Do Churches in New Zealand Really Deserve Tax Breaks? A Filmmaker Would Like to Tackle That Question

New Zealander Toby Ricketts wants to know why churches in his country get a major tax break — when they don’t necessarily deserve it — and he’s trying to fund a film that will answer that question and more. It’s called Pennies From Heaven:



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This Week, a Catholic School Will Host a Conversation About the Harm Religion Can Inflict Upon Children

On Tuesday night, a Catholic university in Texas is hosting a potentially controversial and tremendously important event: a symposium about the physical and mental harm religion can inflict upon children.



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After Pushback, Science Museum Removes ‘Evolution’ Disclaimer from Posters

There’s a great science museum in San Mateo, California called CuriOdyssey (get it?) that also puts on programs for local students on field trips. Very cool place.

But one of their programs featuring live animals made the rounds online because of a disclaimer that appeared on a promotional poster:

This program may discuss the topic of evolution.

What the hell…?!

It’s like a warning sign… But for whom? Did someone attend the program, hear the “E” word come up, and go, “Oh shit! I didn’t know this was that kind of museum!”?

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After Depriving College of Funds for Reading Program with LGBT Themes, State Senators Vote Against Its Trustees, Too

South Carolina State Senator Mike Fair, whose district includes Bob Jones University, has already been in the news this year for trying to block the state from adopting new education standards regarding evolution because he wanted to “teach the controversy” and trying to block the adoption of the Wooly Mammoth as the state fossil. .

Now, the man who can’t seem to get more conservative has hit a new low, voting to defund the required reading program at the University of South Carolina Upstate because he thinks it’s promoting the “gay agenda”:



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Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill That Would’ve Allowed Proselytizing During Football Games and Graduation Speeches

Earlier this year, Virginia legislators attempted to pass Senate Bill No. 236. Among other things, the bill would legalize student-led, administration-supported proselytizing at football games, during morning announcements, graduation ceremonies, and anywhere else where students had a public forum. While the bill had stalled at one point, it eventually made it through both the state Senate (on a 20-18 vote) and House (64-34).

Proponents of the bill argued that it allowed students to organize religious clubs, plan “See you at the pole” gatherings, and wear religious symbols — but all of those things were already legal. The only thing this bill did was “permit a student speaker to express a religious viewpoint at any school event at which a student is permitted to publicly speak.” It was Christian code, letting students know they could (and should) proselytize at every available opportunity. It was a horrible idea, but the legislators didn’t have the backbone to stand up to the Christian Right.

Thankfully, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe had the guts to veto the bill on Friday, citing precisely that distinction:

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