The Florida Supreme Court has cleared the way for Council for Secular Humanism v. McNeil to proceed to trial. It denied the defendants’ motion seeking a review of the Council’s recent appellate court victory. The suit challenges the use of Florida taxpayer dollars to pay for the faith-based substance abuse transitional housing programs under contract to the Florida prison system. (See “News Beat,” Free Inquiry, April/May 2010, p.11, and August/September 2010, p. 8.)
“The Council intends to litigate the case to completion,” said Derek C. Araujo, director of the Council’s legal programs. “The Council’s case will be an important test of state courts’ willingness to enforce ‘No-Aid’ provisions in state constitutions. More than half the states have ‘No-Aid’ provisions similar to Florida’s in their constitutions.”
Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of the Council and the Center for Inquiry, added, “We are confident the evidence at trial will establish that state funds are being used to support the efforts of Prisoners of Christ and Lamb of God Ministries to advance and promote their religious views.” (The Center for Inquiry is a supporting organization of the Council.)
CSH Announces Awards
Craggs Prize Awarded to Richard Dawkins
The Council for Secular Humanism has bestowed the first and only Robert Craggs Prize upon biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins, recognizing him as the individual who did the most to further the cause of rationalist thought during the year 2009. The Council will present Dr. Dawkins with a check in the amount of $45,225.09, payable to the Richard Dawkins Foundation (US), at its Awards Banquet at the Council’s 30th anniversary conference in Los Angeles in October. This extraordinary one-time prize was funded through the legacy of Canadian freethinker Robert Craggs, who directed the Council to disburse its share of his legacy in this manner.
2008, 2009 Forkosch Awards Announced
The Council for Secular Humanism has announced the winners of its prestigious Forkosch Awards for the years 2008 and 2009. Established in 1988, the Morris D. Forkosch Award recognizes the best humanist book of the year and carries an honorarium of $1,000. The Selma V. Forkosch award recognizes the year’s outstanding article in Free Inquiry magazine and carries an honorarium of $250.
The Forkosch Award for Best Book of 2008 goes to Susan Jacoby for The Age of American Unreason (Pantheon). The book was favorably reviewed in the October/November 2008 Free Inquiry. The Forkosch Award for Best Article of 2008 goes to Larry Hickman for “Citizen Participation: More or Less?” in the October/November 2008 Free Inquiry.
The Forkosch Award for Best Book of 2009 goes to Jerry Coyne for Why Evolution Is True (Viking Adult). The Forkosch Award for Best Article of 2009 goes go to Alexander Saxton for “The Great God Debate and the Future of Faith” in the December 2008/January 2009 Free Inquiry.