Orthodox Jewish Students Kicked Off Plane for Not Turning Off Phones Now Claim Religious Discrimination

A bunch of students from an Orthodox Jewish school in Brooklyn got on a flight, refused to turn off their phones (an annoying rule, yes, but still a rule), and then got kicked off the plane. They took to Twitter to voice their complaints:

“BIG SCANDAL!” one wrote in Twitter messages to several news organizations, echoing the view of many of the students that they had done nothing wrong.

“Didnt think you’d ever get kicked off a plane? Well it’s possible,” another, Rebecca Rahmey, wrote on Twitter. Asked why by an acquaintance, she replied, “no reason.”

Katie McDonald, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines, AirTran’s parent company, said the flight’s crew had ejected the group out of concern for the “overall safety” of the flight. She said the students had violated flight policies and federal air regulations, ultimately delaying the flight by about an hour.

That alone is a story of annoying kids thinking they’re above the law.

But then they started claiming this was done because of their religion, which took the whining to an entirely different — and totally ridiculous — level:

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The Christian Church Won’t Become More Inclusive… and That’s Good for All of Us

Dannika Nash is the college student who wrote the very-viral “open letter to the church from my generation.” She basically said that the Christian church was pushing young people away because of how the institution treats gay people.

It was such a powerful and controversial piece that the Christian summer camp she was scheduled to work at fired her.

More recently, I posted a response from Dannika to a conservative Christian’s attempted takedown of her arguments. (Spoiler: He lost that battle.)

Anyway, a lot has happened to Dannika over the past couple of months. She’s still a Christian and she still supports LGBT equality, but she’s learned four very important lessons:

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Vero Beach Mayor: ‘I Refuse to Support an Organization That Does Not Believe in Jesus Christ’

The Vero Beach City Council (in Florida) had an easy task at yesterday’s meeting. The Humanists of the Treasure Coast asked them to proclaim June 16-23, 2013 as “Humanist Recognition Week.” The language was innocuous, calling for “compassion guided by reason” and the like. Normally, these proclamations get passed without much thought. This one, however, only passed by a 3-2 vote and it’s worth discussing what happened.

First, take a look at the 2:23 mark in the video below.

Mayor Craig Fletcher is going over the agenda at the start of the meeting and says that he wants to remove the item about the proclamation entirely. When asked why, Fletcher says, “I refuse to support an organization that does not believe in Jesus Christ. I’ll have nothing to do with it. If you want to outvote me, that’s fine.”

The way he responded, you would think someone tried to get him to denounce Jesus! It’s the biggest overreaction I’ve seen since… whatever’s on the front page of Charisma‘s website today.

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Atheist Billboard Campaign in Italy Urges People To Drop the ‘D’ in ‘Dio’

The Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics (UAAR) in Italy has launched a billboard campaign to raise the visibility of atheists — which is no small task in country where more than 90% of the people are Christian (mostly Catholic).

The image features the word “Dio” (meaning “God”) with the “D” crossed off, leaving “io” (meaning “I”). The words at the bottom remind viewers that “Ten million Italians live well without D.” The billboards were professionally designed by the Zowart ad agency.

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Town Bans the Number Four from New Addresses Because It Freaks Out Chinese People

The Richmond Hill Town Council (near Toronto) had decided that no new housing developments can use the number 4.

The reason:

In Cantonese and Mandarin, “four” sounds similar to “death.” Because of the number of requests the town receives for address changes, council decided to skip the number going forward in a five-four vote earlier this month.

Numbers like 14 and 24 are still allowed, and people who live in homes marked with a four can apply for a suffix, like 4B.

4 is the new 13…

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