President Obama, at Prayer Breakfast, Defends Rights of Those with ‘No Faith At All’

Let us take it as a given that the President of the United States’ participation in the National Prayer Breakfast his highly problematic to say the least. When we make a tradition of the elected chief executive publicly kissing the ring of sectarian religion, it turns it into a quasi-official event, flying in the face of basic secularism and the Constitution. It’s a bad thing.

All that said (and said with fervency), via RNS’s Brian Pellot, we learn that at said breakfast, President Obama had a positive message that we secularists wholeheartedly embrace: the need for people of all religions and of no religion to believe and express themselves as they will, without threat of retaliation, discrimination, or criminalization.

And, importantly, it was said before a conservative religious audience. The president said:

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The Nye-Ham Debate Was a Net Win for Science

I think the Bill Nye-Ken Ham debate (liveblogged by me and Hemant) turned out to be a net-win for science and reason. I know that many of us in the skepto-atheosphere disagree; that the debate put reality on the same plane as nonsense, or thought that Nye wasn’t up to the task of fully enlightening Ham or his audience. I understand and respect those criticisms, but I think they overlook what Nye really did accomplish.

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Glenn Beck Attacks Bill Nye for Being Like Galileo’s Persecutors

This is almost beautiful in its absolute absurdity.

Glenn Beck, apparently from his underground bunker, used his web show to attack supporters of Common Core educational standards, specifically Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and, yes, even Bill Nye, who he compares to “the people” who persecuted Galileo. I can’t seem to remember who those bad people were, though.

Anyway.

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President Obama Includes ‘Atheists and Agnostics’ as Part of America’s ‘Cultural Fabric’

After President Obama gave a shout-out to “nonbelievers” in his first inaugural address in 2009, atheists have felt a little bit out in the cold with our president. His record on ending discrimination in hiring within faith-based initiatives has been disappointing to nonexistent. His participation in the National Prayer Breakfast events has been galling and [Read More...]

Secular Wedding Celebrants May Soon Become a Reality in New Jersey

While Chris Christie attempts to fire and flail his way out of his bridge scandal, something actually pretty encouraging is happening under the radar in New Jersey. The Garden State may soon allow secular civil celebrants to officiate marriages. The New Jersey State Senate voted 32-5 in a favor of that bill today.

In March of 2012, a bill was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula that adds to the list of those already authorized to solemnize marriages in New Jersey this amendment:

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