Home » Library » Authors » Edward Tabash

Edward Tabash

Edward Tabash

[ Author Bio ]

Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court Against Religious Discrimination (2020) (PDF)

Edward Tabash and Center for Inquiry attorney Nicholas J. Little just filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, scheduled for oral argument relatively soon, to curb the power of religious organizations to discriminate against their employees. Tabash and Little argue that religious institutions should not be able to bypass complying with otherwise universally applicable employment discrimination laws when hiring or firing employees who are not clergy or whose jobs do not involve proselytizing the faith.

Confessions of a Former Mystic (2001)

Drawing on his own experiences as a devotee of a New Age religion, Tabash argues that the universality of searching for the transcendental, and the different sources attributed by people of different perspectives as the cause of lofty experiences, yields no additional evidence in our world of a supernatural being that undergirds reality.

Does The Claim of Jesus' Resurrection Prevail Under the Federal Rules of Evidence? (2002)

A critical analysis of Faith on Trial by attorney Pamela Binnings Ewen. Whereas Ewen attempts to show that a trial conducted under the Federal Rules of Evidence would uphold the claim that Jesus was supernaturally resurrected following his execution, Tabash argues that the so-called evidence of Jesus' supernatural resurrection would not be admitted into evidence, thus the jury would not even get to hear it--let alone decide if it were true.

Electing Atheists to Political Office (2001)

It is long overdue that people who do not believe in any god are elected to significant political office. Atheists must start electing some of their own, and Eddie Tabash, the only admitted atheist to run for political office in 2000, describes what is necessary for this to happen, and how we need to overcome crippling assumptions and prejudices and start getting politically savvy, just as the Christian Right has done.

Is the American Flag a Secular Symbol or a Sacred Icon? (1998)

What people don't realize is that it is already illegal to physically damage someone else's flag or the flag on some government property. Vandalism laws already prohibit damaging someone else's property. Thus, this amendment would remove constitutional protection for what you do with your own individually owned American flag.

Letter From Americans United for Separation of Church and State Concerning the New York State Senate's Religious Ridicule Bill (1999)

Earlier this year, an actual blasphemy law was introduced into the New York State Senate. This measure would make it a crime to ridicule any religious belief or ridicule any concept of a deity upon which such beliefs are based in any public place. This bill is clearly unconstitutional in that it violates both Religions Clauses and the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment. This bill would give religionists special rights to silence those who disagree with their beliefs, placing the state on the side of assisting religious believers in suppressing public expressions of dissent, thus violating the Establishment Clause. It would also punish people for expressing their views on matters of religion, thus violating the Free Exercise Clause. In prohibiting speech because of the specific content and message of that speech, this legislation violates the Free Speech Clause. The letter to the New York State Senate contains a comprehensive constitutional argument as to why this measure is completely unconstitutional.

Outcry Against Boy Scout Exclusion of Gays Should Also Apply to the Exclusion of Atheists (2000)

Tabash asks that nonbelievers overcome any shyness and reticence that they may have and boldly chime in with their own "me too-ism." If gays can lament loudly and nationwide about the outrageousness of the Boy Scouts exclusion of them, nonbelievers must identically learn how to publicly protest the discrimination of their lifestyle and worldview by the Boy Scouts of America.

Resurrection of the Flag Desecration Amendment (1999)

Congress recently resurrected by a margin of 11-7 in the Senate Judiciary Committee the Flag Desecration Amendment. It now moves on to the full U.S. Senate. The Amendment would substantially weakened the First Amendment by allowing branches of government to punish the physical desecration of one's personally owned replica of the American flag. This proposed amendment is particularly egregious because, in addition to gutting a core principle of First Amendment jurisprudence on the free speech, it also threatens the church/state separation clauses of the First Amendment. Since this amendment seeks to prohibit desecration, it is essentially a blasphemy law. Desecration is a religious term that applies only when something is deemed sacred. This amendment thus violates the fundamental tenets of a secular society by formally transforming a secular symbol into something sacred.

Review of On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (2005)

In this review of a debate between atheist historian Richard Carrier and fundamentalist Christian historian Michael Licona on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Tabash summarizes the arguments offered by both sides and offers a critique of their arguments. He also points out areas where Carrier could have stressed significant points more emphatically than he in fact did.

Review of Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination (2008)

Totality Beliefs and the Religious Imagination chronicles a medical doctor's journey from traditional religion to Eastern-path meditation and mysticism, finally ending in nonbelief. The author writes in great detail about his own loss of any kind of faith in his personal journey toward atheism and naturalism. Although the author has come to reject all supernatural claims, he nevertheless apparently suspects that humanity cannot endure without hope in the existence of some unseen supernatural being. He seems to doubt that any secular worldview can ever satisfy the spiritual yearning of the masses. Reviewer Edward Tabash, a constitutional lawyer who is extensively involved in atheist activism, deeply appreciates the author's comprehensive chronology of the journey from religion, through mysticism, to nonbelief. Tabash has made a similar journey. However, Tabash does not embrace the author's apparent pessimism about ever persuading masses of humanity to give up their supernatural beliefs.

We Must Immediately Oppose the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court (2018)

The president has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Full legal equality for nonbelievers hangs by a thread even now. The Court has already gone very far in providing special privileges for the religious. In addition to generally favoring belief over nonbelief, Kavanaugh has let stand the Navy's preferential treatment of Catholics over Protestants, argued to exempt religious claimants from following laws applicable to everyone else, argued to allow proselytizing on elementary school grounds, written that keeping government ceremonies neutral in matters of religion shows hostility to religion and establishes atheism, and ruled in a way that obstructed government efforts to combat global warming, among other things.



Edward Tabash is a constitutional lawyer in the Los Angeles area and chair of the board of directors of the Center for Inquiry. He is recognized for his legal expertise pertaining to the separation of church and state. He is also a well-known debater for atheism. He is the top financial supporter of Internet Infidels.

He graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 1973. He graduated from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles in 1976 and was admitted to the California Bar that same year. He has chaired the National Legal Committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State since 1995. He has been the most publicly-active man in the abortion rights movement in California since 1981. He has argued and won before the California Supreme Court. He sits as a part-time judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court system. Since 1990, he has been a member of the First Amendment Committee of the ACLU of Southern California. In 1999, he presented the New York Legislature with a comprehensive First Amendment argument as to why a proposed blasphemy law was unconstitutional.

In election year 2000, he finished second out of four in a primary for the California State Assembly. He was the only open atheist to be a major contender for a state legislative seat in the United States during that election cycle.

He has successfully represented Secular Humanism in public debates against three major Christian philosophers, Peter Van Inwagen, Greg Bahnsen, William Lane Craig, and Richard Swinburne. His articles and letters defending the atheist/skeptic point of view have been published by the Los Angeles Times. He currently chairs the Center for Inquiry West.

In addition to articles published here in the Secular Web Kiosk, several of his articles have been published in the Modern Documents section of the Secular Web Library.

You may visit his website at www.tabash.com.


Published on the Secular Web


Modern Library

Review of On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

(2005) Review of On the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: A Debate Between Richard Carrier and Michael Licona. University of California, Los Angeles. April 19, 2004. The Carrier-Licona debate was a debate between an atheist historian and a Christian fundamentalist historian. Though I wish Richard Carrier had invoked his general arguments against the supernatural more pointedly […]

Electing Atheists to Political Office

It is long overdue that people who do not believe in any god are elected to significant political office. Atheists must start electing some of their own, and Eddie Tabash, the only admitted atheist to run for political office in 2000, describes what is necessary for this to happen, and how we need to overcome crippling assumptions and prejudices and start getting politically savvy, just as the Christian Right has done.

Why Atheists Must Elect Al Gore as President

Disclaimer: Eddie Tabash is a civil and constitutional rights lawyer in Beverly Hills, California. He chairs the Center for Inquiry West, the Council for Secular Humanism in Los Angeles. He chairs the National Legal Committee for Americans United for Separation of Church and State . On March 7th of this year, he placed second out […]
Kiosk Article

We Must Immediately Oppose the Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court

The president has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Full legal equality for nonbelievers hangs by a thread even now. The Court has already gone very far in providing special privileges for the religious. In addition to generally favoring belief over nonbelief, Kavanaugh has let stand the Navy's preferential treatment of Catholics over Protestants, argued to exempt religious claimants from following laws applicable to everyone else, argued to allow proselytizing on elementary school grounds, written that keeping government ceremonies neutral in matters of religion shows hostility to religion and establishes atheism, and ruled in a way that obstructed government efforts to combat global warming, among other things.

Please immediately contact your two United States senators and urge them to vote against Kavanaugh. Urge everyone you know in other states to contact their senators, too. Kavanaugh is a clear and present danger to the separation of church and state.

Does The Claim of Jesus’ Resurrection Prevail Under the Federal Rules of Evidence?

Edward Tabash, a constitutional and civil rights attorney, critically analyzes Faith on Trial by attorney Pamela Binnings Ewen. Whereas Ewen attempts to show that a trial conducted under the Federal Rules of Evidence would uphold the claim that Jesus was supernaturally resurrected following his execution, Tabash argues that the so-called evidence of Jesus' supernatural resurrection would not even be admitted into evidence, thus the jury would not even get to hear it--let alone decide if it were true.

Electing Atheists to Political Office

It is long overdue that people who do not believe in any god are elected to significant political office. Atheists must start electing some of their own, and Eddie Tabash, the only admitted atheist to run for political office in 2000, describes what is necessary for this to happen, and how we need to overcome crippling assumptions and prejudices and start getting politically savvy, just as the Christian Right has done.
Kiosk Video

Worse than Even Our Greatest Fears: A Two-Thirds Religious Right Majority on the Supreme Court

In this nearly hour-long speech to the Center for Inquiry, constitutional lawyer and secular activist Edward Tabash warns of the consequences of the horrific two-thirds religious right-wing majority on the United States Supreme Court: a rapid move toward ever-greater legal privileges that only the religious can enjoy. Religious objectors are quickly becoming the only members of society who are now permitted to discriminate against third parties. The Court is allowing them to use their faith to avoid complying with our country's anti-discrimination and employment protection laws.