If Atheist Books Are Placed in Georgia State Parks, Will Christians Destroy Them?

As you might know, American Atheists recently pointed out that at least one Georgia state park had Bibles in the cabins. Since these are taxpayer-funded parks (and not privately-owned hotels), that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

But Governor Nathan Deal said more than a week ago that “any group is free to donate literature,” not just Christian ones.

American Atheists, perhaps not expecting that answer, gleefully took him at his word and made plans to gather materials for distribution in the state’s parks.

How does the Governor feel now that an atheist group is calling him on his (possible) bluff?

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Quebec Court of Appeal Rules That City Council’s 20-Second Prayer to ‘All-Powerful God’ is Perfectly Legal

In 2006, atheist Alain Simoneau told the city council of Saguenay, Quebec (Canada) that they needed to stop reciting a prayer at their meetings. It took years for a lawsuit to get filed and for a local court to issue a ruling, but in 2011, Quebec’s human-rights tribunal stopped the city from holding its 20-second prayer to “all-powerful God.” The tribunal also made the council take down a crucifix that was on the wall and pay $30,000 in damages to Simoneau. While the case was in progress, the prayer was replaced with a (still excruciatingly long) two-minute moment of silence.

Yesterday, Quebec’s Court of Appeal reversed that ruling (PDF, in French), somehow making the absurd case that “reciting a prayer does not violate the religious neutrality of the city.”

… the hell?

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Andrew Brown Has It Wrong; ‘New Atheism’ Isn’t All About Deconverting People

Over at the Guardian, Andrew Brown writes about a conversation he had with philosopher (and New Atheist author) Daniel Dennett. One of the topics that came up was how Dennett feels compelled to help people think rationally — out of religion — while Brown see no reason to do that. As the title of the piece says, he’s “an atheist but… [he] won’t try to deconvert anyone.”

That’s one hell of a straw man argument, of course, intended to make Brown appear more tolerant and rational than Dennett:

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New Legislation Will Allow Iowa’s Homeschooling Parents to Not Teach Their Children

This past week, the Iowa legislature passed House File 215, a bill that changes the way homeschooling is regulated. In short, it removes a good chunk of state oversight, leaving the education of homeschooled children completely in the hands of their parents — and Christian homeschooling families couldn’t be more thrilled (emphasis theirs):

HF 215 is truly a gift from God for homeschool families. [Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators] deserves a huge “THANK YOU” from the entire Iowa homeschool community for their awesome work spanning many years on [Independent Private Instruction].

So what are the big changes for homeschooling parents because of this bill?

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Even Though the Scenes Were Eventually Cut, Penn Jillette Tried to Get Atheist Donors on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice

After the All-Star Celebrity Apprentice finale aired last week, the conversation on this site was about how eventual winner Trace Adkins called runner-up Penn Jillette the “most ethical atheist I’ve ever met” and how that wasn’t really a compliment.

It turns out Penn tried really hard to get positive atheism on the air — multiple times — only to have his efforts squashed by the editing crew. It’s not that he’s mad or upset about that — most of what happens on any “reality” show gets cut and speaking about atheism positively might stir up a different kind of controversy than the kind the producers want to see — and Penn hasn’t spoken out about his behind-the-scenes efforts.

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