accident that conservative politics keeps such close company with religion? Continue reading →
Valentin De Boulogne, “Christ Driving the Money Changers out of the Temple” (circa 1618), Web Gallery of Art [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Today the Associated Press provides a fascinating look at how churches are financed in Europe:
BERLIN (AP) – The road to heaven is paved with more than good intentions for Germany’s 24 million Catholics. If they don’t pay their religious taxes, they will be denied sacraments, including weddings, baptisms and funerals.
A decree issued last week by the country’s bishops cast a spotlight on the longstanding practice in Germany and a handful of other European countries in which governments tax registered believers and then hand over the money to the religious institutions. Continue reading →
By now there’s probably nothing new to say about Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment, so I won’t bother. Instead I want to look at the attitude behind it, which is one of the big dividing lines in American culture. And so naturally this leads me to The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe’s 1979 bestselling book about military test pilots and the Mercury space program.