Ellery Schempp Looks Back, Fifty Years After His Supreme Court Victory

This is a guest post by Ellery Schempp.

I was in a contemplative mood as I wrote this. Somewhat overwhelmed by good wishes from good people.

I thank you for remembering this anniversary. I am happy to have lived long enough to remember not only the Abington decision (1963), but also pioneers like Vashti McCollum (1948), Steve Engel (1962), Madalyn Murray (joined with Abington, 1963), and later cases such as Lemon and Weismann, Epperson, Edwards, Griswold, many others. All these cases came from real people, and often the children suffered.

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Atheist Hotline Reaches $30,000 Fundraising Goal and Is Now Ready to Accept Volunteers

A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Hotline Project, a proposed 24/7 hotline for people who were struggling with religious doubt:

In order to get the project off the ground, the group putting it together, Recovering From Religion, needed to raise about $30,000 before the end of this month.

Well, with all the recent media attention given to the project (some, courtesy of Christian ignorance), there’s good news to report: With more than a week to spare, The Hotline Project has raised the money!

And they’re ready to hear from volunteers.

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Ex-Gay Ministry Exodus International Will Shut Down

Given that its President Alan Chambers is already going on Oprah Winfrey’s network Thursday night to offer an on-camera apology to all those members of the LGBTQ community he may have hurt, this may not be a major surprise, but it’s still big news: Exodus International is shutting down:

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Happy to Be in the Intersection

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Atheists in Mississippi Want to Help Local Families ‘Beat the Heat’

Last summer, I asked readers to help atheists in northeast Mississippi “beat the heat” by donating money so they could buy air conditioners for people in the region:

Because we believe in social justice and we know that no gods are going to solve this problem, we humanists are ready to do something about it! We want to raise as much money as possible to buy air conditioners for these families so they will not needlessly suffer through this incredibly harsh summer. Even a small window unit will make a big difference — especially for those people who have allergies, breathing disorders, or are at high-risk for dehydration. And the best part is that this air conditioner unit will give a family several years of relief. The small investment you make now will pay out immediate and long-term benefits.

You all came through in spectacular fashion, raising over $800, enough for several air conditioning units and then some:

Now, the newly-formed Northeast Mississippi Secular Humanist Association wants to do even more. They want to purchase air conditioners for 10 families, including one with special needs:

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