New laws to prevent courts from considering Islamic laws in their decisions have been proposed in half of the states. Last November in Oklahoma, a ballot measure to that effect passed with a 70% margin. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) immediately challenged the new law, arguing that it violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which forbids the government to favor one religion over another. U.S District Court Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled in their favor, blocking implementation. Although the measure did not mention Sharia, the ballot campaign left no doubt that Islamic law was its target. Supporters warned voters that Muslims were perpetrating a stealth program to undermine America by supplanting our law with Sharia. The case has moved to a panel of judges from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lawyers for the Oklahoma Attorney General filed documents with the court defending the referendum’s constitutionality, arguing that “(t)he measure bans, equally, all laws from other nations or cultures, including, but not limited to international law and Sharia law.”Add a comment Add a comment
Christians have a habit of opposing positive social change, until it occurs, at which point they take credit for it. (Years from now, you can expect them to take credit for legalizing same-sex marriage.)
Many Christian scholars have argued that reliance on Biblical principles eventually led to the abolition of slavery by Western civilization. Our October speaker, Dr. Hector Avalos, will show that it was the abandonment of Biblical authority that had a much greater influence on ending a horrific institution that had lasted thousands of years.
The presentation will focus specifically on how Frederick Douglass, the well known African American abolitionist, represented the shift away from using the Bible, and increasingly toward secular humanism to support abolitionist rationales.Add a comment Add a comment
By August Berkshire
Last month we were graced with the presence of one of the nation’s top atheist bloggers and speakers: Greta Christina. I use the word “graced” in the good (non-religious) sense of the word, as Greta is one of the most gracious people I have ever met.
Greta’s presentation was called “Atheist Anger?” I had asked her to combine two of her talks into one for us, and she was nice enough to do so. The first talk was “Why Are You Atheists So Angry?” and it is based on one of the most well-known posts in the atheist blogosphere: Atheists and Anger.
The second talk that she fused was “Diplomats vs. Firebrands” about the different strategies atheists take. It made sense to me that after she talked about why our anger towards religion was justified, that she also talk about what we could do with that anger.Add a comment Add a comment
Minnesota Atheist member Lois Schadewald is featured in the latest episode of Skepticality, the podcast of Micheal Shermer's Skeptic Magazine. Lois is talking about "Worlds of Their Own: A Brief History of Misguided Ideas; Creationism, Flat-Earthism, Energy Scams, and the Velikovsky Affair", a book written by her brother, Robert J. Schadewald. Robert, the former president of the National Center for Science Education died of cancer in 2000.
Listen to the podcast at http://www.skepticality.com/
Link to the book description at Amazon.comAdd a comment Add a comment