Author Archives: charlesrichter

Internal Pressures

Religion News Service reports that a new WIN-Gallup poll indicates that atheism is on the rise in the US while those who identify as religious are decreasing.  The poll presents a staggering drop in the latter category, from 73% in 2005, to only 60% today.   RNS, quoting Ryan Cragun, attributes the increase among atheists to […]

Irreligion and Decreased Sectarianism

Over at the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, Ben Alpers observes the relative lack of attention paid to the fact that the Romney-Ryan ticket is the first from a major party without a Protestant candidate.  He correctly points out that a Mormon-Catholic alliance, supported by a largely Evangelical base, represents a dramatic shift from an […]

Atheist Oaths

On his deathbed, dying from a gunshot wound, Charles Marshall lived long enough to sign a document implicating his wife Emma in his murder.  He claimed that she had shot him in the back as he slept at their home in Morgan county, Alabama.  Although Emma contended that her husband had shot himself, his last […]

Is Belief in God “Religious?”

Is it “religious” to acknowledge the existence of a supreme being?  The language of state constitution religious tests reveals a great deal about how religion is conceptualized in America. Article VI of the United States Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under […]

Scouts v. Outliers

Apropos of the current situation with the Boy Scouts of America, in which many Eagle Scouts are resigning and returning their badges, an earlier BSA case provided fortuitous material with which to inaugurate this blog. By declining to hear the appeal of Welsh v. Boy Scouts of America in 1993, the Supreme Court upheld the […]