Another Day, Another Two Students Punished for Not Standing During the Pledge of Allegiance

These stories are coming non-stop lately thanks to the American Humanist Association’s recent campaign encouraging students to remain seated during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Today, the AHA’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to the Washington County School District in Abingdon, Virginia on behalf of an 8th-grade student at E.B. Stanley Middle School.

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After Church/State Separation Advocate Mikey Weinstein Speaks at Patrick Henry College, School Deletes Video

Yesterday, I posted about how the Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein (below, right) recently sat down for an interview with WORLD Magazine editor-in-chief Dr. Marvin Olasky at Patrick Henry College, one of the most fundamentalist Christian schools in the nation.

You can read the positive reaction from students here, but what’s puzzling is that the school took down the video from their website within days of posting it. Chris Rodda explains:

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8 Things Your Pastor Will Never Tell You About the Bible

This is a guest post written by Richard Hagenston. Hagenston is an ordained United Methodist minister, a former pastor, and the author of Fabricating Faith: How Christianity Became a Religion Jesus Would Have Rejected.

When I was a United Methodist pastor, I learned an unsettling thing from my own experiences and those of some colleagues serving other churches: Many ministers keep secrets about the Bible, lest things they learned in seminary (or otherwise know) hurt church attendance and the Sunday offering.

This put some friends of mine in a terrible quandary, forced to say things from the pulpit that were doctrinally demanded but which they had come to privately question. As for me, I resolved the matter by leaving the pastorate. When I did, I got calls of congratulations from two nearby ministers. One of those calls was especially poignant. He said I was fortunate to have other skills from my previous work experience that I could draw on. But he added that all he had been trained to do was to be a minister and that he felt trapped in the pulpit saying things he no longer believed in order to continue supporting his family.

It’s time our secrets about the Bible came out. It’s time for Christians to know what their pastors won’t tell them.

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After Three Decades as an Ordained Minister, Syndicated Columnist Bob Ripley Comes Out as an Atheist

Rev. Bob Ripley was a minister for more than three decades, including 15 years spent as Senior Minister at Metropolitan United Church, a major Canadian congregation. He also wrote a syndicated column discussing religion for the past 25 years.

His most recent column, however, may raise a lot of eyebrows, because Ripley talks about how he no longer believes in God.

It’s a prelude to his forthcoming book Life Beyond Belief (not yet available online for some reason) explaining his deconversion:

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Pastor Explains How His Church Will Offer to Tutor Elementary School Kids… to Bring Their Families Closer to God

We’ve discussed the Good News Club on this site several times before — it’s basically an elementary school version of Campus Crusade for Christ. The Christians who run the groups want to reach the kids early — before they can think for themselves — in the hopes that they’ll be able to add another tally mark on the church walls and save some souls.

But there’s a less explicit, more insidious way to get to young children, and you can hear it in a recent sermon given at Calvary Alliance Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In the clip below, Pastor David Robinette explains how his church plans to gather volunteers, then approach local elementary schools with the offer of tutoring children for free. Why tutor them? Because they’ll win over the children, which means winning over the families, which means they’ll eventually come to Jesus. He doesn’t say that last bit explicitly, but the path is evident.

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