Friendly Atheist Podcast Ep. 16: TAM2014: Dave Silverman & Comedians Paul Provenza, Kira Soltanovich, & Mike McShane

Our latest podcast guests are American Atheists’ Dave Silverman and comedians Paul Provenza, Kira Soltanovich, and Mike McShane.



[Read more…]

Three Christian Publications Reject Evangelical Group’s Ad Calling for a Conversation About Civil Marriage Equality

This week marked the launch of a welcome new group to the broader conversation about religion and marriage equality: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality:

As Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, we believe you can be a devout, Bible-believing evangelical and support the right of same-sex couples to be recognized by the government as married. Our commitment to following Christ leads us to speak out for equal treatment under the law for others — whether or not they share our religious convictions.

Good for them. They’re not saying evangelical churches should perform or recognize the marriages, only that the government should. You have to wonder why so many evangelical leaders have such a hard time getting behind that.

But organizers have already hit a problem. In order to publicize the group, they planned to purchase a full page ad (seen below) in three major Christian publications: Christianity Today, Relevant, and World Magazine.



[Read more…]

This Week, an Appeals Court Heard Arguments to Reinstate Tax-Free Housing for Pastors

For years now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been in a legal battle to end the “Parsonage Exemption” that allows ministers to deduct the cost of rent for their church-owned houses from their taxable income. FFRF believes that this shows preferential treatment by the government for religious leaders.

FFRF’s own board has even paid its co-presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor $15,000 each as part of their housing allowance, but because they don’t qualify as “ministers of the gospel,” the law doesn’t apply to them. That’s one of the ways they’ve tried to prove the law is illegal.

Last November, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled in favor of the FFRF, writing that the exemption was indeed unconstitutional.

You can read much more about Crabb’s decision here.

That case was (to no one’s surprise) appealed by the U.S. Justice Department, and oral arguments took place this week in Chicago. Tom Cara, the President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter, was in the courtroom and offers his take on the situation below:

[Read more…]

Even a Right Wing Attorney Says the Air Force Shouldn’t Reject an Atheist Who Disagrees with “So Help Me God” in Oath

It’s not often I get to say this, but OneNewsNow.com and the American Family Association is right.

I feel dirty…

Anyway, in response to the Air Force service member who was rejected for re-enlistment because he refused to sign an oath with the words “So Help Me God,” the AFA’s general counsel Patrick Vaughn writes:



[Read more…]

Teacher Physically Lifts First-Grader Out of His Seat Because He Won’t Stand for the Pledge

If there are ever problems when a student doesn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s usually involves a teacher making a snide comment about it or threatening punishment.

But until now, I’ve never heard of a teacher physically lifting a student out of his seat because he wouldn’t stand up. That’s what happened to a first-grader in the New Town Public School District in North Dakota, according to the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center:



[Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X