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Secular Coalition Flunks Most Members of Congress on Church-State Report Card

If some secular organizations had their way, much of the current class of lawmakers would flunk out of Congress. The Secular Coalition for America, an umbrella organization of 13 nontheistic groups including American Atheists and The Freedom From Religion Foundation, issued a “report card” on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate based on their votes on recent legislation involving church-state issues. [Read more]

Sex Abuse Cost The U.S. Catholic Church Nearly $3 Billion According To Report By Bishops Conference

original[1]The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released their eleventh annual report on the progress of implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as part of the effort to increase transparency with regards to sexual abuse. The 2013 audit was carried out by StoneBridge Business Partners, which collected data from 127 dioceses/eparchies between July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013. [Read more]

Pat Robertson Says Jews Are Too Busy Polishing Diamonds To Fix Their Cars

Conservative activist Daniel Lapin, the Religious Right’s favorite rabbi who was also tied to the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal, appeared today on the 700 Club to tell host Pat Robertson about his new book on the “ancient Jewish wisdom” of “making money.”

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Federal Judge Stops Sectarian Prayers, County Official Invokes Jesus Christ Anyway

Church_State_400x400-300x300[1]Judge William D. Quarels, Jr. of the U.S. District Court of Maryland issued the preliminary injunction today to stop sectarian prayers held before meetings of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners. The American Humanist Association, on behalf of three Carroll County residents, alleged that the practice of permitting Commissioners to deliver prayers that reference Jesus Christ or Savior during county meetings violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. [Read more]

Catholic Teacher Contract Specifies Banned Practices

Teachers in Cincinnati Archdiocese schools could lose their jobs if they violate a new employment contract that clamps down on their personal lives beyond school walls. The new contract obtained by The Enquirer has doubled in size and is strikingly different from previous Archdiocese teacher employment agreements. For the first time, it details prohibited practices such as gay “lifestyles,” out-of-wedlock relationships, abortions and fertility methods that go against Catholic teachings. [Read more]

Atheists Classified As Terrorists Under New Saudi Arabian Laws

n-SAUDI-ARABIA-large[1]Atheists are being defined as terrorists under a raft of new Saudi Arabian laws, a report from Human Rights Watch states. The new laws are accompanied by a series of related royal decrees which appear to criminalise virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism. “Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW. [Read more]

Some States Seek To Bless Prayer In Public Schools

SchoolPrayer_wide-d14336929f0c7b50121cc828ccf4425b4d06f58a-s40-c85[1]Religious groups have been testing the limits on prayer in public school for decades. Now they think they’ve come up with a new strategy that will allow students to pray wherever and whenever they want. Bills have been moving in a number of states that would allow students to engage in prayer at school functions such as graduation. [Read more]

Climate Deniers Intimidate Journal into Retracting Paper that Finds They Believe Conspiracy Theories

B1FA8DB5-D7D1-4D1B-96109C7D2164451C_article[1]In February 2013, the journal Frontiers in Psychology published a peer-reviewed paper which found that people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Predictably enough, those people didn’t like it. The paper, which I helped to peer-review, is called “Recursive fury: Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation”. In it, cognitive scientist Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues survey and analyze the outcry generated on climate skeptic blogs to their earlier work on climate denial. [Read more]

Police Compensate Street Preacher After Arrest for Preaching Biblical Condemnation of Homosexuals

350x[1]Greater Manchester Police have awarded a Christian street preacher £13,000 in compensation after he was put in a cell without food and water for 19 hours for preaching against homosexuality. Two teenagers complained to the police that they felt insulted after hearing John Craven preaching biblical condemnation of homosexuality in a Manchester Street. Mr Craven was arrested under the Public Order Act and detained in a police cell, without access to the medication he takes for arthritis. [Read more]

Mad as Hell!

I am so damned sick of the lies, deceptions, and privileged status of religion! Some days I just feel like screaming out my window that famous line from the movie Network, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Just listen to this crap. [Read more]

Rules Are for Schmucks: Easily Offended

FSM-300x152[1]You’ve probably seen the delightful Flying Spaghetti Monster parody of the Sistine Chapel painting, where the Pastafarian deity replaces the white-bearded guy giving life to Adam. If not, you can see one (and even buy one) here. Where you can’t see it, though, at least for very long, is at London South Bank University. It seems they had a start-of-term event where various campus organizations were able to set up tables and attract members where the South Bank Atheist Society displayed a Flying Spaghetti Monster poster to attract attention. [Read more]

New York City Can Block Religious Services in Public Schools, Appeals Court Says

04NYRELIGION-master675[1]A federal appeals panel ruled on Thursday that New York City can bar religious groups from holding services in school buildings, reversing a lower-court decision. The latest ruling, coming in a tortured legal battle that has lasted almost two decades, was seen as significant because it addressed a further challenge in which a church claimed that the city’s policy violated its religious liberty rights. The decision does not mean that the city must force religious groups out of the schools, but merely that a city prohibition on religious worship services in schools would comply with the Constitution. [Read more]

The Amazing Coincidence Behind Todd Starnes’ Latest Christian Victimization Column

Earlier today we wrote a post about a new Religious Right tale of supposed victimization emerging out of Florida involving a young girl who was allegedly told that she was not allowed to pray in the lunchroom before eating her lunch. The whole thing seemed rather suspect, as these tales usually are, since it emerged from a video posted on YouTube by the girl’s parents and was then immediately turned into a column by Todd Starnes, who is notorious for ginning up these sorts of one-sided, fake controversies. [Read more]

Tell Your Senators to Oppose Religious Exemption from Health Care Law

header[1]S. 862, the so-called Equitable Access to Care and Health Act, would allow “individuals whose sincerely held religious beliefs would cause them to object to medical health care provided under such coverage” to be exempt from the health insurance mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The bill has 31 co-sponsors: 15 Republicans, 15 Democrats, and one Independent. [Sign Petition]

Some Members of Congress Want to Cripple Public Education to Fund Religious Schools. Tell Them to Stop!

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-KY) and Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) recently introduced a bill (S. 1968 / H.R. 4000) that would turn a whopping 63 percent of federal education funding into vouchers for private schools. Because the vast majority of private schools are religious, money that would otherwise go to secular, public education will be diverted to support instruction in religious dogma. To make matters worse, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) proposed a bill (S. 1909) to allow the rest of those funds — which currently subsidize school lunches, serve students with disabilities, and support students attending schools on federally impacted land or military bases — to be converted into school vouchers. [Sign Petition]

. . . and for something fun . . .

Best Ghost Cases Ever Caught on Tape

Ghosts – are they real or not? From the invention of the earliest photographic devices to the latest home video cameras, believers have pointed to images like these as proof. Could they be haunting spirits, phantoms, the dead reaching out to the living, or are some simply the result of camera tricks by clever hoaxers eager to convince millions hoping for evidence of life after death. In this documentary you will see the most compelling cases ever presented of what many say are ghosts caught on video. You will hear from scientists, computer imaging experts, and the eyewitnesses who shot this chilling footage. Are we seeing spirits from beyond the grave, psychic projections, or something much more explainable? You decide for yourself as we examine the best ghost cases ever caught on tape.

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