Christian Group Promotes Upcoming Summit with a James Madison Quotation So Fake That Even David Barton Disavows It

Later this month, conservative Christians will gather in Washington, D.C. for the Values Voter Summit, a conference that will bring together brilliant conservative minds like Rep. Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Rick Santorum.

If you were to sign up for the event, you would get a letter from the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins which thanks you for registering and reminds you that even one of our Founding Fathers wanted to see God in the government:

James Madison, the Father of the United States Constitution said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government: upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” Please pray with us that VVS will help equip families, churches, and communities across the United States to be active citizens that glorify God in the public square.

Just one problem with that: Madison never said it. It’s nowhere in his writings. The fact that pseudo-historian David Barton quoted it in the original version of his book The Myth of Separation is just more evidence that it’s fictional.

Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State explains how we know Madison never said anything like this:

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Florida House Speaker Wants to Change the Law to Allow Football Coaches to Lead Athletes in Prayers to Jesus

This is the Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford:

He’s a Republican. Which is going to become painfully obvious after you hear what he wrote to a public school superintendent the other day:

If a football coach wants to lead a prayer with his players on the field after a game they should be able to do that. I believe that our law we passed (last) year would allow you to set guidelines for it. If not, I will work on a bill for it next year.”

Weatherford doesn’t get how the law works. Including, apparently, the law he passed last year. That legislation — the “Inspirational Message” law, which is really the “Christians are in the majority so we’re gonna pray harder than you” law — gave students the chance to deliver religious messages at public school events provided that they alone got to choose the speaker. It added that school officials — including football coaches — could not participate in or influence the decision of whether a prayer would take place or who would deliver it, a fact that Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning reiterated to his principals last week.

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Author of Erotic Book of Genesis Comes Home to ‘Blasphmy’ Graffiti

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an excerpt from Matthew Stillman‘s new book “Genesis Deflowered,” which eroticizes the Book of Genesis.

Last week, on the doorsteps in front of Matthew’s home in Harlem, he was greeted with misspelled graffiti reading “Blasphmy.”

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A Blog Carnival for Atheist Parenting

If you do any sort of writing about secular parenting, Karen Loethen would love to hear from you for a new Blog Carnival she’s starting up (hey, remember those?!)

If you are blogging on secular parenting, this carnival is the place to share your work with like-minded bloggers. If you are a secular parent, this carnival is to bring good writing to you from others who are DOING IT!

That’s precisely the benefit to participating. This is the sort of thing that can introduce you to a new readership and expose you to other writers in the same boat. If you’d like to submit a recent post, all the information you need is on Karen’s site. [Read more...]

Five Atheism-Related Stories from the Past Week That Left Me Shaking My Head…

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses five stories from the past week that left me shaking my head:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]