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Banned In Boston (And Elsewhere): The American Tragedy Of Censorship

When I was kid, the phrase “Banned in Boston” confused me. I thought of Boston as a liberal, cosmopolitan city. Surely they didn’t censor things there.

They don’t anymore, but they sure used to. About 100 years ago, Boston was in the grip of dour “vice” crusaders who used their religious beliefs to decide what books and magazines people could read and what performances they could see on stage. And it wasn’t alone. Read more

Warped Weekend: Extreme Comments From The Values Voter Summit

The “Values Voter Summit” (VVS), an annual Religious Right gathering in Washington, D.C., took place over the weekend. The rhetoric at the confab, which is now in its 10th year, is pretty consistent: speakers preach Christian “persecution,” Islamophobia, homophobia, dissatisfaction with the federal government and religious revivalism to whip about 3,000 attendees into a frenzy. Read more

A Decade Of Disgrace: Marking Ten Years Of The ‘Values Voter Summit’

The annual Values Voter Summit (VVS), the nation’s largest gathering of the Religious Right, begins today. The event, sponsored by the Family Research Council (FRC), the American Family Association (AFA) and other far-right groups, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In light of that, I thought it might be interesting to look back at some of the highlights (or lowlights, if you will) of this event.

Here we go: Read more

Pope Problems: Papal Visit Incurs Significant Taxpayer Expense

Pope Francis has landed and American taxpayers are footing the bill.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the World Meeting of Families agreed on Friday to shoulder Philadelphia’s costs for hosting the pope. The Meeting is sponsored by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Family and is held every three years in a different world city. This year, it’s located in Philadelphia. Read more

Making 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue An Islam-Free Zone: Ben Carson Says No Muslim Should Be President

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for president, apparently believes Americans should not elect a Muslim to the presidency because, he says, Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said during a “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday. “I absolutely would not agree with that.” Read more

To EACH Their Own (Religious Exemption)

We have lately become all too familiar with demands for religious exemptions from the contraception coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, H.R. 2061, would carve out from the ACA a religious exemption of a different nature. The EACH Act would provide an exemption from the ACA’s individual insurance mandate for individuals with a religious objection to using certain medical care services. Read more