, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Supreme Court Legislative Prayer Ruling Criticized By Religious Groups


A narrowly divided Supreme Court upheld the practice of sectarian prayers before local council meetings in the town of Greece, New York. The decision in the Greece v. Galloway, 12-696 case was the latest ruling in the ongoing issue of the constitutionality of legislative prayer. Religious leaders were quick to weigh in, with some expressing their dismay at a decision which allowed sectarian prayer in a public forum. [Read more]

After Supreme Court Ruling, Do Religious Minorities Have a Prayer?

140505110541-prayer-horizontal-gallery[1]If you don’t like it, leave the room. That’s Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s advice for atheists and others who object to sectarian prayers before government meetings. In a 5-4 decision written by Kennedy, the Supreme Court allowed Greece, New York, to continue hosting prayers before its monthly town board meetings – even though an atheist and a Jewish citizen complained that the benedictions are almost always explicitly Christian.  [Read more]

In Another Blow to Separation of Church and State, Supreme Court Rules Town Can Begin Meetings with a Prayer

court2[1]Town officials from upstate New York did not improperly favor Christianity by starting meetings with a short prayer, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The case stems from the decision by officials in Greece, N.Y., to replace a moment of silence with a short prayer when open monthly Town Board meetings. Town Supervisor John Auberger, who typically would call the monthly meeting to order, added the invocation in 1999. [Read more]

Supreme Court Approves Sectarian Prayer at Public Meetings

The Supreme Court Monday (May 5) declared that the Constitution not only allows for prayer at government meetings, but sectarian prayer. Writing for the 5-4 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy held that the town of Greece, N.Y., did not violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which forbids the government from endorsing a religion — by sponsoring clergy who delivered sectarian prayers. [Read more]

Theism and Thin Air

thin1[1]Some people believe that the striking events recorded in scripture did actually happen, but that they were mis-described by the clueless ancients as if they were supernatural, things that could never happen without divine magic. Such “Rationalists” have sought to re-explain these events in scientific terms unavailable to the ancients. A modern example would be members of UFO sects who believe, e.g., that Jesus’ miraculous conception was an artificial insemination engineered by space aliens. There would have been nothing miraculous about it. [Read more]

Meet the Christian Leaders Who Are Suing for Gay Marriage as a Religious Right

RTR3CGOO[1]Rev. Nancy Ellett Allison has joyfully officiated same-sex marriages in her corner of the conservative South since 2006. “It is just a delight to be able to help these couples celebrate their lives together and work with them to craft their vows,” said Allison, her bright voice laced with a twang. What Allison, the senior pastor at Holy Covenant United Church of Christ in Charlotte, N.C., has been doing is considered a misdemeanor crime under state law, punishable by up to 120 days in jail. [Read more]

Most of Boko Haram Kidnapped Schoolgirls Are Christians, Nigerian Evangelist Says

nigerian-girls[1]A Nigerian evangelist said that most of the 200 plus schoolgirls kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram are Christians, which he says is further evidence of the militant Islamists’ specific targeting of followers of Christ. “Chibok local government is 90% Christian. Majority of the girls abducted are Christian! Why did Boko Haram visit Chibok local government? [Read more]

He Killed School Prayer, Now Applauds It

madalyn-murray-ohair-internal[1]He was the “Murray” in the famous 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Murray v. Curlett, that helped ban public schools from initiating prayer. But Monday he was applauding the high court’s latest ruling, which determined a town council has a constitutional right to begin its proceedings with an invocation to the Almighty. William J. Murray was a teenager when his mother, the well-known and reviled atheist activist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, filed a lawsuit on his behalf that challenged a 1905 Baltimore school board rule requiring each school day to start with Bible reading or the Lord’s Prayer. [Read more]

Kentucky Spending Millions on Student Busing at Private, Religious Schools

SM2zO.AuSt.79[1]Over the last six years, as the state of Kentucky shrank public education funding, it spent nearly $18 million to pay for student busing at private, mostly religious schools in two dozen counties, according to state financial records. In Nelson County, for example, the state last year paid $182,943 for 257 students to be bused to Catholic schools. Nelson County Fiscal Court matched that with $49,388 from its own budget. [Read more]

‘You’re Fired!’: Why It’s Time to Stop Religious Schools From Having Their Cake and Eating It, Too

shutterstock_139616912[1]Let’s say you work as a teacher in a Catholic school in Cincinnati and your old friend, who is gay, invites you to New York to attend his same-sex wedding. You attend and snap some photos of this happy event, which you post on Facebook. The school can fire you for that. Let’s say you have another friend who, along with her husband, has struggled to conceive. The couple uses in vitro fertilization and gets good news: They’re going to have a baby. You use Twitter to send a message of congratulations to your friend. The school can fire you for that. [Read more]

Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken’s Divorce Announcement Rocks Christian Artist Community

Derek_Webb_And_Sandra_McCracken_at_The_Grey_Eagle-427x324[1]When gospel artist Amy Grant got divorced in 1999 and married country singer Vince Gill a year later, the public breakup rocked the Christian music industry, threatened to derail her career and raised questions about the personal lives of prominent Christian artists. Now, the issue is back, this time for popular musicians Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken, who announced on April 17 that their 13-year marriage was ending after an affair. [Read more]

After Greece, Humanists Launch Push for Secular Invocations

Following yesterday’s Supreme Court decision holding sectarian legislative prayer constitutional, the American Humanist Association has announced a new program identifying secular and atheist speakers to deliver godless invocations at legislative meetings. [Read more]

Group Charging Schools with Religious Discrimination Picks Broward as Latest Target

A conservative religious-rights group targeted Broward County on Monday in an ongoing campaign contending that faith is under attack in America’s elementary schools. The facts involving a Park Lakes Elementary student seeking to read a Bible in school, like other similar cases before it, are in dispute — but that didn’t prevent the story from going viral on conservative websites and news media. [Read more]

Rape-Marriage of Nigerian Girls is ‘Biblical Marriage’

Nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls have been ripped from their desks and chairs, notebooks and pencils, smiles and giggles and sent to hell. They’ve been sold, trafficked for sex and reproduction and household labor. Typically described as “forced” marriage, it would be more accurate to call it rape marriage. [Read more]

Israeli Says He Has Found King David’s Citadel

An Israeli archaeologist says he has found the legendary citadel captured by King David in his conquest of Jerusalem, rekindling a longstanding debate about using the Bible as a field guide to identifying ancient ruins. [Read more]

Sisi Says Muslim Brotherhood Will Not Exist Under His Reign

Egypt‘s former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Monday night that the Muslim Brotherhood – the group he removed from power last year – will not exist if he is elected president later this month. [Read more]

Neil deGrasse Tyson Exposes Myths of Christmas, Sets Off Creationist Alarm Bells

Neil deGrasse Tyson and the producers of Cosmos have been under constant fire from creationists since the very first episode shared the beauty and wonder of our universe without crediting a higher power for any of it. [Read more]

5 Lies About Homosexuals – From A Christian

So I got this in my “to be mocked” e-mail list. And figured that in light of the recent emphasis on dealing with homophobia I should take a look and laugh at some of the arguments that the anti-GLBT brigade believe in. [Read more]

Vatican’s Doctrine Chief Blasts U.S. Nuns for Disobedience

Catholic nuns in the U.S. have been thumbing their nose at Rome’s demands to toe the doctrinal line and they need to obey or face serious consequences, the Vatican’s enforcer of orthodoxy said in a surprisingly tough talk to women representing most American sisters. [Read more]

Dr. Tony Evans – Christians Right about Homosexuality, Wrong on Slavery

Tony Evans is on Christian Post discussing that well known Christian issue of homosexuality and how it’s theChurch’s job to tell us all how to not approve of gay people. [Read more]

Ridiculous Las Vegas ‘Purity’ Event Takes Page From The ‘Mean Girls’ Playbook

N2RmZGRmYWE2ZiMvMHJucnFrLTh0eUpEZzVkVVVuRDRmR19HWVpRPS8zN3g1OjQxN3gyNDUvODQweDUzMC9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvYTZjZWZhZGJhYTA2OTY2NzlkNzRmOGJjYjliNmNkZGEyM2Y5ODg1MG[1]Ten years ago, we all got a good laugh when Mean Girls told us that if you have sex, you will probably get chlamydia and die. It’s somehow less funny when a city’s police department tries to pass that message on to a generation of impressionable young girls. That’s exactly what happened at a “Choose Purity” event held this past weekend in Las Vegas, where Officer Regina Coward, president of the Nevada Black Police Association and a congregant at Victory Outreach Church, preached abstinence to dozens of children. [Read more]