Scrutinizing Judicial Scrutiny, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, February 2024

Scrutinizing Judicial Scrutiny

By Ken Burrows

In 2023 the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill (SB 190) that sought to ban what is called “abortion reversal” treatment, describing it as an unproven and unsafe medical procedure. The state’s board of medicine agreed it constitutes “unprofessional conduct.”

The Problem with Blind Faith, by Ken Burrows:Freethought Views October 2023

The Problem with Blind Faith

By Ken Burrows

When people operate on blind faith, sometimes that can end up being . . . too blind. Especially when it does not consider countervailing evidence. Case in point is an assertion made by a noted Christian author at a recent Colorado Springs suicide prevention event. While both professional and lay people suggest varied solutions to rising suicide rates in the state, this author held that people thinking of ending their life need to turn to the church “because it’s the only place the answers are going to come from.”

Blast from the Past: Detecting Reality by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views January 2018

Detecting Reality

by Groff Schroeder

What is real, and how can we know? Do unidentified flying objects (UFOs) prove aliens exist? Do "EMF spikes" or garbled audio clips prove ghosts exist? Does the survival of a loved one after helicopter airlift, emergency surgery, and extended intensive care prove the power of prayer? Virtually no one wants to spread false information, so it is important to determine whether we are deceiving others – or ourselves.

The Other Separation, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, August 2023

The Other Separation

By Ken Burrows

 

In his autobiography, Founder Thomas Jefferson looked back with pride on his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom but lamented the attempts delegates had made to amend the Statute prior to passing it. He singled out one amendment in particular—the suggestion to modify the phrase “the holy author of our religion” by adding the words “Jesus Christ.” He had been relieved when that amendment was soundly rejected because he intended his Statute to protect, as he put it, “the Gentile, the Christian and Mehometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” In other words, the law was never meant to enshrine the beliefs of any one religion, and it was written to protect the irreligious as well.

Freethinkers of Colorado Springs Formal Response to the United States Supreme Court’s Creative LLC v. Elenis Decision of June 30, 2023

Freethinkers of Colorado Springs Formal Response to the United States Supreme Court’s Creative LLC v. Elenis Decision of June 30, 2023

The United States Supreme Court Creative LLC v. Elenis decision of June 30, 2023 appears to violate countless ideals of American freedom by: apparently violating American citizen’s hard won civil right, human freedom, and everyday expectation not to be discriminated against in public accommodation; appears to invalidate many states’ laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodation; appears to violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws; and appears to violate at least the intent of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Liberty Enlightening the World, by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, July 2023

Liberty Enlightening the World

By Groff Schroeder

 

The 1886 statue of Liberty Enlightening the World on Liberty Island in New York City serves as an enduring symbol of the freedoms and liberty guaranteed by the United States Constitution, which founds the United States of America. America is a brilliant experiment in which freedom (personal autonomy) and liberty (freedom for all) sprouted, evolved, and flourished based upon the statement, “all men are created equal” published in the 1776 Declaration of Independence.

Unmasking Moms for Liberty: A Trojan Horse for Christian Nationalism, by Rob Rogers: Freethought Views, June 2023

Unmasking Moms for Liberty: A Trojan Horse for Christian Nationalism
by Rob Rogers

Underneath the facade of parental concern and advocacy lies a movement with an
insidious agenda: the establishment of Christian Nationalist ideology within our public
education system. Moms for Liberty, an organization gaining significant traction,
presents itself as a grassroots assembly of conscientious parents. In reality, however, it
is part of a broader Christian Nationalist movement that threatens to infuse our
policy-making with hard-line Christian beliefs.

A “creative” loophole, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, April 2023

A “creative” loophole

By Ken Burrows

 

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, and Lorie Smith, owner of 303 Creative, have thrust Colorado prominently into the news—and into the courts as well—due to their shared refusal to serve LGBTQ customers. The two business proprietors say the lifestyles of such customers violate their religious beliefs. More specifically, they claim a right to decline offering “creative” services (cake decorating; wedding website design) to such clients because, they contend, this is equivalent to “speech” for them and they cannot be forced to speak in a way that contradicts their faith.

Conclusion Jumping by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, March 2023

Conclusion Jumping

by Groff Schroeder

When you do not believe in or worship supernatural beings, others sometimes jump to conclusions. If a believer finds out you do not have faith in their Abrahamic god, they often jump to the conclusion that you worship some other god. They may offer reassurance of their reserved acceptance of differing religious beliefs, at times with direct or implied reference to well known but less popular Abrahamic belief systems. If you tell them you do not believe in god(s) of any kind, some folks jump to the conclusion that you must therefore surely worship “the devil.” But why would those who don’t believe in allegedly beneficial supernatural beings believe in or worship allegedly malevolent supernatural beings?

Was democracy saved?, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, February 2023

Was democracy saved? by Ken Burrows

Elections have consequences, goes the venerable saying. Many said the 2022 midterms were putting democracy itself on the line. There was a widespread feeling, especially after the January 6th insurrection, that democracy is not guaranteed as we might have long thought was the case. When the Democrats held onto the Senate and the Republican red wave sputtered, there was something of a collective sigh of relief.

Vote Freedom! by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, November 2022

Vote Freedom!

by Groff Schroeder
 

Americans fought the Revolutionary War to win independence from state-sponsored “Christianity” and a dictatorial monarch, leading to the June 21, 1788 ratification of the original United States Constitution. On December 15, 1791, ten amendments to the Constitution were ratified (the Bill of Rights), separating church and state, and guaranteeing the American people numerous civil rights and human freedoms. Over 231 years, other Constitutional amendments expanded the rights and freedoms of the American people including the 13th, 14th, and 19th Amendments, which prohibited states from denying citizens’ Constitutional rights, prohibited involuntary servitude, and allowed women to vote, respectively. In 1973, influential “Christian” R.J. Rushdoony proposed establishing an Old Testament theocracy in the United States.

Correcting the “anti-” myths by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, October 2022

Correcting the “anti-” myths

By Ken Burrows

 

A favorite canard of those who oppose separation of church and state is that such separation is anti-religion. Christian nationalists—those who seek to fully merge church and state—go one step further. They say church-state separation is also anti-American. Because, they erroneously insist, our Founders created a specifically “Christian nation.”

We Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, September 2022

We Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

by Groff Schroeder

US Presidents, members of Congress, Supreme Court members, and many others in American law enforcement and government swear a solemn oath to support and defend the United States Constitution. Yet in 1991, George H.W. Bush (41) and right wing politicians in Congress replaced the legendary civil rights lawyer Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court with Clarence Thomas - who was both poorly qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, and deeply hostile to the Constitutional civil rights and human freedoms Thurgood Marshall and countless others literally fought and died to obtain.

Perverting precedence, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, August 2022

Perverting precedence

By Ken Burrows

Much has been written about how the conservative majority on the Supreme Court has lately paid little heed to respecting precedent, despite its three newest appointees having pledged in their hearings to do so. Instead the Court in Dobbs v. Jackson overturned 1973’s Roe v. Wade, which had protected autonomy regarding abortion decisions for almost 50 years. Days later, in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the Court re-opened the door to public school prayer, undermining precedents dating back to the early 60s. This ruling also gutted the Lemon Test, which arose from 1971’s Lemon v. Kurtzman case. The Lemon Test was a judicial “screening” measure used to keep church and state from getting overly entangled. It had repeatedly been cited through the years as precedent to follow.

"Christian" "patriots?" by Groff Schroeder:Freethought Views July 2022

”Christian?” “Patriots?”

by Groff Schroeder

Between years 0 and 33, true non-violent revolutionary Jesus Christ rejected greed, selfishness, self-righteousness, and violence, teaching us to treat others as you would have them treat you (aka the golden rule), and to “render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s” (aka pay your taxes and avoid politics). Between 1776 and 1783, true American patriots fought the Revolutionary War, and freed themselves from the deeply entwined King and Church of England. In 1789, America’s patriots ratified the United States Constitution (aka established a secular government based upon Enlightenment principles, legal precedent, and the rule of law). And in 1791, America’s patriots ratified the Bill of Rights (aka Constitutional guarantees of human freedoms and civil rights).

Religion's Monopolies, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views, June 2022

Religion’s monopolies

By Ken Burrows

A spokesman from Colorado Christian University was recently quoted as saying the crux of the abortion debate is how to handle the “competing interests” of pregnant women and fetuses. Which sounds reasonable except that such competing interests are too often not that competitive. With abortion, when religious fervor leads to outlawing what should be a woman’s right to a critical health care choice, the interest of the woman no longer competes.

Governor Jared Polis Signs Law Defending Reproductive Rights in Colorado

Governor Jared Polis Signs Law Defending Reproductive Rights in Colorado

April 5, 2022

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, front, signs into law the Reproductive Health Equity Act during a ceremony outside the governor's mansion on Monday, April 4, 2022, in Denver.

David Zalubowski/AP

Washington CNN  — 

Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law on Monday [April 4, 2022] that codifies the right to an abortion in the state.

House Bill 1279, the Reproductive Health Equity Act, states that “every individual has a fundamental right to make decisions about the individual’s reproductive health care, including the fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; a pregnant individual has a fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise that right; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent or derivative rights under the laws of the state.”

Here Comes Sharia Law, By Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, April 2022

Here Comes Sharia Law

by Groff Schroeder

In 2013, notoriously partisan and often ridiculously contrarian Opus Dei Catholic Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia answered a question about his controversial and illogical “originalist” interpretation of the US Constitution by saying, “Words have meaning. And their meaning doesn’t change.” The original United States Constitution allowed only white male landowners to vote, many people were counted as 3/5th of a person, and men, women, and children in America were bought and sold like cattle - while imprisoned from birth until death in deadly, extrajudicial, violence-enforced, intergenerational slavery. The Civil War led directly to the United States Constitution’s 13th Amendment prohibiting involuntary servitude (1865), and the 15th Amendment granting former slaves the right to vote (1868) - and women finally won the right to vote with the 19th Amendment (1919).

Black Humanist Experience, Alternative to Religion

Event by Freethinkers and Humanists of Colorado Springs

Public  · Anyone on or off Facebook

NOTE: This event will be a hybrid format, that is, we will have an in-person location (TBD) and Mr. Allen will speak to us virtually, which will enable virtual attendance as well. More information on location and virtual platform will follow.

The worship of power, by Ken Burrows: Freethought Views March 2022

The worship of power

By Ken Burrows

 

For years religionists who oppose church-state separation have enjoyed pointing out that the Russian constitution calls for such separation whereas the U.S. Constitution does not, at least not literally. So they’ve claimed it’s un-American to emulate Russia in matters of religion and government.

 

December 21, by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, December 2021

December 21

by Groff Schroeder

We humans have long gazed into the night sky at beautiful objects we, at first, did not understand. Late at night and far from artificial light, you can still see them. The inky black sky, split by a diagonal, thickened band of seemingly infinite, shimmering points of light we called stars. Fleeting streaks of light. Rarely, a star grows suddenly very bright, then fades away. The moon, first full bright, then cyclically darkening, as if being eaten by an impossibly large mouth. Several lights were especially bright and moved faster than the others - sometimes in inexplicable ways. We called them planets - and thought them gods. And every day, the bright, warming sun seems to rise in the east, arcs across the sky, then sets in the west. The seasons came and went. The flowering of spring, the growth of summer, the chilling fall, the cold of winter. Time after time. Year after year. When the food moved or the climate changed, so did we. And from the beginning, many of our lives depended upon predicting the changing of the seasons.

Thwarted Freedoms, by Groff Schroeder: Freethought Views, September October 2021

Thwarted Freedoms

By Groff Schroeder

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that adolescent girls visit a gynecologist by age thirteen. In Texas today, this medically important and once deeply private coming of age event for adolescent girls and their families presents significant financial and personal risk. In apparent violation of their oaths of office under the United States Constitution, on September 1, 2021, conservative fundamentalist Texas politicians advanced Law SB 8 into force. On the same day, also in apparent violation of their oaths of office, five justices of the United States Supreme Court allowed SB 8 to become law, ignoring the fact that SB 8 uses circuitous means to thwart many civil rights and human freedoms enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Specifically, SB 8 makes most abortions illegal, enlists “any person” to enforce Texas law (aka vigilantes) through civil suit, pays court fees and at least $10,000 if they prevail, eliminates double jeopardy protection and most legal defenses for the accused, and establishes state law enforced, de facto reproductive enslavement of women and girls to rapists. SB 8 grants sweeping new powers over the lives, bodies, and reproductive processes of women and girls to state government, vigilantes, rapists, and basically anyone and everyone - except women and girls.

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