In the US, legal challenges on the role of religion in public life are governed by the section of the First Amendment to the US Constitution that says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. It is the first part, known as the Establishment Clause, that …
Category Archive: Religion
Dec 02 2013
Nov 30 2013
Last year, following the beating the Mormon church took for its massive financial and logistical support in favor of Proposition 8 that banned same-sex marriage in California, the church seemed to be toning down its opposition and seemed to be taking a more moderate approach to the issue. There were hopes that the church was …
Nov 29 2013
In a major statement released on November 24, 2013 titled Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis has leveled a major broadside at the current economic and political systems which he condemns as serving only the interests of the few and ignoring the needs of the many.
Nov 26 2013
I discussed on Sunday the main aspects of the case that was decided on Friday, November 21 2013 by a US District Judge in Wisconsin Barbara Crabb, concerning the so-called ‘parsonage exemption’ in which a housing allowance paid to clergy that was exempted from being included as gross income for taxation purposes.
Nov 25 2013
Reader Norm sent me this shocking news report that the government of president Hamid Karzai is considering re-introducing the practice of stoning adulterers in public in Afghanistan, an abomination that occurred under the rule of the Taliban but was mercifully halted after they were overthrown.
Nov 25 2013
Believers in an afterlife will often point to near-death experiences (NDE) or out-of-body experiences (OBE) as proof. These are situations where people who for whatever reason come close to dying say they had an out-of-body experience where their spirits/souls moved around freely and they saw things they could not have known about prior to that …
Nov 24 2013
The way that religious people get tax breaks in the US is a disgrace. But Barbara B. Crabb, US District Court judge in Wisconsin, ruled yesterday that the tax exemption given to clergy for their housing allowance is unconstitutional. This allowance is taken advantage of by about “44,000 ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and others” and …
Nov 22 2013
In February of this year, I wrote about how a group of secular organizations had filed a suit arguing that it was unfair that they had to file Form 990 as part of their tax returns but religious organizations did not. I described then the onerous reporting requirements that all non-profits other than churches have …
Nov 22 2013
Illinois legalizes same-sex marriage, with governor Pat Quinn signing the legislation into law on Wednesday. The law will go into effect on June 1, 2014. Hawaii’s legislature has also passed a similar measure and its governor signed it into law on Wednesday too. So the two of them become the 15th and 16th states to …
Nov 21 2013
A Costco store in California got into hot water when it placed on a shelf labeled as ‘Fiction’. Caleb Kaltenbach, pastor of Discovery Church, came across the Bibles while shopping for a gift and tweeted the picture on Friday with the comment: “Costco has Bibles for sale under the genre of FICTION Hmmmm…”