Should Churches Pay a City Fee for Safety Inspections?

If a church catches on fire, the city fire department comes in to help.

If there’s a crime on church property, the city police will come in to investigate.

The church pays no taxes for this, of course, but they benefit from being part of a city.

So what about city-mandated safety inspections? They can’t get around that in East St. Louis, Illinois, so the City Council assessed all churches and non-profit groups a $100 fee.

Now, the pastors are flipping out… partly over semantic issues since the city is calling this a “fee” which the churches are calling it a “tax”:

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Homeopathy: Money for Nothing

The James Randi Educational Foundation just released the first in a series of videos featuring magician Jamy Ian Swiss as the “Honest Liar.” This one tackles homeopathy:

Homeopathic medicine: The only thing it cures is a fat wallet. [Read more...]

Are Atheists More Green-Friendly Than Christians?

Not that kind.

Southern California Public Radio has been running a series called “God is in the garden,” exploring the intersection of religion and environmental values. Molly Peterson writes that atheists responded to the series, too, because there’s plenty to say about how religion has hurt the environment and how a godless outlook can alter how you feel about the world you live in:

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‘Interview an Atheist at Church’ Day is Growing!

A couple of months ago, I posted about a project that was the brainchild of Kile Jones and Tia Carley. Their idea was to invite pastors to interview an atheist during church. Not a debate. Just a public dialogue to let the congregation understand where the atheists were coming from and to help dismantle stereotypes about us.

Kile just posted an update to the project and it looks like it’s taking off! Admittedly, there are *way* more atheists than pastors interested… but hats off to the pastors who are willing to participate:

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Borough Council Members in Greenville, Pennsylvania Are Keeping Christian Prayers at Their Meetings

The Borough Council of Greenville, Pennsylvania has been reciting prayers at their meetings for decades. So when a local resident finally told the Freedom From Religion Foundation about it, you know exactly how council members reacted when they got the complaint letter:

It’s tradition!

Why would anyone complain about this?!

We have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion!

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