The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States forbids any law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” and yet conservatives have spent centuries trying to do exactly that. Freedom of speech or of the press refer to the same thing—the ability voice beliefs or ideas, however unpopular, without fear of punishment for speaking up. As a governmental right, it was a slowly-won one that lies at the heart of democracy. The right to speak up is no more and no less than the right to think freely without arrest or prosecution. Haught surveys the history of censorship from suppressing heterodoxy and nonconfirmity to sexual censorship up through our present day era of religion-driven murder for saying or doing the "wrong" things.
In "Courtroom Apologetics: You Call Them Eyewitnesses?" G. P. Denken critiques a genre of popular evangelical apologetics that he labels "courtroom" apologetics. Courtroom apologists are recognizable by the way that they season their arguments with courtroom jargon and analogies. Denken highlights three apologists who make their cases by relying heavily on the four "eyewitness" accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Though the apologetic authors seek verdicts from their jury of readers in favor of Christianity, Denken offers a rebuttal case in their imaginary trial. He discusses how these apologists have not only misidentified the Gospel authors, but ignored how their proposed authors could not have been eyewitnesses to many famous scenes in the canonical Gospels.
"There are saints who are inoffensive, such as the protohippie Francis of Assisi. But the saints officially canonized by the Church include a shocking number of persons who, in all honesty, must be considered major nut cases. It's an indication of how deranged the religious impulse can be that their lunacy is not merely unrecognized, but reinterpreted as an expression of supreme sanctification."
"Even Catholics don't know very much about the Popes. If they did, they might well wonder how such an assortment of buffoons and villains could ever have been given the job. Why, it could make one lose faith in the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit! Presented here are some of the more interesting and juicy cases."
Peter will be the last pope. Born saintly, and a bit odd, the child, the adolescent, the teen, the young man, and the mature adult experience things that eventually infallible people rarely do: kills a nun, hangs out naked with the other kids, pretends to say mass, deals with, you know, gay people, and deconstructs a two-thousand year-old institution. This mockumentary is enhanced by factual historical details as well as occasional avoidance of current events. The riveting narrative includes answers to questions that non-Catholics have pestered Catholics about for centuries: "What's up with The Trinity?" "What's up with the rosary?" and "What's up with the Body & Blood of Christ thing?" For the many unwitting readers who will wonder, "Is Peter's Out controversial?" there is only one answer: is the pope a Catholic?