John Xu Appointed Acting Director for Centre for Inquiry in Toronto

I don’t usually post about various leadership changes within our movement, but this one was particularly interesting because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Chinese person’s name on the masthead for any national atheist group, at least in North America. (If I’m wrong, please correct me.) John Xu, who began volunteering at CFI in [Read More…]

In Mississippi, a New Law Will Allow Religious Proselytizing in Public Schools

Today, the “Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013” goes into effect.

The law makes student-led, administration-supported proselytizing perfectly legal in the state’s public schools. The state’s House passed it on a 109-6 vote, while the Senate supported it 50-1 (the lone “Nay” vote was cast by the aptly-named Democrat Deborah Jeanne Dawkins). Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed it into law in March:

What does the law say? While much of it just reinforces laws that are already in place (e.g. Students can pray without punishment, Students can form after-school religious clubs), it also allows for Christians to push their faith onto other students in ways we’ve often fought against:

[Click headline for more…] [Read more…]

Video of the Atheist Monument Dedication Ceremony in Front of the Bradford County Courthouse

Yesterday, American Atheists unveiled a bench engraved with quotations from prominent atheists and church/state separation advocates in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in northern Florida. It was in response to a Christian group’s Ten Commandments monument that county officials had allowed on the premises.

Now, we have video of the full ceremony from start to finish (via CRUClEFICTION):

Leave any noteworthy timestamps/summaries in the comments! [Read more…]

Could Baker, Louisiana Be a Candidate for the Next Atheist Monument?

Back in 2009, a Ten Commandments monument was placed in a public park, near a public school, in Baker, Louisiana:

Could this be the site of the next atheist monument?

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13-Year-Old LGBT Activist Will Phillips Delivers a Must-Hear Speech at Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade

The first time I heard of Will Phillips, he was a 10-year-old who refused to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance for a novel reason:

Will’s family has a number of gay friends. In recent years, [mother] Laura Phillips said, they’ve been trying to be a straight ally to the gay community, going to the pride parades and standing up for the rights of their gay and lesbian neighbors. They’ve been especially dismayed by the effort to take away the rights of homosexuals — the right to marry, and the right to adopt. Given that, Will immediately saw a problem with the pledge of allegiance.

“I’ve always tried to analyze things because I want to be lawyer,” Will said. “I really don’t feel that there’s currently liberty and justice for all.”

He was 10 and he didn’t support the Pledge because he knew we really didn’t have “liberty and justice for all.” Amazing.

It’s been a few years since I’ve mentioned him on this site, but I’m thrilled to report that Will is back.

[Click headline for more…] [Read more…]


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