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Links With Your Coffee - Friday


  • Federal judge: National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional
    Judge Crabb said the case challenging the prayer statute arose at the intersection of competing lines of US Supreme Court jurisprudence. On one side, the court has said that the government violates the First Amendment’s establishment clause when it endorses a particular religious belief or practice, such as prayer.

    On the other side, the court has also ruled that some public displays of religion are merely “ceremonial deism,” reflecting a general religious heritage, but not crossing the line to unconstitutional endorsement.

    Crabb said in her view the key test between these two conflicting lines of decision is whether the government’s conduct “serves a significant secular purpose and is not a call for religious action on the part of citizens.”

    She said the law establishing a National Day of Prayer cannot meet that test. “It goes beyond mere acknowledgment of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context,” the judge wrote.

    “In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience,” she wrote.

  • Ireland's Blasphemy Law: Worse Than Blasphemy? (tip to Joel)

  • SFGate's Mark Fiore wins Pulitzer for cartoons (tip to Frenetic)

  • A Good Day for Science

  • Weekly Ezine for Democrats

  • Homeopathy – Failing Randomized Controlled Trials Since 1835
    I’m sad to say that this is the last day of World Homeopathy Awareness Week. We’ve tried to give homeopathy its due honor, providing it the attention its practitioners clearly desire, while continuing to cover pertinent news in the world of homeopathy and providing a somewhat more sober, rational discussion of it on our homeopathy reference page.

  • Obama makes hospitals allow gay visitation rights



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