This Christian Radio Station Airs Public School Children Saying the Pledge and No One’s Complained… Until Now

We know it’s hard for students, especially young ones, to remain seated during the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re pressured to stand up and say it. And that’s an ethical problem even if it’s not a legal one.

But surely this is undeniably coercive: A Christian radio station (89.3 KSBJ in Houston, Texas) is going to local public schools “to record classrooms and groups saying the Pledge of Allegiance.” They feature the kids on air and give each one a “KSBJ certificate for showing their patriotism” (because if you don’t say the pledge, you’re not patriotic).

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A Christian Right Group Wants to Undo a Bedrock of Church/State Separation

For more than 40 years, courts have decided whether a certain action violates the principle of church/state separation by applying the Lemon Test. There are three parts to it:

1) The statute must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religious affairs.

2) The statute must not advance or inhibit religious practice

3) The statute must have a secular legislative purpose.

That’s it. It’s that simple. If any of those three prongs are violated, the statute is considered unconstitutional and in defiance of the Establishment Clause.

And now, the Christian right group Liberty Counsel wants to do away with the test because they think it hampers their ability to foist Christianity on the rest of us. In an amicus brief filed in response to the case of Felix v. Bloomfield — in which Wiccans are suing the city of Bloomfield, New Mexico over a Ten Commandments monument on city property — attorney Mat Staver explains how, because we’re totally a Christian nation, government officials should be allowed to put up Christian displays:

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“The Belief Book” Teaches Children About Religion from an Atheist Perspective

Any atheist parents out there may want to check out this new children’s book about religion written by David G McAfee and Chuck Harrison (who is also the illustrator). It’s called The Belief Book (with the emphasis on “lie”) and it walks children through what religion is and why people believe in it:

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South Carolina Legislator Asks Potential Judges for Their Views on Gays, Guns, and God Before He Can Vote for Them

Newly-elected South Carolina state Rep. Jonathon Hill (below) has a few questions he’d like potential judges to answer before he can vote to confirm them. Simple questions, really. He just wants to make sure they’re conservative and Christian. Otherwise, I’m not sure what he’s doing asking them any of these things: 2. What religious or [Read More…]

Atheist Groups Around the World Have Formed a Coalition To Eliminate Blasphemy Laws Everywhere

It is always heartening to see secular groups working together and this is a perfect cause. A new coalition announced yesterday, called the End Blasphemy Laws Campaign, will aim to (you guessed it) eliminate blasphemy laws everywhere. And, as you can see in the map below, those laws are in effect in much of the world:

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