What the Religious Right lacks in reason and tolerance they make up for in novelty and tenacity. Sometimes that leads to some bizarre and absurd situations. Other times, it's absolutely tragic.
On the absurd side of things, we have state legislatures attempting to blow up marriage equality with pseudo-logic and name-calling. But to make sense of it, you have to believe that secular humanism is in fact a religion (it isn't) and that all same-sex couples are secular humanists (they aren't). It would be funny if it were not also so cruel.
Also absurd, but dangerous on an existential level, is EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is using the Bible to justify his dangerous, science-denying policies on climate change.
And then there are times when religious overreach goes beyond the pale. Notoriously, shamefully, the state of Idaho has given enormous leeway to extreme religious sects who insist upon foregoing modern medicine and subjecting their children to faith-healing. We'll learn what the deaths of at least 183 children has done to one Idaho community and what is being done to fix it.
Speaking of bad medicine, we'll get a charming refresher on what makes a treatment "homeopathic," where the active ingredient is so diluted that it's no longer there. And from dilution we move to annihilation, as when antimatter collides with regular matter. This begs the question: How does one move antimatter from one place to another without knocking things out of existence?
Finally, Billy Graham, the granddaddy of all mega-preachers, has himself ceased to be, and now comes the reckoning with a legacy of political revival for evangelicals and serious cracks in the wall of separation between church and state.
Robyn E. Blumner
President & CEO, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science