Believe it or not: in seven states, you must believe in God to hold public office

Who knew? From The New York Times:  A bookkeeper named Roy Torcaso, who happened to be an atheist, refused to declare that he believed in God in order to serve as a notary public in Maryland. His case went all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 1961 the courtruled unanimously for Mr. Torcaso, saying states [Read More...]

Atheist billboard stirs controversy; Catholic diocese hopes it can spark discussion

Details:  The American Atheists organization posted billboards in Memphis, Nashville, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Arkansas aimed toward “in-the-closet atheists who are pressured to observe religious traditions during the holidays.” That’s what organizers say about the billboards, which show a kid wearing a Santa hat with a pen in hand. The kid is writing a letter [Read More...]

Denied job, “humanist chaplain” sues Navy for discrimination

From RNS:  The Oxford-educated man who unsuccessfully sought to be the Navy’s first humanist chaplain is suing the Pentagon, claiming unconstitutional discrimination. Jason Heap is certified as a humanist celebrant by the Humanist Society, which joined in the suit and is challenging both the U.S. Navy and the Department of Defense for not recognizing the group as an endorser [Read More...]

Atheist offers “invocation” at town council meeting in Alabama

Details:  Here’s what happens when an atheist offered Alabama’s first non-theist invocation to open a public meeting: 90 seconds of thoughtful statements that began with “Dearly Beloved” and ended with “Let it be so,” and no reaction from a packed City Council chamber. As the invocation ended, everyone swung automatically to face the flag to [Read More...]

Atheist TV debuts

From The New York Times:  Atheists are angry, and watch out, because now they have a television channel. This week the organization American Atheists announced the premiere of Atheist TV, available through the streaming service Roku and over the Internet. That news will certainly prompt assorted knee-jerk reactions in some quarters, and perhaps some confusion: “Atheist [Read More...]

So what does an atheist “invocation” sound like?

It happened last night in Greece, NY. You can check it out in the video below. A summary: A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision brought a lot of attention to Western New York Tuesday night. Efforts to maintain separation of church and state took center stage in the Rochester suburb of Greece where an atheist [Read More...]

Atheist will open New York town meeting with a non-prayer

From AP:  An atheist is set to deliver the invocation at a town board meeting in a community whose leaders won a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the right to start such gatherings with a prayer. Dan Courtney, a 52-year-old mechanical engineer, said he asked the town of Greece right after the 5-4 decision in [Read More...]

Christianity resurgent?

One atheist professor’s interesting take: The world could see a resurgence of Christianity driven by population decline in sceptical countries, the geneticist Steve Jones has claimed. Professor Jones said history had proven that religion grows rapidly during large population booms, particularly in poorer countries. He argued that rapid growth in Africa could spark a new [Read More...]

More Americans say they’d be willing to vote for an atheist as president

Details:  Atheists are still the most mistrusted group in the U.S., and a godless politician is still the least likely candidate to win votes in a presidential election. But atheist leader Todd Stiefel is celebrating “a lot of hope” in the fine print of a new Pew Research survey on political leanings. True, 53 percent of [Read More...]

Report: Military association plans to ask for atheist chaplains

Details:  In what some might see as an oxymoron, an advocacy group apparently is preparing to ask the Defense Department to appoint a chaplain — for atheists. A source tells Fox News that the Military Association of Atheists and Free Thinkers plans to make the request on Tuesday, floating its president Jason Torpy as the [Read More...]