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This Week in World Religion 2018–09–10


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/09/10

“On day two of the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, Senator John Cornyn of Texas brought up the 2000 case Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, in which the court ruled that sectarian prayers at high school football games violated the clause of the First Amendment that prohibits the establishment of religion.

Mr. Cornyn repeated Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s complaint that the decision “bristle[d] with hostility to all things religious in public life.” In fact, the plaintiffs in the case identified as Catholic and Mormon, and it is safe to say that they were not hostile to religion, but to the presumption that one religion speaks for all.

Judge Kavanaugh, eager to signal his agreement with Mr. Cornyn, tossed back the catch phrase that Mr. Cornyn appeared to be fishing for: “religious liberty.””


“In a recent letter to the editor, dated Aug. 18, a local writer deplores the role and effect of religion in society and our nation. He blames religion for its negative impact on Indigenous people. But while applauding the idea of a special national holiday to honour them, suggests that religious organizations should be charged “…for damages and costs, all their assets being forfeited to government.”

The writer goes on to berate religion as “just a bunch of people that prey on the minds of the weak and the vulnerable,” that “religions have been the cause of most wars….” He states that “the reality of life is that you are born, live and survive, then you die and turn to dust and dirt.””


“Figures out last week suggest more trouble ahead for the Church of England, with fewer people turning to God in old age. This should come as no surprise. The proportion of the population describing itself as being “of no religion” in the broadest sense has increased dramatically — now over 50 per cent, up from less than 30 per cent in 1980.

Yet the decline of certain organised religions has been accompanied by the emergence of a powerful new morality, with none of the redeeming qualities of the old one. Characterised by a rigid adherence to politically correct standards, a dismissal of the value of free speech, and the elevation of the principles of identity politics above all else”.


“IT was set up to be a bastion of Presbyterian tradition and for more than 400 years it has been a male-only preserve.

But now, for the first time, a woman has taken up the post of Head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, ending centuries of only male posteriors occupying the chair at the top of the table.

Professor Helen Bond said she hopes to bring a fresh outlook to the role and to inspire others to take a look at a subject some may regard as dusty and dry.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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