Judge Rules That Mt. Soledad Cross Must Come Down Within 90 Days

It’s been the longest-running Establishment Clause case in American history and it’s still being debated more than 23 years later.

It involves the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego — a huge cross on public land erected in 1954. After the now-deceased Philip Paulson challenged the cross’ constitutionality more than two decades ago and after atheist Steve Trunk took up the case a few years ago, atheists have generally prevailed in the court system. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear any more challenges from Christian groups, putting the future of the cross back in the hands of lower courts.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the cross to come down from the mountain within 90 days… which sounds great until you realize the Christian side will appeal, further delaying the inevitable. Burns actually ruled in 2008 that the cross should stay put, but the Appeals court above him overturned his decision. With that in mind, Burns said there was no way the cross could still stay:

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After Showing Up to His Live Event, Skeptics Debunk Promoter of ‘Touchless’ Karate

Master Jukka Lampila is a Finnish con artist who claims to be able to teach you a form of karate that requires no kicks or punches. All you need is your mind and your opponents will be defeated. It’s called “EFO” or Empty Force and it’s all a trick.

Last week, Lampila was giving a demonstration of the technique in Spain (you bet your ass there was a pricey entrance fee) and a few skeptics decided to pay him a visit. I seriously don’t know why Lampila allowed cameras to be there…

While he “demonstrates the power” for the first couple of minutes, the fun begins at 2:28 when the skeptics decide to allow Lampila to use his powers on them:

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Yes, Salon, Atheists Do Help the Poor

CJ Werleman wrote a piece for Alternet about how atheists should learn a lesson from Pope Francis when it comes to dealing with poverty — and since it slams atheists, Salon was eager to reprint it:

When the Pope washes the feet of convicts while calling for greater efforts to lift up the world’s poor, he makes it possible to establish meaningful partnerships with other moral communities, secular and religious. Of course, when Francis speaks about the “idolatry of money” and “growing income inequality,” you know, the things Jesus spoke about, you can set your watch in waiting for someone on the Right to accuse him of being a Marxist. Hello, Rush Limbaugh.

Atheists like to talk about building a better world, one that is absent of religiosity in the public square, but where is the atheist movement, as defined by the some 2,000 atheist groups and organizations in the U.S., when it comes to dealing with our third-world levels of poverty? Not only is the atheist movement absent on this issue, it is spending thousands of dollars on billboards that make atheists look like assholes, at the same time Catholicism is looking hip again. The Pope has changed the perception of the Church in the minds of millions while the atheist movement has been sucked into the Right’s fictitious “war on christmas.”

I’ll give him that Pope Francis walks the walk on poverty, saying no to the Papal palace and making outreach to the poor and criticism of capitalism run amok an important part of his legacy.

But what’s with trashing atheist groups for not dealing with the same issues?

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The Most Blasphemous Cards Against Humanity Cards Yet

The epic game Cards Against Humanity is currently in the middle of a holiday promotion in which they asked customers to send them $12… in return for 12 items over the course of 12 days. What items? Who knows. You were just supposed to trust them.

Trust random people online asking for my credit card information in exchange for untold rewards?

Hell yeah! I was in.

Yesterday, a small stack of CAH cards arrived in the mail inside a red package reading “Interfaith circle jerk”… I think they may be the most awesomely offensive booster cards yet:

I don’t think anyone will notice if I play these cards in our next game…

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‘Keep Saturn in Saturnalia’ Billboard Counters Christian Sign in New Jersey Town

On Thursday, a familiar sign returned to the town of Pitman, New Jersey:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation explains:

“Keep Saturn in Saturnalia” is the message that went up Dec. 12 on the billboard located off West Holly Avenue a mile east of Lambs Road in Pitman, about 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

The billboard will be up for a month and is meant to counter the “Keep Christ in Christmas” display by the Knights of Columbus that the borough seems to think is appreciated by persons of non-Christian religions and those who follow no creed at all.


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