The weekly secular report on government and policy
by Edwina Rogers

IHEU Freedom of Thought Report Added to SPI’s Giant Collection of Demographic Studies

The International Humanist and Ethical Union’s Freedom of Thought Report is wonderfully comprehensive, covering the freedom of atheists to live and speak around the world. While severe discrimination has been eliminated from countries in North and South America, with four┬áexceptions (can you guess?), even some Western European countries, and democratic friends like India and formerly atheist-socialist Russia get the worst rating.


It’s the most recent listing in┬áthe Secular for Policy Institute’s own comprehensive resource, an exhaustive list of links to┬áthe world’s demographic studies and trends relating to secularism. Do you want data? Find a small mountain there, both SPI original studies and those of every 3rd party with hard data we could find.

Then click to see our other resources, including large lists of academic papers, books, and non-academic website articles relating to secularism, and our giant worldwide secular calendar and directory of secular groups. It’s all under the the Resource menu at the top of our website.

SPI Commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of the Decision in 11dean-190

As the tenth anniversary of the decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover just passed let us pause to celebrate the ruling, which established the unconstitutionality┬áof teaching “intelligent design” creationism in the public schools.

But satisfying as the victory was, the Kitzmiller┬ácase did not end the dispute over evolution in public┬áschools. ┬áAll over the US there are episodes similar to Glendive, Montana, where there┬áwere plans to take a group of third graders on a field trip to a local┬ácreationist “museum.” We must vow to make┬ásure that our children in public schools are taught modern science┬áuntainted by dogma. There must be no more Dovers.

Contraception Religious Exemption

The “religious exemption” in the contraception mandate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is actually pretty popular, writes Patricia Miller in Religion Dispatches on a new Kaiser Family Foundation analysis:┬á10 percent of nonprofits with more than 1,000 employees have requested exemption from the mandate, along with five percent of nonprofits with 200-999 employees.

Final Stretch For Paris Talks

Climate talks entered their final week in Paris, with roadblocks still in the way of an over-arching deal, as France 24ÔÇÖs┬áJoseph Bamat reports.

To get caught up on the talks so far, the New York Times has a round-up of what was achieved today and what remains.

Highly Recommended

Incredible immersive journalism,ÔÇ£The Marshall Islands are Disappearing,ÔÇØ┬áreported by the┬áNew York TimesÔÇÖ Coral Davenport, photos and video by Josh Haner.

Perhaps the most striking infographic IÔÇÖve seen,┬áÔÇ£Gauging a warming world,ÔÇØ┬áfrom the┬áWashington Post.

Critical Quotes

ÔÇ£This is a ÔÇÿ65-country coalitionÔÇÖ of which only about nine are doing something.ÔÇØ
On allies in the counter-Islamic State coalition.  Source: Washington Times.

ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs like people woke up one day and realized ISIS had 20,000 Twitter accounts.ÔÇØ
Source: LA Times.