The Lord is Not on Trial Here Today

The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning documentary that tells the compelling personal story of the late Vashti McCollum, and how her efforts to protect her ten year-old son led to one of the most important and landmark First Amendment cases in U.S. Supreme Court history – the case that established the separation of church and state in public schools.

The case is little-known by the contemporary American public, yet the McCollum decision continues to have important ramifications for current conflicts over the role of religion in public institutions – from displays of the Ten Commandments in government buildings to student-led prayers at public school graduation ceremonies.

The Constitution is not self-executing; until there are disputes about its meaning, it is largely ignored. It usually takes an incredibly brave, courageous person to step forward and dispute some part of the Constitution, often resulting in terrible consequences for the individual and/or their family. Yet most of us know nothing of those struggles. They just become names in a law book. The McCollum case is a perfect example.

We just assume, for instance, that there is separation of church and state in public schools because the First Amendment says so. But that’s not the reason. The reason is because someone fought for it.

This documentary is 56 minutes long and well worth watching.


Red, White, Christian, and Rural America

Here is a great article debunking the claim that Trump got elected because the Dems didn’t understand rural America. Makes perfect sense to me.
I would aslo encourage you to get and read the great book “Deer Hunting With Jesus”. It is book about Winchester, Va. and how the same values have caused Winchester’s economy to suffer, their public schools to deteriorate, both physically and in what they teach, and about White Flight.

Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behing Who Changed the Bible and Why – NPR Interview with Terry Gross

Bart Ehrman’s ‘Misquoting Jesus’

Click the link above to listen to Terry Gross interview scholar Bart Ehrman on NPR’s Fresh Air about his book,  Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. After  years of reading the texts in their original languages, Bart Ehrman explores how scribes — through both omission and intention — changed the Bible.

“Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why”

Lecture on “Misquoting Jesus” a textual criticism of Biblical manuscript tampering. From the book “Misquoting Jesus: Scribes Who Altered Scripture and Readers Who May Never Know.”

Book listed on Bart Ehrman’s Foundation Blog:

Book listed on Bart Ehrman’s Main website:…

Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude.

Intelligent Design on Trial

In this award winning documentary, NOVA captures the turmoil that tore apart the community of Dover, Pennsylvania in one of the latest battles over teaching evolution in public schools. Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, teachers, and town officials, “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” follows the 2004 celebrated federal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District.


In Reason We Trust – Nov 2016

“Nones” could again decide the outcome of the election

According to the Pew Research Center, the “Nones”, a largely Democrat voting bloc comprised of atheists, agnostics and the religiously unaffiliated, could decide the results of the 2016 election, just as they did in 2012. The Nones have been growing and now constitute one-fifth of all registered voters, a quarter of registered Democrats, vote for Democrats by a ratio of almost 3 to 1, and represent 25% of all adults and 33% of all millennials. Pew’s 2007 survey found 16% of adults were religiously unaffiliated, but found 25% were in 2014, a 56% increase in 7 years. According to the Maine Secretary of State, in 2016 registered Democrats increased 16,000, Republicans increased 4,000 and there are 10,000 more Democrats and 2,000 less Republicans in Maine than there were in 2012. Voter turnout is expected to be high.

Pew Research also indicated the best predictor of how someone will vote is determined by how religious they are rather than which religion they belong to. Those who are more religious vote Republican and those who are less religious vote Democrat. Nones are quickly becoming much more secular. In 2007, 70% of Nones believed in a god, but by 2014 only 61% did.

The Public Religion Research Institute found that 30% of Hillary supporters are Nones but only 13% of Trump supporters are. They also noted that 74% of Nones regarded Trump as a poor choice but only 27% regarded Hillary the same way. In the 2012 election, Nones made up 12% of the voters and were the swing vote that put Obama back into office. The same turnout is expected for the 2016 election but it will be 12% of a much larger group that will help Hillary become our next president. If these predictions are correct, Nones will be the deciding factor in this election too, surpassing any other voter bloc.

The Republicans are trying to win by pandering to the Religious Right, as they have done since Paul Weyrich, the founder of The Heritage Foundation, formed them into a voting block that swept Reagan into office. Weyrich, who famously said, ”I Don’t Want Everybody to Vote”, thereby starting the Republican’s “Voter Suppression Campaign”, had been looking for a cause that would bind conservatives together. He got it. In 1973 Roe vs. Wade gave women the right to choose, and shortly after Weyrich used this issue to rally Republicans. Weyrich reasoned that conservatives would work harder for a cause their church supported than they would for a political cause. He was right. Instead of making abortion a political issue, Weyrich framed it as religious liberty. Since focusing on abortion and same-sex marriage the Religious Right has united various religions around a messianic / political common cause.

Younger Americans are becoming more non-religious. Most of the Nones say that organized religion’s opposition to homosexuality, equality for women or a woman’s right to choose, coupled with preaching conservative politics from the pulpit, were the major reasons why they are unaffiliated with a religion. They are also the primary reasons why they became more politically liberal. The Nones are now the single largest group to identify as Democrats.

According to Michelle Obama, in a speech she made recently, the next president will have the power to determine the direction today’s youth take for the rest of their lives because of two factors: social and legal. Socially, a president is a role model. What the president says and the attitudes they express about women, people of color, immigrants and those attracted to the same sex will shape the attitudes of America’s youth. Legally, nominating at least four justices to the Supreme Court who support equality, voters rights, immigrants, same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose will affect America’s laws for the next 30 years.

I encourage everyone to get out and vote. We have seen what 12% of Nones accomplished in the 2012 election. A 20% Nones voter turnout in 2016 could have a much larger impact. Even though it is a losing strategy, Republicans are likely to continue their appeal to the Religious Right, especially with Pence being Trump’s VP pick. They will win that increasingly narrow voter bloc, but will most likely lose the votes of the growing number of Nones who value individual freedom, freedom of religion and the freedom to not believe in any religion. As Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a changing”.

The Creed of Science

Superstition is not religion. Belief without evidence is not religion. Faith without facts is not religion. What is religion? To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits – to love the truth, to be sincere, to utter honest words, to love liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms, to love wife and child and friend, to make a happy home, to love the beautiful; in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words, to discard error, to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night, to do the best that can be done and then to be resigned – this is the religion of reason, the creed of science. This satisfies the brain and heart.

R.G. Ingersoll

Maine, Atheist, Agnostic, Humanist, Religion, LGBT, Government, Children, Good News Club, Non-Theism, Civil Rights, Parents,

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