Herb Silverman


Herb Silverman is founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America, author of “Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt,” and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston.

Stories by Herb Silverman

Whose house is it?

Q: Should the White House, whose residents serve all Americans, display a crèche or a menorah or any strictly religious … Continued

Minarets are not the issue

Q: What’s your reaction to Sunday’s decision by voters in Switzerland to ban construction of minarets, the slender towers from … Continued

Holidays for everyone

Q: What do you think of the American Humanist Association’s new “Godless Holiday” campaign? The ads will say: “No God? … Continued

When Catholic bishops control health care for all of us

Q: U.S. Catholic bishops are defending their direct involvement in congressional deliberations over health-care reform, saying that church leaders have … Continued

Secular nation, secular military

Q: What is the proper role of religion — and personal religious belief — in the U.S. armed forces? Should … Continued

We’re all stereotypes

A lawyer friend once told me the following lawyer joke: “It’s just those 98% of lawyers that give the rest … Continued

Quality of life panels

Q: Does end-of-life care prolong life or does it prolong suffering? Should it be a part of health-care reform? A … Continued

God, an addiction

Q: Is there good without God? Can people be good without God? How can people be good, in the moral … Continued

Freedom to hate

Q: Congress is expected to expand federal hate crimes laws to add “sexual orientation” to a list that already includes … Continued

Spare Rods, Not Vaccines

Q: Polls show a majority of Americans are concerned about the H1N1 virus (swine flu), but also about the safety … Continued

A Case For Nothing

Q:What makes the best ‘case for God’ to a skeptic or non-believer, an open-minded seeker, and to a person of … Continued

Theocracy: Always a Problem, Never a Solution

Q: Eight years after the U.S. attacked Afghanistan, fighting continues. Religious extremists in the Taliban and al-Qaeda retain significant power … Continued

Health Funding for Science, Not Faith

The Secular Coalition for America takes no position on the Baucus Health Care Bill itself, but we are working to … Continued

Avoiding Armageddon

Q: Reacting in part to recent missile tests by Iran and North Korea, President Obama and a unanimous UN Security … Continued

Taxation For Religious Discrimination

Dozens of major religious groups and denominations are urging Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. to renounce a Bush-era memo that allows faith-based charities that receive federal funding to discriminate in hiring. Should religious charities that receive federal grant money be allowed to discriminate in hiring?

Talking to “The Other”

We have entered what columnist Kathleen Parker calls “a political era of uninhibited belligerence,” that is finding expression in sermons, at town hall meetings, on radio talk shows, even on the floor of Congress — especially when we differ. Why are people so angry and belligerent, and so willing to express their anger publicly? Why has our civil discourse become so uncivil? What does this public anger say about our private faith? What should we do about it?

Plowshares Into Swords

Some New York-area rabbis are planning to bring weapons to High Holy Day services this month to guard against terrorist threats. In June, a Kentucky pastor invited his congregation members to bring their firearms to church to celebrate the Second Amendment. Do weapons belong in worship? Should clergy be armed? Do the Ten Commandments trump the Second Amendment?

One Nation, Undereducated

Regardless of personal religious beliefs, students should learn about the importance of religious liberty–and why it is threatened when the government endorses any particular religious view

When Vengeance and Compassion Collide

Scotland freed the terminally ill Lockerbie bomber last week so he could die at home in Libya. “Our beliefs dictate that justice be served, but mercy be shown,” a Scottish official said. Did Scotland do the right thing? Should we have any mercy for mass murderers who are terminally ill?

Health Care a Priority, not a Product

Health-care reform is an economic, political and medical issue. But On Faith panelist and evangelical leader Jim Wallis says it’s also a “deeply theological issue, a Biblical issue and a moral issue.” Do you agree? Why or why not?