Attorney. I defend the First Amendment. I write, often for @RDispatches.
Author of The Founding Myth.
Life is too good to waste on bad ideas.
4 added to My Authors
Jan 15 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
THREAD: Christian groups like the Good News Club use public schools to proselytize other people's children. This terrible idea was unconstitutional until SCOTUS ok'ed it in 2001 in a case brought by the Christian Nationalist legal outfit ADF (Hobby Lobby, gay wedding cake case).
The After School Satan club is only possible because evangelical Christians insisted on using the machinery of the state to proselytize.
So if you're angry about this, take it up with the "religious freedom" champions at ADF.
This is what a equality looks like.
Nov 1, 2021 • 24 tweets • 5 min read
If we stop expecting intellectual and doctrinal consistency from this Supreme Court, we'll stop being so disapppointed.
If we stop expecting decisions based on legal principle instead of politics, we might stop getting blindsided by vicious decisions.
On that note, the Court is hearing arguments against the Texas abortion ban, SB8, and began by honoring Thomas's 30 years on the court. That's far too many. And he spent them trying to undermine reproductive rights, among other things. supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments…
Aug 19, 2021 • 8 tweets • 3 min read
I've refrained from commenting on the Library of Congress bomber. Now we know:
Fan of Huckabee.
Said, "I'm an American patriot" and talked of how is Uncle Doug "served his God."
And well, here's a social media post of his: #ChristianNationalism
I've spoken of Christian Nationalism as a permission structure that justifies otherwise immoral acts by appealing to a higher power. This bomber told his livestream audience, "I've clear my conscience with God."
He said he'd "be home Sunday, whichever home it is," i.e., Heaven.
Aug 8, 2021 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
I see you saying there's no point getting vaxxed because you can still get and spread Delta.😡 1) If—instead of politicizing the lethal virus and suing to worship in church—you had stayed home, masked, and gotten vaxxed in the first place, we wouldn't have so many awful variants.
So yes, your selfish decision to subjugate our shared humanity to your comfort and convenience risked and still risks the health and safety of others.
Basically, by helping undermine public health measures, you helped create a virus more transmissible than Ebola. So well done.
Aug 8, 2021 • 4 tweets • 1 min read
Constitutional attorney here.
Your freedom is not unlimited. All of your rights are limited in some way: free speech, religious freedom, 2nd Amendment, privacy (even in your home).
Most obviously, your freedom isn't a license to harm or risk the lives and health of others.
Your "freedom" doesn't include the right to drive drunk.
Your 2nd Amendment "freedom" doesn't let you carry a gun on a plane.
Your freedom of speech doesn't include defamation.
Your home can be searched with a warrant.
Your religious freedom ends where others' rights begin.
Jul 16, 2021 • 7 tweets • 3 min read
Some parasitic insects lay their eggs in other living things. The larvae hatch and eat the live host from the inside out, leaving an empty shell behind.
The Supreme Court is doing the same with the Voting Rights Act, state/church separation, and, coming soon, abortion rights.
SCOTUS is leaving behind the empty shells of the Voting Rights Act, the First Amendment, and reproductive rights, while not actually striking down any statutes or overturning any precedent. This one weird trick suggests incremental change, not massive legal rewrites.
Mar 25, 2021 • 26 tweets • 6 min read
The Supreme Court is going to hand down the decision on whether the Catholic Chruch’s foster care services in Philadelphia can discriminate against LGBTQ people any day now (Fulton v. Philadelphia). With this court, I’m not optimistic. Here’s what I’ll be looking for…
First, Sotomayor’s dissent. Because she’ll get it right. Read that first. I have little hope that she'll be writing the majority opinion. The Supreme Court is broken, politically packed, hopelessly Christian nationalist.
If you don’t know the Fulton case, it’s pretty simple....
Feb 11, 2021 • 18 tweets • 7 min read
I'm getting a lot of questions about the prayer before the #ImpeachmentTrial at the Senate. This #THREAD has your answers.
The prayer is given by Senate Chaplain Barry Black. Yes, the Senate has a chaplain. Yes, your tax dollars pay his salary. And the numbers are shocking:
I wrote about this back in 2016. patheos.com/blogs/freethou…
From 2000-2015, Congress spent more than $10 million on prayers, the vast majority of which are to the Christian god (more than 96% of prayers in the House were Christian).
Dec 16, 2020 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
The former PD captain claimed he was working for the "Liberty Center for God and Country." It's goal is to "restor[e] our nation’s Godly heritage."
In this country, #ChristianNationalism is at the root of so much division, immorality, and, now we're even leaning, violence.
Glad to see so many people waking up to threat #ChristianNationalism poses to our republic and our pluralistic democracy.
If you've just recognized this existential threat, welcome to the fight. It's not over because Trump is on his way out the door. There's a lot left to do.
If you want to learn more about #ChristianNationalism read up....
@kathsstewart's The Power Worshippers is a great look at the power players and monied interests that drive CN. She opened the back of the watch and showed us the interlocking gears. amazon.com/Power-Worshipp…
Nov 12, 2020 • 14 tweets • 5 min read
Christian Hercules is way off here.
The Supreme Court did not determine or declare that we're a Christian nation. It said so in dicta: an unimportant aside not relevant to the case's holding.
The case involved a nativist law similar to Trump's Muslim ban. Here's what happened:
Congress passed the Alien Contract Labor Law (or Foran Act) in 1885. It said businesses couldn't sponsor foreign laborers (have them immigrate and then work for the companies). It was an extension of the racist Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
Nov 4, 2020 • 30 tweets • 6 min read
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is about to hear argument in a case that might weaponinze religious freedom. Not only could it make "because god" a license to discriminate, it might also give discriminating religious orgs a right to contract with the government to provide services.
This case is not about faith, but whether adhering one particular brand of conservative Christianity is right that Trump's all others, including the rights of other Americans. This is about codifying Christian privilege in the Constitution.
Nov 2, 2020 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
White Jesus in a #MAGA hat is perhaps my new front-runner for perfect encapsulation of Christian Nationalism in #Election2020
That absurd portrait is deeply problematic without the MAGA addition. Asked about the relationship between Christianity and white supremacy, Prof. @AntheaButler said, “It’s a huge relationship. Every time you see a white Jesus you see white supremacy.” religiondispatches.org/fundraising-fo…
Oct 4, 2020 • 6 tweets • 3 min read
I'm getting tons of questions about what happens if Trump dies before the election? Or after? Is it Pence or can GOP just pick anyone they want? 25th Amendment? And every possible variation of these Qs and more. I'm a constitutional attorney and I'll answer them all now.
These procedural questions are fascinating and the short answer is that there is not a lot of precedent for most of what people want to ask. There are so many variables, so many unknowns, and so much could change between now and the inauguration. So there's a lot we don't know.
Sep 26, 2020 • 40 tweets • 10 min read
Let’s talk about Amy Coney Barrett, not her religion, but her pattern of saying that when personal religion and professional responsibilities collide, her religious beliefs take precedence.
That pattern is extensive, beginning in at least 1998 with an article on Catholic judges in which she raises the very issue the GOP is complaining about. But first...
Sep 17, 2020 • 11 tweets • 4 min read
I am listening to the White House Conference on American History and it is batshit crazy. This is absolutely nuts.
A taste from Peter Wood on the protests: “Riots appear to be planned, staffed, scheduled for nights on end. These are not spontaneous, … but well staged … they run according to a well-rehearsed script. Who rights that script? The answer is obvious.” Then he blamed professors.
Sep 10, 2020 • 5 tweets • 1 min read
Trump's latest SCOTUS shortlist additions have a dangerous lack of judicial experience. Some of them are well known in legal circles (Clement, Landau, Francisco), but there are only two on the list with any real judicial experience, Bade and Lagoa (mostly low level state judge).
Here's their years of experience ON THE BENCH
As the #DemConvention reaches out to religious voters think on this:t in 2018 nonreligious voters were 17% of the electorate, up 55% since 2006. Voters who don't go church is surging, from 18 percent in 2014 to 27 percent in 2018, another big jump of 50%. rewire.news/article/2018/1…
The electorate’s trend away from religion is going to continue and probably accelerate. This is a growing and untapped reservoir of political power.
Yesterday, Roberts stood by precedent that was four years old, swinging the court the correct way. Today, he upended a principle that dates back to before the founding, swinging the court the wrong way.
This opinion does serious damage to genuine religious freedom, the independence of houses of worship (with government money comes government regulation and oversight), and the separation of state and church.
Christian nationalists are crowing, but as usual are short-sighted.