Hey since I'm new I wanted to get list going of book suggestions. Atheist, humanist, science, big bang,evolution, all of it. I have a lot to study. thanks

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Rob, I just read SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting opinion (Thanks to Grinning Cat!) 


SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting 

Today’s decision discounts centuries of history and jeopardizes the government’s ability to remain secular. Just three years ago, this Court claimed to understand that, in this area of law, to “sweep away what has so long been settled would create new controversy and begin anew the very divisions along religious lines that the Estab- lishment Clause seeks to prevent.” Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 8). It makes clear today that this principle applies only when preference suits. 


The Religion Clauses of the First Amendment contain a promise from our government and a backstop that disables our government from breaking it. The Free Exercise Clause extends the promise. We each retain our inalien- able right to “the free exercise” of religion, to choose for ourselves whether to believe and how to worship. And the Establishment Clause erects the backstop. Government cannot, through the enactment of a “law respecting an establishment of religion,” start us down the path to the past, when this right was routinely abridged. 

The Court today dismantles a core protection for reli- gious freedom provided in these Clauses. It holds not just that a government may support houses of worship with taxpayer funds, but that—at least in this case and per- haps in others, see ante at 14, n. 3—it must do so when- ever it decides to create a funding program. History shows that the Religion Clauses separate the public treasury 


It is enough for today to explain why the Court’s decision is wrong. The error of the concurrences’ hoped-for decisions can be left for tomorrow. See, for now, School Dist. of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203, 226 (1963) (“While the Free Exercise Clause clearly prohibits the use of state action to deny the rights of free exercise to anyone, it has never meant that a majority could use the machinery of the State to practice its beliefs”). 

Cite as: 582 U. S. ____ (2017) 27 

SOTOMAYOR, J., dissenting 

from religious coffers as one measure to secure the kind of freedom of conscience that benefits both religion and government. If this separation means anything, it means that the government cannot, or at the very least need not, tax its citizens and turn that money over to houses of worship. The Court today blinds itself to the outcome this history requires and leads us instead to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment. I dissent. 



I suggest: "From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds", a book by Daniel Dennett, available here :-


I have read a few of Dennett's books, and I understand that some people find him hard to "swallow". It takes effort to follow and take on-board his ideas. But I like him, and his ideas. In the book above, he does a good job of analysing the evolution of living things entirely naturally, versus supposed divine intelligent design. In the book, he covers his entire career of thinking, including how minds and consciousness can have evolved with neither { pre-design}, nor {purpose of life and life-forms, by divine fiat}.

He has given a talk on "From Bacteria to Bach and Back . . .", available here :-



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