Arkansas Elementary School Held Assembly for Students Featuring Faculty Prayers and Questions About Church Attendance

Religious assemblies are bad enough when they take place at public high schools. But when an elementary school puts one on, I just get this icky, disgusted feeling. There’s a sense of “Let’s get ’em while they’re young” that suggests kids who are old enough to think for themselves will never buy what you’re selling them.

That’s why it’s so frustrating to learn that officials at Central Elementary School in Arkansas’ Van Buren School District saw no problem hosting one of those assemblies.

A letter sent by the Freedom From Religion Foundation this week offered details of what happened:

[Read more…]

Once Again, There’s Pressure to Cancel an Ayaan Hirsi Ali Event, but Yale’s Buckley Program Isn’t Budging

Earlier this year, Brandeis University announced that it would be awarding honorary degrees to five notable figures, including atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her advocacy of women’s rights around the world:

Hirsi Ali, in her bestselling books Infidel and Nomad, made no secret of the fact that Islam, as interpreted by militants, extremists, and even (in some cases) casual believers, was not only untrue but harmful to the world. Between female genital mutilation, honor killings, the idea of martyrdom, and the murder of her friend Theo van Gogh, you could understand why she would courageously put her own life on the line to speak out against the horrors of the faith. In her mind, the problem wasn’t radical Islam. It was Islam, period. That’s why she was very blunt in a 2007 interview about her goal of trying to defeat Islam because she didn’t believe the “religion of peace” was capable of being saved in its current form.

[Read more…]

At Least They Didn’t Do a Parody of “Anaconda”…

I didn’t think anyone could ever top the Christian parody of “Baby Got Back,” but Journey Church in Pineville, Louisiana is giving it a shot with “God Likes Big Buts.”

And I’m using the screenshot below because it just adds to the cringe-factor:



[Read more…]

Humanist Group Comes to the Defense of Missouri High School Student Reprimanded for Sitting During the Pledge

Just days after launching their campaign encouraging students to not say the Pledge of Allegiance, the American Humanist Association is already putting its legal team to work.

At Lutie High School in Theodosia, Missouri, a student didn’t stand for the Pledge because of the “under God” phrasing in it. She sat quietly and didn’t disrupt the other students. But her teacher still called her out on it:



[Read more…]

Atheist Politicians in Arizona Speak Out Against Governor Jan Brewer’s “Office of Faith and Community Partnerships”

Two weeks ago, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an Executive Order to create the “Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Partnerships.” She did something similar in 2010, but this newer order includes some changes:

The role is described similarly, including the appointment of people from faith-based groups, but her new order allows the office to accept and spend money, including the ability to get local, state, or federal government funding.

For that reason, groups like the Secular Coalition for Arizona, atheist State Representative Juan Mendez, atheist Congressional candidate James Woods, and a host of other allies gathered outside the state capitol this morning to speak out against this breakdown of church/state separation and deliver a letter to the Governor:



[Read more…]