Author Archives: Walter Olson

About Walter Olson

Fellow at a think tank in the Northeast specializing in law. Websites include Former columnist for Reason and Times Online (U.K.), contributor to National Review, etc.

Miscellany, March 20

Pareidolia is “that phenomenon wherein people see things that aren’t there because human brains are wired for pattern recognition”. Children see animals in the clouds or letters in a pile of sticks; adults are likely to see images fraught with … Continue reading

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Origins of that Connecticut Catholic bill

Many other bloggers besides ourselves noticed the absurd and unconstitutional proposal floated in Connecticut’s Judiciary Committee to order the Roman Catholic Church to turn its governance over to boards of laypeople. Prawfsblawg carries the text of a stern letter written … Continue reading

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In Connecticut, a “preposterously unconstitutional attack on Catholicism”

Catholic sites are up in arms, and rightly so, about a measure called S.B. 1098, introduced March 5 in the Connecticut legislature, which would by law remove control of Roman Catholic parishes from bishops and place them instead in the … Continue reading

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On a hard-to-reach library shelf

Per the Telegraph, some Muslims in Leicester, U.K., moved copies of the Koran to the top shelves of libraries, because they believe it is an insult to display it in a low position. The city’s librarians consulted the Federation of … Continue reading

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Miscellany, February 18

“UC Berkeley Website on Evolution Sued for Violating Establishment Clause”. Sued almost certainly without success: the Ninth Circuit has rejected the claim, although the litigant is seeking Supreme Court review. [Citizen Media Law] Nancy Friedman: You know about those atheist … Continue reading

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Claim: blog comments sections unlikely to resolve issue of existence of God

Oh well, in that case, back to the drawing board.

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Catholic Church revives indulgences

Another step for de-modernization, and the revival of pre-Vatican II practices. Since 1567 the Church has outlawed the sale of indulgences, “but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary … Continue reading

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Preacher’s lawsuit: “Religulous” made me look silly

Rev. Jeremiah Cummings of Orlando wants $50 million from Lionsgate for his unflattering portrayal on screen, saying Bill Maher and his filmmaking team did not level with him about the kind of movie they were making. However, as Matthew Heller … Continue reading

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Obama’s kind words for humanists

And at the National Prayer Breakfast, no less.

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New Ann Coulter book

Two years ago Ann departed from what I had taken for a generally secular and modern public persona by coming out with a book entitled “Godless: The Church of Liberalism” which advanced, of all things, a down-with-Darwin line. Apparently I … Continue reading

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