The Latest Separationist: Download the April 2014 issue of the newsletter of the SHL. Our newsletter is produced each month from September until May and is always available here in PDF format.
Donate to the Charity of the Quarter: We pool the donations from our members and give the total to a local charitable organization. For March-April 2014, the SHL is collecting donations for We Are Family. Please help us make a generous donation to this deserving charity.
SC Legislature Set to Select State Fossil using Creationist Language:
At the request of a young girl who noted that South Carolina does not yet have an "official fossil", the state legislature was considering a bill to designate it as the Columbian Mammoth. As other states have official fossils and as this one is named for a historic discovery (by slaves) of fossilized mammoth teeth near our state capital, Columbia, this seems vaguely reasonable. However, after State Senator Kevin Bryant tried unsuccessfully to get an explicit mention of the mammoth's creation by God into the law, he was able to have the bill modified so as to read:
Section 1-1-712A. The Columbian Mammoth, which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field, is designated as the official State Fossil of South Carolina and must be officially referred to as the 'Columbian Mammoth', which was created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field.
It is not clear yet whether this bill will be passed in the end, but at this point it seems likely to.
According to The Greenville News, Bryant claims that this reference to the creation myth in the Jewish Bible is legal "because it doesn't point to a single religion". In our opinion, of course, making the beliefs of some religions into law is not consistent with the Constitution, even if it is the shared belief of more than one religion. The wording of the bill seems to require people to refer to the sixth day of creation when all "beasts of the field" were created, even if those people do not hold this religious belief. That seems like an obvious violation of Church/State separation even if fundamentalist Christians and Jews both agree on it.
Video of Herb's Latest Debate Added to SHL Video Library: On March 20, SHL's Herb Silverman debated Reasonable Faith's Wallace Marshall at the College of Charleston. If you missed it, or if you were there but want to relive the experience, you can now watch a recording of the entire event right here.
Because we are affiated with the Amazon Associates program, our organization earns up to a 15% commission on any items purchased at Amazon.com through the links on our Website. So, if you were going to be buying anything at all from them, this is a super-easy way to contribute to SHL! Here are two ways you can do it:
Book Group Reading Selection: For their April 27, 2014 meeting, the SHL Book Group will be reading the book in the box at the right. Click here for more information about the Book Group or click here to see a list of previous book group selections. (BTW If you purchase a book through this Amazon.com link, SHL will receive up to a 15% "kickback"!)
Use this "search box" to find any item in the Amazon.com catalog and SHL earns money if you buy it:
You might also consider buying a copy of Herb Silverman's book, Candidate Without a Prayer. This autobiography of a math professor who runs for the governorship of South Carolina in order to overturn an unconstitutional rule preventing atheists from holding public office is also the story of the founding of our organization. Of course, you can buy it from any source you want, but if you use the link above our organization earns a small commission from Amazon.com.