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‘In God We Trust’ Bills Are About Promoting Religion in Schools, Not the National Motto

The Florida House adopted a bill, HB 839, that would require the words “In God We Trust” to be displayed in a conspicuous place in every public school. Proponents of the bill claim they want to require public schools to post this phrase simply because it is the national motto. But their own words betray these claims and divulge their real purpose – to encourage students to believe in God. When the bill sponsor, Rep. Kim Daniels (D-Jacksonville), spoke about it on the House floor on Wednesday, she explained “that God is positive” and he “is the light. And our schools need light in them like never before.” https://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/in-god-we-trust-bills-are-about-promoting-religion-in-schools-not-the

You Won’t Believe the BEST Reason for Being an Atheist!

A while back Jim posed a question on his blog, The Common Atheist. His request was “If each of you would share right here one of your best arguments for atheism…” And I replied with one of my best reasons, but since it was in a comment thread I tried to keep my answer brief.  However, I think the point I was making deserves a more careful discussion.  So here’s a full post about it. First, we need to look at how people get their understanding of their religion. http://new.exchristian.net/2018/02/you-wont-believe-best-reason-for-being.html

‘Christian Symbolism’ Taken Out of Kenosha Classroom After Atheist Father Gets Lawyers Involved

An Atheist father is fuming over what he called ‘Christian symbolism’ in his 4th grade son’s public school at Roosevelt Elementary in Kenosha. The Kenosha man claims lawyers had to get involved after his complaints went unheard, for months. Rob Moore says he’s encountered Christian symbolism in school before, but he thinks this one in particular has gone too far. https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/christian-symbolism-taken-out-of-kenosha-classroom-after-atheist-father-gets-lawyers-involved

FFRF Announces Memorial Award on Third Anniversary of Avijit Roy’s Assassination

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is proud to announce, on the third anniversary of the assassination of Avijit Roy, the creation of an annual award in his name. Roy, the Bangladesh-American writer and atheist, died at the hands of militant Islamists on the streets of Dhaka. Avijit Roy initiated a new movement in free and rational thinking in Bangladesh, South Asia and Bengali-speaking diaspora communities. He had a Ph.D in biomedical engineering, but wrote prolifically on many varied subjects that include religion, atheism, cosmology, homosexuality, and Rabindranath Tagore. Seven of his books on these subjects were published in Bangladesh. https://ffrf.org/news/news-releases/item/31815-ffrf-announces-memorial-award-on-third-anniversary-of-avijit-roy-s-assassination

Why is the Bible So Badly Written?

Millions of Evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human channelers. Each phrase is considered so perfect that it merits careful linguistic analysis to determine His precise meaning. If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Although some passages in the Bible are lyrical and gripping, many would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor— kicked back with a lot of red ink. https://valerietarico.com/2018/01/28/why-is-the-bible-so-badly-written/

Religion: The Original “Fake News”

Let’s talk facts, truth, and “fake news.” Without question, the idea of “agreeing on a basic set of facts” has become one of the pressing issues of our time. There’s been a ton of material written on these subjects since the 2016 US presidential election. https://elpidiovaldes.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/religion-the-original-fake-news/

God of the Gaps

If you read anything about the history of science and philosophy, you’ll be exposed to “God of the Gaps.” In the past and even now, whenever there wasn’t a scientific explanation, the fill-in was that the answer had something to do with “God.” End of story. This attitude is often expressed in reactions such as “God only knows,” and “God has his reasons; works in mysterious ways.” The truth of evolution is interpreted by the Catholic Church as the means God has chosen to create. Now, any time evidence is discovered that confirms natural explanations, it’s typically met at first with denial or outright rejection. It’s normal to be skeptical. http://new.exchristian.net/2018/02/god-of-gaps.html

Battle Over Religion in Public Schools Waged in One of America’s Fastest-Growing Cities

Public school officials in one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities are being accused of violating the separation of church and state. The controversy has been simmering in this once-tiny cotton-farming community, about 30 miles north of Dallas, since last summer when Rick McDaniel, superintendent of the McKinney Independent School District, prayed at a pulpit adorned with a Christian cross — during a mandatory school employee meeting at a church. https://religionnews.com/2018/02/26/battle-religion-public-schools-waged-one-americas-fastest-growing-cities/

Chaplains Ministering in Westerville, OH, After Fatal Police Officer Shootings

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) has deployed to the community of Westerville, Ohio, located 15 miles northeast of Columbus, after two police officers were fatally shot on Saturday morning. The officers were ambushed when they arrived at the address of a 911 call. Officer Eric Joering, 39, died at the scene, while Officer Anthony Morelli, 54, died while in surgery at the Ohio State University Medical Center. https://billygraham.org/story/chaplains-respond-to-westerville-oh-after-fatal-police-officer-shootings/comment-page-1/

Charlotte Mom Who Ignored Judge and Had Daughter Baptized Begins Week Behind Bars

Kendra Stocks got her daughter baptized. Now she’s in the Mecklenburg jail. In a head-on collision between matters of church and state, the Charlotte woman began serving a week behind bars Friday after being found in contempt of court. Her punishment stems from the clandestine christening of her child in August 2016 – one day after a Mecklenburg judge gave full custody to the girl’s father, “specifically including decisions concerning religion.” http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article200092449.html

Civil Rights Groups Urge Against Government Honors for Rev. Billy Graham

On Thursday, February 22, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the remains of evangelical pastor Rev. Billy Graham would lie in honor in the United States Capitol Rotunda on February 28 and March 1. Graham would be just the fourth private citizen to be so honored, after Rosa Parks and two U.S. Capitol Police Officers who were killed in the line of duty. American Atheists and a coalition of religious freedom watchdogs and civil rights groups—including the Center for Inquiry, American Humanist Association, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, and Pride at Work—sent a joint letter to Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell urging them to reconsider this divisive and misguided plan. https://www.atheists.org/2018/02/graham-letter/

‘Prophet’ Kat Kerr Says God Has Already Told Her The Results Of The Next Five Presidential Elections

The Elijah List’s Steve Shultz sat down recently with “prophetess” Kat Kerr, who claimed that months before the 2016 election, God brought her up to heaven and told her that Donald Trump would be elected president. http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/prophet-kat-kerr-says-god-has-already-told-her-the-results-of-the-next-five-presidential-elections/

Four Oaks Withdraws from Foster Parent Retreat at Bible Camp

Four Oaks, a Cedar Rapids-based social service agency with a state contract to recruit and train foster parents in Iowa, is defending its use of church facilities despite concerns from some Iowans it may deter prospective foster parents who aren’t Christians. Four Oaks last month withdrew from a training retreat set for this weekend at the Village Creek Bible Camp in Lansing after learning it was marketed as being for “like-minded families” and included devotions and child care provided by staff screened for their views of homosexuality and divorce. http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/four-oaks-withdraws-from-foster-parent-retreat-at-bible-camp-20180224

He Became A Celebrity For Putting Science Before God. Now Lawrence Krauss Faces Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct.

Lawrence Krauss is a famous atheist and liberal crusader — and, in certain whisper networks, a well-known problem. With women coming forward alleging sexual harassment, will his “skeptic” fanbase believe the evidence? https://www.buzzfeed.com/peteraldhous/lawrence-krauss-sexual-harassment-allegations

Religion Is Not Health Insurance

The US healthcare system can be summed up in one word: disaster. Millions of Americans live without health insurance, an issue that has long plagued presidential administrations. The Obama administration enacted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which helped 20 million Americans gain the health coverage they could previously not afford. But rather than make improvements to an already beneficial system, the Trump administration wants to turn back the clock on Americans’ healthcare. https://thehumanist.com/commentary/religion-not-health-insurance

White House Voucher Plan Sacrifices Public Education for Religious Indoctrination, Warns CFI

The Center for Inquiry today condemned the Trump Administration’s proposal to divert up to $1 billion in taxpayer funds to private religious schools. The President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2019 proposes $1 billion for private school vouchers, four times the amount he requested for a similar scheme in 2018. School voucher programs siphon taxpayer money from public schools to fund the education of a relative few students in largely religiously affiliated private schools. These schools are given enormous leeway to discriminate against LGBTQ, nonreligious, and disabled students, and families forfeit their due process rights upon entering private schools. http://www.centerforinquiry.net/newsroom/wh_voucher_plan/

This Month’s Website to Bookmark: http://www.aahumanism.net/