Civic religion and political priesthood

Gwen Hope argues that “the U.S. has its own civic religion. Born in pews, raised by wars, and cemented by money. An abominable worship of state and capitalism fused.” -promoted by Laura Belin

The United States has a religion problem. Primarily colonized by various factions of Puritan Separatists in the 17th century, this isn’t surprising. However, these original colonists’ faith in the Abrahamic deity has mutated over time – monarchic “divine right of kings” became democratic “divine right of nations.”

In place of worshiping the Judeo-Christian god, they instead worship the nation (or, rather, their conception of the nation.) This is the issue we have seen developing for some time now – civic religion – society in which the state and its history is regarded as sacred in the same way as sacraments and saints.

Continue Reading...

Iowa Senate needs to understand: religious freedom also applies to atheists

Justin Scott is the state director for the Iowa chapter of American Atheists. -promoted by Laura Belin

The notion of religious freedom — what it is, what it isn’t and what it should be — is being tested here in Iowa.

In April 2017, the Iowa House of Representatives respected my religious rights when I delivered the first atheistic invocation in that body’s history. The Iowa Senate, however, has denied my repeated requests to perform a similar invocation. In so doing, the Senate is not only directly discriminating against me, but also violating the Constitution, which protects all faiths equally.

Continue Reading...

America, 2018

A personal reflection from Ira Lacher, inspired by the tragic events of the past week. -promoted by desmoinesdem

When I was 22, I left New York and moved to America.

It’s a line I have used over the years to introduce myself. I use it in jest, and it gets a laugh. Most folks who hear it realize that New York City and the Northeast are worlds apart from the land between the coasts.

But I never realized how far apart until now.

Continue Reading...

State board rejects religious claim for cannabidiol

Carl Olsen is a longtime advocate for expanding access to medical cannabis in Iowa and maintains the Iowans for Medical Marijuana website. -promoted by desmoinesdem

On Thursday, September 20, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy moved to dismiss my petition for the religious use of medical cannabidiol, in Olsen v. Board of Pharmacy, No. CVCV056841 (Iowa District Court, Polk County).  The Board says the petition should have been filed with the Iowa legislature instead of the board.

The problem with the board’s position is that the legislature has given the board the duty of recommending changes in the schedules of controlled substances and medical cannabidiol is a controlled substance in Iowa.  There is also an existing exemption for the religious use of peyote, a Schedule 1 controlled substance.  Iowa Code § 124.204(8) (2018).

Continue Reading...
View More...