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Atheists Claim Eruv “Imposes Orthodox Judaism” on Miami Beach, Demand Removal

eruv3-thumb-565x377[1]Two months ago, Riptide reported that residents of Miami Beach were angry that an eruv — an orthodox Jewish enclosure — had appeared in Pinetree Park. The sticks and string were an eyesore and an affront to the separation of church and state, one local complained, but the City of Miami Beach backed the eruv. [Read more]

Rowlett Atheists Request to Give Invocation

Last week, members of Metroplex Atheists Rowlett and an attorney from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sent formal requests to the Rowlett City Council to be allowed to give an invocation at an upcoming council meetings. [Read more]

Christian Discipline? Church Pastor Abuses 13-Year-Old, Forces Him to Dig Own Grave

screen_shot_2014-07-09_at_3.15.33_pm[1]A California pastor and two members of his congregation admitted in court that they physically abused a 13-year-old boy and made him dig his own grave. [Read more]

California Pastor, 2 Others Admit They Tortured 13-Year-Old, Forced Him to Dig Own Grave

The thuggish pastor of a small Southern California church and two of his parishioners tortured a 13-year-old boy who lived at a church-run group home, savagely beating him, grinding salt into his raw wounds and forcing him to dig his own grave. [Read more]

New Law Protects Religious Expression At Missouri’s Public Schools

elijahhaahr[1]A newly signed law designed to protect religious expression in Missouri’s public schools reinforces a constitutional amendment passed two years ago, but some say that it could lead to fewer opportunities for students to express their religious views. [Read more]

Atheism Has a Big Race Problem That No One’s Talking About

Just as cliché holds that there are no atheists in foxholes, it’s commonly believed that there are no atheists in overwhelmingly Christian black America. African Americans are the most religious ethnic group in the nation; nonbelievers make up just 1 percent of the population. [Read more]

Israel’s Blood-Soaked Hypocrisy

caf8ff5edec42725280444b56171a53acb04abbe[1]Shock and anger have engulfed Israeli and Palestinian societies since they learnt last week of the barbarous murder of children from their communities. [Read more]

Tutu Joins Holy Land Catholic Leaders, WCC in Call to End Israel-Palestine Cycle of Violence

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu has joined Roman Catholic leaders in the Holy Land and the World Council of Churches in calling for a halt to the “cycle of violence” in Israel and Gaza. [Read more]

Pope Francis Calls the Destruction of Nature a Modern Sin

shutterstock_171443828[1]Pope Francis called for more respect for nature in an address at the University of Molise, an agricultural region in southern Italy. Francis said the destruction of South America’s rain forests and other forms of environmental exploitation is a sin of modern times. [Read more]

Researchers: ‘Ritual’ Atheists and Agnostics Could Be Sitting Next to You in Church

In a new study of the various types of nonbelievers, researchers from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga say “one of the most interesting and unexpected” types they examined is the “ritual” atheist or agnostic, who finds some value in religious teachings and practices. [Read more]

Italian Religious Procession Sparks Mafia Row

_76190952_023052598[1]The mayor, police and priests had been among those following a statue of the Virgin Mary through the streets of Oppido Mamertina. When the procession changed course, two policemen left and lodged a complaint. It comes two weeks after Pope Francis condemned the mafia and its members. [Read more]

Lawsuit Threatened if School Board Continues Prayer

p1405087810[1]The St. Charles Parish School Board is facing a potential lawsuit from a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization because they used God’s name in resolutions and continue to host a public prayer before School Board meetings. [Read more]

Catholics in Business Wrestle With Pope Francis’ Attacks on Capitalism

Since his election last year, Pope Francis frequently has turned his attention to global business. “The economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the workforce,” he wrote In November. [Read more]

With Religious Exemption, Conservatives Demand Something for Nothing

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Hobby Lobby In ACA Contraception CaseShould religious organizations be permitted to engage in discriminatory hiring? Historically, the federal government’s default answer to this question has been a pretty firm “no.” Now, in the wake of Hobby Lobby, certain religious leaders are requesting that the default answer be changed to “yes.” [Read more]

New York Times Advertisement, Deemed Anti-Catholic, Sparks Indignation

An advertisement that says dogma should not trump civil liberties, deemed anti-Catholic, placed in The New York Times’ July 3 edition has drawn criticism from Cardinal Timothy Dolan. [Read more]

Faith Groups Seek Exclusion From Bias Rule

ENDA-web-master675-v3[1]After a setback in the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case, President Obama is facing mounting pressure from religious groups demanding to be excluded from his long-promised executive order that would bar discrimination against gay men and lesbians by companies that do government work. [Read more]

There Are States Where You Technically Can’t Hold Public Office if You’re an Atheist

Eight state constitutions include restrictions on people who don’t believe in a supreme being. In Arkansas, denying the existence of God means you can’t hold civil office or testify in court, while in Tennessee there are also guidelines about belief in the hereafter. [Read more]

American Atheists to Launch World’s First Atheist TV Channel; Promises ‘Superstition-Free Programming’

atheist-tv[1]The American Atheists group announced that the world’s first all-atheist TV channel will launch on July 29 through streaming service Roku, promising “superstition-free programming” for adults and children. “The launch of Atheist TV is history in the making,” American Atheists President David Silverman said in a press release on Wednesday. [Read more]

Why the Time Has Come to End Compulsory Worship in Schools

350x[1]This September, many young children starting school will have their first encounter with religion. As part of their state education some will be compelled to put their hands together and pray to a God they have little or no concept of. [Read more]

Compulsory Christian Worship Should Be Reframed as ‘Spiritual Reflection’, Says Church of England Education Chief

The legal requirement for schools to provide a daily act of ‘broadly Christian’ collective worship should be replaced with “spiritual reflection” drawing mainly on the Christian faith, the Church of England’s head of education has said. [Read more]

A Look at the Damage Governments Inflict on Religious Property

FT_14.07.10_destructionReligiousProperty[1]The Chinese government’s demolition of a large church in the city of Wenzhou in April and recent reports of other, similar demolitions drew attention to fears of persecution among Christians in that country. [Read more]

Religious Leaders Petition Congress to Support Immigrant Children

Religious leaders urged President Obama and Congress to provide funding for legal assistance to unaccompanied migrant children who are in U.S. custody after fleeing violence, murder and extortion abroad. [Read more]

Christian Bakers in Gay Campaign Cake Row Could Face Legal Action

350x[1]A Northern Ireland bakery run by devout Christians could face legal action after it refused to make a cake with a slogan that supported gay marriage for a customer. Family-run Ashers Baking Company declined an order from a gay rights activist, Gareth Lee. [Read more]

Mormon Essay: Abraham Scripture May Not Be Literal Translation

new online essay by the LDS Church says its Book of Abraham is inspired scripture but perhaps not a literal word-for-word translation of ancient Egyptian papyrus scrolls by the faith’s founder, Joseph Smith. [Read more]

Secular Group Sues North Carolina City Over ‘Christian’ War Memorial

memorial[1]A war memorial in a North Carolina city that includes a Christian flag and the image of a soldier kneeling before a cross has been brought to court. U.S. District Judge James A. Beaty ruled Tuesday that there is sufficient evidence for a lawsuit against the city of King’s war memorial to go to trial. [Read more]

Black Masses Continue to Titillate Conservative Catholics

In May, conservative Catholics mobilized in response to an announcement of a Satanic black mass to be held at Harvard University. For some, the event was a smoking gun proving not only that Satanists hold black masses all over the country, but that elite institutions like Harvard actively attack Christianity under the guise of multi-cultural education. [Read more]

Trojan Horse Schools Pupils ‘Vulnerable to Extremism’

350x[1]According to Ofsted’s chief inspector, Sir Micheal Wilshaw, inspectors of the so-called Trojan Horse schools in Birmingham have found that pupils were “vulnerable to extremism” and that some had been targeted by hard line Muslim governors in a ‘planned and orchestrated’ plot to radicalise pupils. [Read more]

Jewish, Catholic Groups Pay to Bury Unclaimed Bodies at Wayne County Morgue

Clutching hands under a tent, a crowd of mourners Wednesday afternoon at a Catholic cemetery in Brownstown Township sang together: “It is good when we sit together as brothers and sisters.” [Read more]

12 Biblical Principles You’re (Probably) Not Living By

Screen-Shot-2014-07-09-at-12.01.25-PM-1024x655[1]The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it we say. Or at least something like that. The idea always being that if the Bible prohibits, prescribes, and implies something we should or shouldn’t do it. [Read more]

Douthat, Dionne Push Wrong Lesson on Religious Exemptions

As the Obama administration is beseeched from both sides about a potential religious exemption to its expected executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT individuals in hiring, Catholic commentators continue to hold up the administration’s botched handling of the religious exemption in the contraceptive mandate as an object lesson in how not to craft an exemption. [Read more]

‘Collywobbles’ Conquered, Huntsville City Council Will Continue Practice of Diverse Invocations

15375962-mmmain[1]The flurry of national attention that erupted after a Wiccan high priest was asked to withdraw from giving the invocation for the June 26, 2014, meeting of the Huntsville City Council has not dissuaded City Council members from deciding to continue with the current plan of offering spoken moments of prayer or inspiration at the beginning of their meetings. [Read more]

Urban Outfitters’ Lord Ganesh Duvet Cover Upsets Hindus

Hindu critics say Urban Outfitters’ new duvet cover featuring Lord Ganesh is insensitive to their faith and have asked that the item be pulled. [Read more]

Israel’s Assault on Gaza Obscures Core Issues: Racism, Occupation, Colonization

67ae24b071658c4547c5517d1958c852edbe537a[1]Another Israeli assault on Gaza will produce more red herrings. These include an obsessive focus on Israeli suffering, linked to an insistence on equivalence between intensive Israeli air raids on a tiny and highly populated strip of land killing at least 81 Palestinians and wounding 615 thus far, most of them civilians, and inaccurate Palestinian rocket-fire which has reached distant targets but has harmed no Israelis so far. [Read more]

Inside the Right-Wing’s Creepy Demonization of Helpless Children

a04d5d656f4f03d9ff67b54d6ac7daaca5c8e314[1]The anti-immigrant protests in Murrieta, California last week brought the issue of Central American children flooding to the border to national attention. The influx of kids applying for asylum under a law signed by George W. Bush is becoming a humanitarian crisis, with services being stretched to the limit and calls for the children to be immediately deported back to their troubled homelands. [Read more]

Mother and Daughter Claim Christian Sex Ed Classes in Edmonton Public School District Infringe Upon Their Rights

Usually, when we discuss sex education classes in public schools, controversy arises because it’s either not taught at all or it’s taught very poorly. Think abstinence-only sex education — which is hardly educational at all. [Read more]

Head of Polish Hospital Dismissed After Refusing Abortion on Religious Grounds

350x[1]The head of a Polish public hospital has been dismissed for refusing on religious grounds to carry out an abortion on a woman whose unborn baby suffered from serious malformations. [Read more]

God Shows His Love by Killing Almost Everyone in the World

Many evangelical theologians, when asked about Genesis 6:1,2, 4 obfuscate or throw up their hands and saybeats me.Other theologians suggest that the reason God came to the conclusion he did was because fallen angels were having sexual intercourse with human women and the result was  half angel/half human children. These children were considered giants, mighty men, men of renown. [Read more]

‘In God We Trust’ Banner to Be Placed in Baldwin County Commission Chambers

The four words — In God We Trust — that stirred controversy in Mobile County last month are going to be displayed in the Baldwin County Commission chambers. [Read more]

Publicly-Funded Charter School Invites Clergy Member to Deliver Sermon at Graduation

Hope Academy, a charter school in California that receives public funding, did something at their recent graduation ceremony that public schools like theirs aren’t allowed to do: They invited a pastor to deliver a sermon.

[Read more]

Dishonoring the Message of Ramadan

In the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a holy month commemorating when Muhammad received the first of the revelations from the Angel Gabriel that make up the Quran. This year Ramadan began at the end of June and will continue until July 28. [Read more]